10 March 2023 – Yes, a padel racket to be reborn. Not even two years ago, it was September 2021, Isla de la Palma discovered the devastating power of the volcano. For eighty-five eternal days, the Cumbre Vieja gave people no respite, keeping tourists away from the island, denying them the chance to enjoy the natural spectacle that the Canaries can offer even in autumn.
The consequences of those three months of volcanic activity – 35,000 people were evacuated from their homes, seven thousand of whom never returned – were devastating: more than 1,200 hectares of territory covered by lava, 1,600 buildings destroyed, even the formation of a new volcano, called Tajogaite. But from ashes, in this case lava, something can always be reborn. And sport is often an extraordinary engine of economic, touristic, and emotional, recovery after such a huge natural disaster.
Nobody should forget that padel is above all the sport ‘of the people’, of sharing and socialising, of cheerfulness and passion on every pitch in the world. From this point of view, FIP considers itself as a large padel ‘club’ that wants to embrace every player, whether amateur or professional, from every country, taking every possible opportunity to turn ‘padel’ into an opportunity for people and the territory.
Right on the Isla de la Palma, these days, Fip organised a Rise tournament, a stage of the Cupra FIP Padel Tour 2023. The event started on Monday 6, Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8 with the qualifiers, while the decisive phase will be played in the week-end: round of 16 and quarters on Friday 10, semifinals, and finals on Saturday 11. Thirty-two pairs entered in the men’s draw (26 of them by ranking, plus four qualifiers and two wild cards), the same number in the women’s draw, €12,500 prize money and many important names in the field.
Among the men, the Spaniard Mario Huete Hernandez and the Italo-Argentine Denis Perino are the first seed; among the women, the Spanish Alicia Alegre and the Italian Carlotta Casali lead the seeding. Athletes from all over the world have been arriving at the Padel Aridane Club these days, to enjoy padel and give Isla de la Palma a chance to restart. Thanks to sport and the FIP, the memory of those terrible days of the volcano eruption will hurt a little less.
(In the cover: Diego Gil Batista)