Next August, from 15th to 20th, Verbier will be welcoming the first Verbier Padel Masters and the best players in the world on the Périn carpark. The competition will be integrated into the A1 Padel world circuit, one of the three international circuits (with the World Padel Tour and Premier Padel) that exist today. This new event will contribute to Verbier’s shining presence outside its Swiss borders and with the attractive incentive of summer. For this unique occasion, we had a chat with the organisers : Stan Wawrinka, Naella Wawrinka, Dan Hafner and Renato Lombardi.
How Padel works : a game for everyone
Becoming one of the top sports in the world, padel is often compared to being a mix of tennis and squash. Surrounded by glass walls and wired mesh, the court measures 20 metres by 10 metres. Playing in doubles and with rackets, padel is played by two players on each side of the net and scored by a points system that follows the same rules as tennis. One of its unique characteristics is that serving is underarm. “The game is extremely fast, dynamic and fantastic to watch when played by professionals, while still remaining super accessible and fun for amateurs”, explain the tournament founders.
Verbier : Stan Wawrinka’s most loved choice
A fan of the resort, Stan quickly made Verbier his choice : ”We wanted an environment that was out of the ordinary, which contrasted with what we see today at padel competitions worldwide. We also wanted to bring the image of Switzerland to the fore. We realised very quickly that a mountain landscape met these criteria. We thought of Verbier, which is by far, my favourite resort. I’ve got a lot of friends here. Also Verbier demonstrates a real desire to bring new events to the resort.”
Padel : a successful sport, developing fast
Why hold a padel tournament ? The idea came from Stan who fell under its spell when he discovered it in Spain : “Being a competitor at heart and it’s also a game of rackets and balls, I was immediately hooked. Over a few years, it’s got bigger almost everywhere in Europe where it’s still at an early stage”.
A fun event combining padel, local produce and music
The tournament will firstly allow people to get to know this sport better by watching matches which will be exceptional and emotionally charged between world professional players. Furthermore, it will aim to create a really fun and festive atmosphere around the competitions with local produce tastings in the food village and concerts by Swiss artists organised throughout the week. Finally, for amateurs, who’d like to give this sport a try, an initiation court will be available.
The objective : to be the benchmark tournament in Switzerland and in Europe
By launching this new tournament in Verbier, the organisers are aiming to position the tournament as the benchmark in Switzerland and internationally. For the first event, the tournament will bring together solely the men’s category for logistical reasons. However, from 2024, the female category will be part of the competition as well. The prize money allocated for this year amounts to CHF 110’000.–. Ultimately the event also would like to incorporate a national junior circuit allowing future padel hopefuls to meet the best players in the world. We can’t wait to be there.