Dear Santa, here is my Christmas list
This was the second year I chose to sneak away to Madrid the week before Christmas for a sport. I would normally choose to prepare for holiday celebrations and enjoy the third advent weekend at home, but this is not just any sport. It's PADEL!
Luckily, I'm married to someone who is just as much a padel fanatic as I am — or maybe he is lucky to have a sport fanatic as a wife? In any case, we are both "enablers". We enable each other to do these things since we can easily justify each other's addictions #padeljunkies
Just as last year, it was a fun-filled weekend — last minute Christmas shopping in downtown Madrid, running into padel friends from different countries, hanging with my Gothenburg counterparts away from home, tapas, reconnecting with sponsor Nox, admiring the beautiful WPT venue, sitting in the middle of a passionate Spanish crowd, a glass or two of Clara (beer mixed with lemon soda) #tryit #youlllikeit, and of course seeing the best players in world sacrificing blood, sweat and tears while surrounded by 5,000 entertainment-hungry spectators.
On Saturday, Padelfeber’s Håkansson asked what I thought about the matches. I shrugged my shoulders and said that the padel wasn't that great. Well, I take that back because the padel was, of course, great — how can it not be with the top 16 pairs in the world in one place? It’s just that in general, there seemed to be longer points and much closer matches last year. So, maybe that’s why the bonus wow factor was lacking, or maybe last year was more exciting just because it was my first time or maybe I'm just getting spoiled? #padelbrat
PADEL SPECTATING FOR BEGINNERS
I wonder if there is a beginner's course in padel spectating. The Spanish crowd always seemed to know exactly what was happening. They could start whistling, stamping feet, applauding out of nowhere and we just sat cluelessly wondering what was going on. Did the umpire call the serve in or out? Did you even hear the empire say anything? Are they not going to play it over? Why are there only applauses when the little ball boy with glasses picks up a ball? Why is that player so annoyed? Who did what? #languagebarrier #culturebarrier
As you all probably heard, Paquito was penalized for ball abuse on Friday. This is another thing that takes a little getting used to. Although, seemingly strict at times, I admire the Spanish for having these rules of conduct as there are many kids sitting in the audience watching their idol's every move. Gothenburg friends and I got a good laugh wondering if we should implement these rules at Padel Center Göteborg. We came to the conclusion that over 80% of the players (especially since both players of the pair are to be punished) would be penalized for language, racket, ball, net, and/or court abuse and the club would be empty for quite some time... Swedes are generally pretty quiet and reserved but there are two things that can make them crack open their more loud and aggressive selves 1) alcohol and 2) frustration on the padel court #rageinthecage
ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS
After watching all of the amazing athletes do their thing, I've written a wish list for Santa Claus. Hopefully, he thinks I've been more nice than naughty. Well, aside from that one outburst at the SPT Masters Final in Växjö, I should be OK. Luckily, most of the spectators had gone home at the time, the match was not live-streamed and my nine year-old had her headphones on. #momentofweakness #probablyworthasetpenalty
1) Ariana Sanchez's cool attitude — smooth and confident with every move she makes #wannabelikeherwhenigrowup
2) Marta Ortega's happy feet
3) Lucia Sainz's volleys
4) Maxi Sanchez's court coverage
5) Miguel Lamperti's charisma
6) Victoria Iglesias' two-handed backhand
7) Juan Mieres' vibora
8) Mati Diaz's reflexes — can you volley-block hard smashes coming straight at your stomach?
9) Bela's eyes — who can read the game better?
10) Stupa's hang time #theboycanjump
What's on your padel wish list? Please let me know but if I don't hear from you before then...
May your Christmas joy bounce high and your bandejas bounce low!!!
At the Nox booth, trying to blend in with the poster of stars
Enjoying Friday night’s VIP spots
Even got a shot of the Swedish paparazzi ;)
Chatting with half Swedish padel sweetheart Carolina Navarro and her partner Cecilia Reiter