Alejandra Salazar Bengoechea, popularly known in the world of women’s padel tennis as “Ale”, is a professional player who was born on December 31, 1985, in Madrid. She has won several Spanish and World championships on multiple occasions, both in pairs and teams, which has led her to become an emblematic figure in this sport.
“Ale” started playing padel at a very young age, she was only 8 years old when she joined the Club de Campo de Madrid, demonstrating that she had an innate talent for this sport, but undoubtedly, she developed it over the years. Of course, during her childhood she experimented with other sports such as basketball and tennis.
It was not until she was 15 years old that Alejandra began to dedicate herself exclusively to padel, winning in different minor league competitions (between 1999 and 2003). And although at this stage of her life it was very difficult for her to combine her studies with training, this was only the impetus for the Spaniard to stand out from the rest of the players.
Now, it was in the 2004 season that the Madrilenian entered the world of professional padel, teaming up with Eva Gayoso. In the following two years she teamed up with Melissa Capra, then in 2007 with María Silvela. In 2010 she played alongside Vale Pavon.
The Spanish player of 1.68 meters tall is considered one of the best players in the history of the sport. Especially because she has always been in the fight for the top positions in the World Padel ranking, placing in the top three since the 2007 Tour.
She has won, of course, many championships in her professional career as a padel player:
- 2009: She was champion of the Padel Pro Tour in 2009 along with Carolina Navarro, placing first in the ranking.
- 2010: She became World Padel Team Champion and World Runner-Up in the National Pairs World Championship.
- 2011: Wins the Spanish Team Championship with R.C. Polo of Barcelona and by Autonomous Communities, representing her hometown.
- 2012: Proclaimed Champion of Spain in Cordoba.
- 2014: Teaming up with Icíar Montes, she is once again at the top of the ranking, winning three World Padel Tour tournament finals.
- 2019: Forms a successful couple with Ariana Sanchez with whom he has obtained important laurels, being ranked as the masters of the World Padel Tour and consolidating as the No. 1 couple.
Evolution of her style of play
Throughout her career “Ale” has gone through several transformations in her style of play, which has allowed her to remain among the top three padel players in the world.
In recent years she has become an expert at dominating matches. From the drive, in fact, it was said that she had the most solid forehand of the circuit and was very much avoided by her opponents. Here is her evolutionary process that frames some of her strengths and weaknesses:
- When she paired with Ari Sanchez she had the role of lifting the team in the most decisive moments of the matches, they showed greater potential than her partner.
- When she started a new project with Gemma Triay she had a tougher role, as she was in charge of defining and dominating in short rallies. This forced her to migrate to a more designed and sacrificed style having a greater participation in the cross game.
- If before she played 10 balls and had to try to press the rivals or define, now she gathers eight balls with the purpose of making them regular and of quality.
- In 2021 we could see many difficulties in Alejandra, as it was difficult for her to maintain the level of her game as the matches progressed. She seemed unable to reach the regularity that padel demands, in fact, it seemed that she did not enjoy the game.
- Currently, her physical transformation (because time does not forgive) has led her to develop new tactics and strategies, achieving a new way of dominating padel, betting more on wear and tear than on winning by knockout.
A legend of women’s padel
There is no doubt, “Ale” has achieved everything in this sport, even the most complicated thing, which is to maintain a high level. We can say that whatever happens, whether or not she gets another championship, the Spanish player is a living legend of the sport.
Perhaps in her last years as a professional padel player she will not live her best sporting moments, but the past and the present are still hers, while in the future she will be remembered for her remarkable hegemony in the circuit.
Alejandra has a degree in Business Administration and Management from the UCM and a master’s degree in Management of Sports Entities from the UEM. In addition, she has assured to be an enthusiast of tennis, basketball and the world of the seventh art.
She has expressed, on the other hand, to be a great admirer of the game of Juan Martín Díaz and Willy Lahoz, who are valuable exponents of men’s padel tennis.
We would love to host Ale Salazar in our Academy to learn from a TOP padel Player!