Ariana Sánchez Fallada, better known as Ari Sánchez “La Magic”, (the magician) is a professional padel player born on July 9, 1997 in Reus, Spain. Her skills, determination and passion on the court, have allowed her to become one of the most successful young players in this sport, remaining in the top of the World Padel Tour (WPT) ranking in recent years.
Beginnings in padel
Ari took her first steps in padel when she was only 9 years old, following in the footsteps of her father, who -according to herself- was very good at this sport and competed against him, together with her brother, in the community area where she lived with her family (they always lost to her father, in fact).
The fact is that, from a very young age, Ariana always felt attracted to sports, joining soccer and basketball teams at school. Her parents, however, noticed that her padel skills were exceptional and, therefore, decided to enroll her in a padel school in Reus.
A year later, she was already competing at the regional level in the Catalan Junior Circuit (one of the best amateur circuits in the world), where she began to evolve in her game until she was crowned Champion of Spain and the World in the minor events.
Some time later, precisely in 2016, Sanchez would begin a new stage in her life, combining competitions and university studies. Since in addition to being a promise of professional padel, she was training in Sports Science at the University Camilo José Cela and Physiotherapy at the University of Barcelona.
“La Magic” would start her professional career as a padel player in the WPT in 2016, teaming up with Tamara Icardo, who was her partner only until mid-season. And that same year, she shared the court with Paula Eyheraguibel, especially in the Catalan Federation tournaments.
Ari would not take long to enter the world ranking, but not before playing with her dear friend and playing partner, Marta Ortega. In 2017, in fact, they paired up to dispute the WPT lead.
The young native of Rus, however, would start the 2019 season with a new partner: Alejandra Salazar. In this way, they would form a sporting duo called “AS”, creating great expectations in the fans of this sport. Fortunately, they did not disappoint and after two seasons together, Ari and Ale won eight titles, including the 2019 masters title.
It was until December 2020 that officially the “AS” duo separated, leaving an indelible mark on the World Padel Tour, even there are those who still miss this combination. A few days after the news, it was already known that Ari would have a new sport partner for the 2021 season: Paula Josemaría.
There is no doubt that the young Catalan has had a brilliant career as a professional padel player. Let’s take a look at her achievements since 2016:
- In her first year, she integrated the main cast of women’s padel in the World Padel Tour circuit, then in 2017 she would win her first title, the Santander Open.
- In 2019, she reached 5 WPT titles: Alicante Open, Jaén Open, Valladolid Master, Mijas Open and Master Final, which would place her in the top of the ranking.
- Later, in the 2020 season, Ari added 3 more titles in the professional circuit: Valencia Open, Menorca Open and Estrella Damm Open. She even became the Spanish Champion, achieving the number 1 position in the women’s ranking.
- In 2021, being partner of Paula Josemaría, also a #teamHEAD player, she has won five important championships: Madrid Open, Marbella Master, Las Rozas Open, Cascais Master, Malmö Open.
- She also became a master, after winning the “Master Final”.
Ari, when she was just 21 years old, was already considered the player on the professional circuit with the best wrist touch, leaving everyone speechless with her masterful strokes.
Her nickname “The Magic”, therefore, was not just a whim. Her total dedication on the court and her skills helped her to become a world-class player on the World Padel Tour. Ari is also one of the most difficult players to beat in the 20×10.
According to Ariana Sanchez herself, she chose to study Sports Science and Physiotherapy in order to maintain her link with the sport once she stops being a professional player.