WORLD PADEL TOUR, PREMIER PADEL AND A1 PADEL
INTRODUCTION TO THE PADEL CIRCUITS
Surely, all padel fans know or have seen a World Padel Tour tournament. However, it is possible that not everyone has heard of other professionl padel circuits. Therefore, In this article we are going to give an overview of the 3 most prominent professional padel circuits.
THE WORLD PADEL TOUR
This padel tour is the most important of all the professional padel circuits in the world, both in terms of the organisation of the tournaments and the participation of the best players in the world. The tournaments began in 2013 and came to replace the championships of the previous padel circuits – the padel pro tour.
The WPT started as a result of an agreement between the group of organisers of Professional Padel Tournaments, the Association of Professional Padel Players (AJPP) and the Spanish Women’s Padel Association (AFEP).
The WPT circuit is managed by Setpoint Events S.A., a subsidiary of S.A. Damm, which establishes its regulations and guarantees and endorses the quality parameters required, as well as the prizes for the professional padel players who participate in the circuit’s tournaments.
Each year between 15 and 20 WPT tournaments take place, plus a final master. The participating players travel to different cities around the world in order to accumulate points and try to enter the final Master. There, only the 8 best pairs of the season enter. Both men’s and women’s events are played, although there are some tournaments in which there is only a men’s category.
The World Padel Tour has grown exponentially in recent years, in terms of international impact and television audiences. Consequently, in the past year 2022, the professional padel circuit has been to 13 different countries, achieving, without a doubt, the most global season in its history and attracting the interest of large media corporations.
The prize money:
Pay-outs for 2023 will differ according to the type of competition. The different WPT competitions that exist are: Masters, Open 1000, Open 500 and Challenger.
So, to give an example, the men’s and women’s Masters 2022 offered €119,145 to each category in total prize money. This is the largest amount given in any WPT event.
The Premier Padel is an international padel circuit organised by the International Padel Federation (FIP) and supported by the Professional Padel Association (PPA). It’s sponsors are Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) and its tennis federation (QTF), both chaired by Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, best known as the president of Paris Saint-Germain.
The circuit started in 2022. There are currently 3 categories of events:
– majors (2000 points for the FIP ranking and 525,000 euros in prize money).
– P1 (1,000 FIP ranking points and 300,000 euros in prize money).
– P2 (500 points for the FIP ranking and 150,000 euros in prize money).
At the moment, there is only men’s competition. In fact, we do not know if it is in their plans to include the women’s category.
The Premier Padel circuit began in parallel to the World Padel Tour circuit. Its inauguration became news all over the world because it created a conflict with the World Padel Tour, as some players who played it had an exclusive contract with the World Padel Tour.
This caused the FIP and the players to accuse the WPT of abuse of dominant position before the European Commission. At the same time, the company Setpoint Events, which manages the WPT, also started millionaire lawsuits against the professional players for participating in the Premier Padel circuit.
However, despite these disagreements, Premier Padel managed to celebrate a 2022 season with 6 top level tournaments with the presence of the best players in the World Padel Tour ranking. After this success, 10 category 1 events are planned for the 2023 season, and most likely, in 2024 there will be 25 tournaments in total. That would put the Premier Padel circuit very close to the World Padel Tour.
The celebration of this new circuit has also had an excellent acceptance by the fans, not only those who attend the venues, but also those who follow all the activity remotely. For this reason, you can follow the Premier Padel tournaments live on YouTube and other sports television channels such as ESPN.
The prize money:
As for the prize money of the Premier Padel tournaments, to give us an idea, in the Doha tournament in 2022, they distributed a total of €525,000, an absolute record in the world of padel. This meant that each player in the winning pairing took home around €25,000.
A1 Padel (previously known as APT Padel Tour)
As of 2023, The A1 Padel is the new name for the APT padel tour circuit.
The APT Padel Tour came to be in 2020 by the Monte Carlo International Sports company and the Monégasque businessman Fabrice Pastor, with the aim of improving the level of competition on the American continent, improving infrastructure and giving more prizes to the tournaments.
The acronym APT stood for “American Padel Tour”.
In 2021, thanks to the support of the Continental American Padel Federation (CAPF) and the Federation of European Padel (FEPA), this circuit also expanded to the European continent, achieving the participation of 772 professional players (615 men and 157 women) of 26 nationalities, in more than 40 tournaments organised in 11 countries.
Currently, the circuit consists of 5 different categories: Junior, Future, Open, Masters and Grand Masters, although the last 3 are the most important.
This year, its tournaments will be played in Europe, Africa and the entire American continent.
The prize money:
In the Open category tournaments, the total prize money will be around €90,000, very close to the €98,076 of the World Padel Tour. As for the Masters, both circuits are around €110,000.
In addition to organising very high-level tournaments, A1 padel also seeks to spread padel worldwide and consolidate its professionalisation. To this end, they are allocating funds to the Associations of each host country for the installation of courts in public centres (schools, parks, etc.) and the organisation of training courses in different areas.
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