The World Padel Tour (WPT) is an international padel circuit and tournament that takes place every year. As the biggest padel tournament in the world, it’s a given that padel fans want to know more.
In this article, we will cover the tour’s evolution, its rounds, locations, and chronology over the years. We list past winners and predict what we think the future looks like for this tour.
In other words, we will take you through the entire timeline — past, present, and future — of the WPT. Let’s get started!
About the World Padel Tour
The World Padel Tour organization was initially formed in 2012, after which it started hosting professional tournaments from the year 2013 onwards. It is now responsible for most kinds of tournaments excluding the Padel World Championships and Continental Championships. It has its headquarters in Spain.
Before this circuit was established, the Padel Pro Tour (PPT) was in place from 2005 to 2012, hosting international professional players and their tournaments. However, the entity behind the event was quite disorganized, which led to the creation of the WPT.
The WPT is officially recognized by the International Padel Federation (IPF). Since 2013, the WPT has popularized padel as a sport across several countries of the world, hosting their tournaments in multiple countries throughout the years.
The WPT Tournaments
Every year, the WPT hosts several tournaments and competitions across different countries and ability levels. Initially, these competitions were only held in Spain, Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico, but recently, other countries like the UAE, Sweden, Great Britain, and the US have hosted tournaments as well.
Tournaments are divided into three categories, Challenger, Open, and Master. Each category awards a certain amount of points for a win, which then increases the player’s position in WPT rankings.
The Challenger category of the WPT is at the bottom of the tournament hierarchy. It can be a good way for the participating teams to earn more points and develop their skills in order to participate in the subsequent tiers of the tour.
As the “easiest” category, challenger tournaments have lower standards when it comes to participation, along with a smaller prize.
The Open round is quite popular in terms of the tournaments that the WPT hosts. Here, 96 teams (or pairs) can enter the competition in the men’s category and 56 teams for the women’s category. The Open round allows the winners to score up to 1,000 points depending on the level that they are playing at.
Apart from the points or rankings, the Open tournaments also extend the prizes awarded to the winners.
The Master round is the next tier in the hierarchy. These competitions increase the points received per win, (1,700) as well as the prizes awarded to the winners. In Master level tournaments, 100 teams for the men’s category and 60 teams for the women’s category can enter.
The Master Final is the biggest tournament of the season. Here, the top rankers of the Master category go head to head to determine the final winners of the tournament season. Generally, eight teams are allowed to compete in this round for both men and women.
Qualifying for a WPT Tournament
Not just anyone can compete in a WPT tournament. In order to qualify for any of the aforementioned categories, players will have to go through several qualifier rounds, these include:
- Pre-qualifying rounds where several teams compete at three different levels and move on to the next level based on their rankings.
- Qualifying rounds where winning teams from the previous rounds compete with each other to enter the main tournament, where the rankings determine the final teams.
- The main tournament where the Challenger, Open, Master and Master Final categories are carried out to determine a winner.
Chronology of the Competition
To give you a better idea of what the competition has looked like over the years and how it has evolved, we will now take you through the past WPT tournaments. This will include where these competitions were held and the winners that emerged.
This was the first competition of the WPT. Its rounds were held in Spain, Argentina, and Portugal. The overall winners of this tournament were Fernando Belasteguin and Juan Martin Diaz from Argentina in the men’s category.
For the women’s category, the winners were Elisabeth Amatriain and Patricia Llaguno from Spain. In both cases, the finals were held in Madrid.
The rounds of the World Padel Tour of 2014 were held across Spain, Argentina, and Portugal, along with the addition of Dubai.
The men’s category saw Maxi Sanchez and Carlos Gutierrez from Argentina as the winners this year. The Spanish twins Mapi and Majo Sanchez Alayeto topped the women’s category.
The third edition of the WPT was held in Spain, Argentina, Portugal, UAE, and Monaco, and included players from several different nationalities, including Brazil, Spain, and Argentina, pointing to the increasing popularity of the sport across the world.
By the end of this tour, Argentinian Maxi Sanchez once again claimed the top spot, this time while playing next to Juan Martin Diaz from Spain. The women’s tournament saw Spaniards Marta Marrero and Alejandra Salazar as the new female champions.
Now well established, the WPT of 2016 was once again held in the countries of Spain, Argentina, and Monaco. As had happened in previous years Spanish, Argentinian and Brazilian players dominated the competition.
The Master Final was held in Madrid in Spain and saw Francisco Navarro from Spain and Carlos Gutierrez from Argentina as the winners in the men’s category while Alejandra Salazar and Marta Marrero from Spain defended their champion status in the women’s category.
By 2017, padel had spread far and wide, which is why for the 2017 WPT, competitions were held in more countries than ever before. WPT tournaments were held in Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Andorra, UK, USA, France, Sweden, and Belgium, and some of the year’s biggest competitions took place in Miami and Granada.
Although locations and participants were more diverse this year, the newcomers couldn’t hold their own against countries like Argentina, Spain, and Brazil, which once again lead the competition.
Both the men’s and women’s tournaments saw previous winners make a comeback for the Master Final. 2013 winner Fernando Belasteguin crowned himself champion alongside Brazilian Pablo Lima, while the Spanish Sanchez Alayeto twins that won the 2014 WPT regained the women’s title.
In 2018, the tournament was held in the countries of Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Sweden, and Andorra, across major cities like Alicante, Buenos Aires, Valladolid and Granada.
By the end of this tour, the men’s category saw Fernando Belasteguin from Argentina and Pablo Lima from Brazil remain as reigning champions, whereas the women’s category saw Alejandra Salazar and Marta Marrero from Spain as the winners.
In 2019, the tournament was held during its usual season from March 2019 to December 2019. It was held in Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Mexico, Brazil, France, UK, Sweden, and Belgium with several other participating countries.
This time, the Master Final was held in Barcelona. In the men’s category, the winners were Alejandro Galan from Spain and Pablo Lima from Brazil. In the women’s category, the winners were Alejandra Salazar and Ariana Sanchez.
The World Padel Tour of 2020 started in February but had to halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It restarted in June of the same year and was held in Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Sweden, Brazil, Mexico, Italy, and Belgium.
In the men’s category, Fernando Belasteguin and Agustin Tapia from Argentina emerged as winners while Gemma Triay and Lucia Sainz from Spain were the winners in the women’s category.
The WPT of 2021 is currently ongoing and is the ninth edition of this tournament. It is being held in Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Sweden, Italy, and Mexico since April. This year, the finals will be held in Madrid, Spain, in December.
The Future of the Tour
With the growth and increasing popularity of padel, we predict that the World Padel Tour will only continue to get better. As the sport spreads across the globe, new players will come on the scene, more athletes will choose to compete professionally, and the competition will get even more exciting.
As the WPT draws larger crowds and the attention of mainstream media, its likely that more countries will be putting up their hand to host rounds of the tournament. We’ll see new destinations, in more diverse locations, added to the circuit.
Catch All the Action of the WPT
Although the different tournaments and competitions might seem a little confusing at first, it’s not too hard to get the hang of how the WPT works. Athletes compete at several tournaments throughout the year, increasing their rankings with each win.
Those in the Master category who make it to the top of the rankings get to participate in the Master Finals, which determines the WPT winners for the year.
If you’ve never watched professional padel before, we highly encourage you to tune in for a WPT competition. Seeing top players at work is sure to blow your mind. In fact, if you’ve joined a padel club, you might be able to watch it surrounded by other padel lovers like yourself!