Belgium met the Brazil, IItaly and the Qatar, host country, in group C of the men’s tournament of the World Padel Championships, which is held in Doha from November 15 to 20 in the facilities of the Qatar Khalifa complex, which hosts the ATP and WTA tennis tournaments. The men will play their opening match this Monday at 5 p.m. against Qatar.
The Belgians were also poured into Women’s Group C, with a new Italy, the Netherlands and Denmark. The draw was made on Sunday.
The matches between two countries consist of three matches in doubles. Each team was able to select eight players for this competition. The coaches have up to 30 minutes before the meeting to choose the six players they line up.
The top two from each of the four groups advance to the quarter-finals while the bottom two will play placement matches for places 9-16.
Juan Pablo Abarca de la Fuente is the coach of the Belgian men’s team, sixth in the world rankings, which includes Clement Geens. The 25-year-old Waterlooter is well known to tennis fans, he who occupied the 245th place in the world.
“Over the past 10 weeks, we have been working and testing different forms of play and pairing possibilities. We are aiming for a place in the top 8. We are aware that there are a lot of big countries participating but since our fifth place at the European Championships in Marbella we are very motivated and confident to face these teams.“, detailed the male coach.
Thomas Deschamps leads the women’s team, 10th in the world ranking. An-Sophie Mestach, former Belgian tennis hope and 98th in the WTA rankings in 2015, as well as Elyne Boeykens, former world 297th, also have a liability with the little yellow ball.
Padel has exploded in Belgium in recent years, with the number of courts increasing from 115 to 1,054 between 2017 and 2021.