Padel. Ever heard of it? Probably not. Well, it’s a sport that you could be hearing a lot more about in Wales as its popularity grows.
Padel - invented in Mexico in 1969 - is a racket sport combining elements of tennis, squash and badminton, played as doubles both indoors and outdoors.
It is popular across the Mediterranean, especially in Spain, and also has plenty of admirers in South America, particularly in Argentina.
But it’s relatively new to the UK and Wales in particular. So, there’s a chance to be an early adopter.
Like tennis, the middle net is present and the balls are similar, just slightly softer.
So, what else is different about it? Well, it’s played on a smaller court than tennis (10m x 20m) and the padel court is surrounded by glass walls, which the players can play shots off.
Underarm serves are the method of choice to get the game started.
The only other major difference from tennis is that the racket is slightly different – it is smaller and completely solid which makes the technique of hitting the ball a lot easier.
The scoring is the same as tennis, six games are needed to win a set and the team which wins two sets wins the game.
So, where can you play it in Wales?
At present, the sport can be played at Windsor Lawn Tennis Club, Penarth while Wales’s first dedicated Padel Centre is currently being developed in Cwmbran.