Great Britain’s Davis Cup heroes will be at the Harbour Club in Chelsea tonight ahead of this weekend’s British Padel Open Championships – where Scotsman Graeme Darlington is targeting at least a semi-final spot.
Brothers Andy Murray and Jamie Murray are expected to be there alongside the team’s coaches for the Air Europa Padel Exhibition, and could play in a tournament featuring several international padel players competing for a £1500 prize.
That precedes the main championships on Saturday and Sunday where Darlington and partner Tom Murray, the British number two and three, will be hopeful of toppling last year’s winners, Mauri Andrini and Daniel Dios.
Darlington said: “We always try and beat Mauri Andrini from Argentina but we lose every time.
“In a tennis match, you can get overpowered but in padel you always feel like you’ve got a chance as there are a lot of long rallies.
“It’s going to be tricky because of the amount of professionals that are going to be playing in it.
“It is the pinnacle of the sport in Britain, it’s the biggest event we have over here.
“You have players from Europe coming over, mainly from Spain. The level is really good.
“It will be a great tournament for us to get through to the semi-finals.”
Padel is played in doubles on a fenced court half the size of a tennis court and with balls that have slightly less pressure in them than tennis balls.
And Darlington believes it’s a fun sport for spectators who may only be learning about it for the first time.
“It’s an easy game to pick up, it’s not so technical and there are some great rallies,” he added.
“You need to be very reactive and there is a lot of going back and forward. You get hooked to the sport.”
The exhibition event begins tonight at 6pm, with the British Padel Open Championships happening over the course of the weekend.
Feature image courtesy of British Padel, with thanks