Close-up of man holding padel racket during play

What is Padel Tennis?

Explore the thrilling world of Padel tennis with our comprehensive guide. Learn what Padel tennis is, its unique court, and its increasing popularity in England. Pick up your racquet and join the fun today!

Welcome to the world of Padel tennis, a racket sport that is becoming popular by the year and in high demand all around the world. Padel tennis, a squash and tennis hybrid, has a unique charm that appeals to both recreational players and professional athletes. You might be wondering, "What is Padel tennis exactly?" Read on to find out.

What is Padel Tennis? 

Padel tennis is a racquet sport that combines elements of tennis, squash, and badminton. It's usually played in doubles on a small, enclosed court with walls used as part of the game, and is known for its simplicity and the level of strategy you can apply to score in the game.

The sport uses rackets and a ball, much like tennis, but there are several key differences between the classic game of tennis and the up-and-coming sport of Padel which we'll cover below. It's a sport that is rapidly growing in popularity globally due to its fun, fast-paced nature and the social aspect of doubles play.

What is Padel Tennis?

How to Play Padel Tennis and Padel Rules


The enclosure of a padel court is one of its distinguishing features. The court is enclosed by walls, which are normally composed of glass and iron mesh. These walls are not only for containment; they are also necessary for gameplay. Similar to squash, players can play the ball off these barriers, adding another element of strategy and intricacy to the game.

Additionally, service boxes are marked out on each side of the court. These are essential during service play, as in tennis. 

The setup of padel, with its unique enclosed court and wall-play, makes the sport an exciting blend of other racket sports, accessible to a wide range of players and offering a deep level of strategic play.

man serving in padel


Serving is another distinguishing part of the game. Here's how to score in Padel:

1. Serve the ball underhand instead of overhand serves seen in tennis
2. The player must stand between the service line and the back wall
3. The ball must bounce on the ground before being hit below waist height
4. The server aims to hit the ball diagonally into the opponent's service box
5. The serve must bounce within the opponent's box and cannot hit the fence directly - but it can touch the mesh after the first bounce
6. If the ball hits the net and lands in the correct service box, it is considered a let, just like in tennis, and the serve is retaken

The team that wins the point is the next to serve. In each game, teams alternate serving between the two players after the first serve. The underhand serving rule ensures that games are more about clever ball placement and less about dominating service speed.

What is Padel Tennis?

Playing the Ball

Following the serve, the ball can be returned directly in the air or after a single bounce, similar to tennis. However, in padel, the court's surrounding walls play an important role in how the game progresses.

The ball may strike any part of the court, including the barriers, but only after first bouncing in the opposing half. Players can choose to let the ball bounce off the wall behind them and then play it after it has rebounded, adding depth and strategy to the game.

Players can also send the ball over the net into the opponent's court or play it off their own walls, allowing for numerous attack and defence options. Knowing when and how to use the walls is important to mastering the game.

What is Padel Tennis?


Padel uses the usual tennis scoring system, with points granted in increments of 15, 30, and 40.

• The first point is worth 15
• The second is worth 30
• Third is worth 40

When a player scores from deuce (40-40), they gain an 'advantage.' If they win the following point, the game is over; if they lose, the score is reset to deuce.

A standard game of padel is won by the first player or team to win four points with a margin of at least two points. If the score reaches deuce, the game continues until one side gains a two-point lead.

In padel, the first person or team to win six games by a margin of at least two games wins the set. In the event of a 6-6 draw, a tie-breaker game is played to determine the set winner. The first team to win two sets in a match is proclaimed the winner.

What is a Padel Tennis Court?

Now that you know what Padel tennis is, let's talk about one of the sport's most distinguishing features: the Padel tennis court. It's simply a smaller version of a standard tennis court, spanning 20m x 10m and surrounded on all sides by walls. These walls are typically made of glass and metallic mesh.

The net in the middle divides the court into two halves, just like in tennis, and the service lines are clearly visible, but with slightly modified serving regulations.

man and woman playing padel as doubles

Where can I play padel tennis in England?

If you’re wondering what padel tennis is like in England, it’s a growing sport that has led to many clubs popping up all over the country. You can find courts in many locations including London, Manchester, Leeds, and Birmingham. 

Clubs like The Padel Club in Liverpool, The Stratford Padel Club in London, and David Lloyd Clubs across the country offer padel facilities. Check local leisure centers and sports clubs for availability. Always ensure to book ahead due to the growing demand.

Padel Gear

Let's look at the Padel racket and ball to learn more about the unique elements of the game. These essentials give Padel tennis its unique personality and play an important role in the game's dynamics.

What is the difference between padel balls and tennis balls?

Padel balls are very similar to the regular tennis ball in size and appearance but with slightly less pressure. This difference in pressure gives the Padel ball a unique bounce, perfect for the enclosed court and wall plays of Padel tennis. When combined with the unique racket, padel shoes and padel clothing, it provides a gameplay experience that's engaging, dynamic, and, above all, enjoyable.

What is the difference between padel rackets and tennis rackets?

Unlike its tennis counterpart, the Padel racket is solid without strings, usually made of a composite like carbon fiber, and has holes throughout. The racket is designed to be compact and lightweight. This is to make maneuvering and control easier. The lack of strings, however, means that spinning the ball requires more skill from the player, adding an exciting challenge to the game.

Try your hand at Padel

Padel tennis is a captivating racket sport with a unique court structure that brings a fresh perspective to traditional tennis. It's a game that rewards strategy, cooperation, and a bit of creativity. With its increasing popularity, especially in England, it's clear that Padel tennis is a sport that's here to stay. So, whether you're a seasoned player or a total newbie, the Padel court awaits you. Pick up a Padel racket, invite your friends, and enjoy the thrill that is Padel tennis!

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