Players in action during DP World Padel Championships.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Reigning champions Spain and Argentina registered resounding victories on the second day of the DP World Padel Championships.
Held under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, the International Padel Federation’s flagship team event is hosted by the UAE Padel Association (UAEPA) in association with the Dubai Sports Council and Dubai Department of Economy & Tourism (DET).
Dubai is host to the 16th edition of the World Championships — the first to be held in the Emirate — and a boisterous crowd cheered on the world’s best players at the iconic Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium on day two of the six-day event.
Chasing their fourth world title, Spain produced another dominating performance and claimed an impressive 3-0 victory over Portugal in the Group A match of the men’s draw.
Juan Lebron, reigning number one who has seven tournament wins to his name this season, and Javier Garrido secured a 7-6, 5-1 win against Miguel Deus and Nuno Deus before Arturo Coello and Francisco Navarro triumphed 6-3, 6-2 against Pedro Araujo and Afonso Ramos.
Jeronimo Gonzalez and Alejandro Ruiz beat Henrique Barbosa and Pedro Ferreira 6-0, 6-1 to ensure Spain stormed into the next round without any fuss.
Although Lebron is now a household name, he only began winning titles in 2019, the same year he was crowned the number one in the world.
With eight world-class players making them a formidable force, Spain are seen as the favourites to win the title again this year.
Bouncing back after an opening day defeat, Uruguay edged past Britain 2-1.
Martin Arraujo and Diego Ramos overcame Richard Brooks Ruiz, and Louie Harris 6-3, 6-4.
The Brits gave a tough time to their South American rivals in the second match.
The Uruguayans’ Higor Ennslin and Juan Bautista Moratorio shifted gears after coming close to losing the set.
Ennslin and Bautista Moratorio finally managed to outlast Alexander and Nikhil Mohindra 7-5, 7-5.
Sam Jones and Christian Murphy won the third match against Juan Ignacio Artia and Valentin Piastri, 6-1, 6-1, but it was too late to stop Uruguay advancing to the next round.
Another heavyweight and threat to Spain’s hopes of retaining the title, Argentina posted an easy 3-0 win over Italy in Group B.
Argentina are looking to reclaim the title they lost to Spain at last year’s World Padel Championships in Doha.
Martin Di Nenno and Agustin Tapia defeated Simone Cremona and Marco Cassett 6-4, 6-2 to give them a perfect start. Fernando Belasteguin and Federico Chingotto beat Giulio Graziotti and Riccardo Sinicropi 6-3, 6-2 before Carlos Gutierrez and Juan Tello saw off Daniele Cattaneo and Lorenzo Di Giovanni 6-3, 6-4.
In another game in the same group, Belgium blanked the Netherlands 3-0.
Brazil beat Ecuador 3-0 and Chile defeated UAE 3-0 in Group C matches, respectively. France, Mexico, Paraguay, and Egypt won their matches in Group D.
In the women’s event, defending champions Spain, who are targeting a fourth consecutive title, cruised past Germany 3-0. The US overcame Chile 2-1 in the second match of Group A.
The eight-time women’s world title winners, Argentina, swept aside Belgium 3-0. Uruguay beat Japan 2-1 in another clash of Group B.
The Netherlands and Italy won their matches in Group C. In Group D, the UAE lost to Sweden, and Brazil had an easy 3-0 victory over Paraguay.
Inaugural edition of the DP World Padel Championships boasts separate men’s and women’s categories, with 17 national teams are taking part in each competition. The championships offer a prize purse of Dhs2 million.