The International Padel Federation (FIP), the Italian Tennis Federation (FIT) and Sport e Salute (the Italian Government’s sports agency) are proud to announce that Italy will host a Premier Padel Major in May as part of a new multi-year tournament deal. Premier Padel is the official global padel tour, governed by FIP and backed by the Professional Padel Association (PPA) and Qatar Sports Investments (QSI).
The annual category one tournament, which will be known as the Italy Premier Padel Major, will take place at the historic Foro Italico in Rome from 23rd to 29th May 2022. The Qualifiers will take place on 21st and 22nd May, with the main draw starting at their conclusion. The Italy Premier Padel Major completes the roster of four Majors of the new Premier Padel tour in 2022, namely: Italy, France, Mexico and Qatar. The Italy Premier Padel Major will offer 2000 ranking points to players, and also record prize money, in keeping with all “Majors” under the new Premier Padel tour.
Launched earlier this year, Premier Padel will host at least ten (10) new tournaments in 2022 – including four category one “Major” events. The first major – the Ooredoo Qatar Major 2022 – took place in Doha in March. Together with the Italy Premier Padel Major in May, the other category one tournaments are the Paris Premier Padel Major at Stade Roland Garros taking place on 11th July to 17th July, and the Mexico Premier Padel Major at the Club Sonoma en Monterrey, México on 28th November to 4th December. The first category two tournament has also been announced in recent weeks with the Argentina Premier Padel P1 taking place from 8th to 14th August. More announcements are to come.
The deal demonstrates the vision FIT and Sport e Salute have for padel in Italy – a country that is fast becoming one of padel’s biggest markets. According to data from the Padel National Observatory, grassroots padel in Italy has grown 5-fold since early 2020 measured by number of padel courts; while the number of padel schools and clubs has tripled.
Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, Chairman of Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), said: “This is another momentous moment for the development of padel under the new Premier Padel tour, both across Europe and globally. Italy is a proud and passionate sports nation, and Rome provides another fantastic venue for the professional players to showcase their talent on the world’s stage.”
Valentina Vezzali, Undersecretary for Sport, Italian Government, said: “In the last two years, sport has shown great resilience and has achieved multiple results, giving Italy great satisfaction. Padel has grown a lot in our country in terms of the number of enthusiasts and professionals and the fact that the synergy between FIT, Sport and Health and the International Federation has made it possible to host one of the four stages of the Premier Padel Major in Rome – immediately after the Internationals of tennis – it fills me with satisfaction. This is a recognition not only for the Federation, but for Italian sport, because it confirms that sporting activity is popular and must be for everyone. The setting of the Foro Italico in Rome will make this tournament unique and I am sure it will be a moment of high level sport. No sport in Italy has ever had such success in such a short time as padel: it does not require a long technical preparation and is very easy to learn at all ages. This confirms that sport must be for everyone and practiced everywhere.”
Luigi Carraro, President of the International Padel Federation, said: “This is an incredibly exciting and special moment for padel in Italy. Thanks to the excellent work by sports institutions, clubs and players (both amateur and professional), our sport has grown enormously over the last five years – and it gives me great pleasure that we’ve been able to bring a Premier Padel Major to Italy. I can confidently say that fans in Rome, and the millions watching around the world, will be treated to some world class Premier Padel action at the Foro Italico next month.”
Angelo Binaghi, President of the Italian Tennis Federation (FIT), said: “We are delighted to announce this agreement which will see Rome host a Premier Padel Major in one of the most unique locations on the tour, the Parco del Foro Italico. This achievement has been made possible thanks to great cooperation with the International Padel Federation, Sport e Salute and the Italian Government – while also showing FIT’s commitment to rapidly growing padel in every possible way, both at the professional and amateur level. It also confirms FIT’s mission to organize major, world-class tournaments and the Italy Premier Padel Major adds to FIT’s amazing portfolio which includes the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, the Nitto ATP Finals, the Intesa SanPaolo NextGen ATP Finals and the Davis Cup by Rakuten.”
Vito Cozzoli, President and CEO of Sport e Salute, said “This is a wonderful moment for sport in Italy – which will take place at the magical venue of Foro Italico in Rome – and also a wonderful moment for padel on the world stage. Italy will host a spectacular tournament in May – for the fans, the players and everyone connected to padel. We will make it a very special occasion and we’re proud to be associated with Premier Padel under the governance of the International Padel Federation.”
The Board of Directors of the Professional Padel Association (PPA), said: “The players are delighted to bring the fantastic new Premier Padel tour to Italy, which is one of the most important emerging nations for our sport. We know that the facilities and professional organisation will be world class, with players looked after in every sense. We’re delighted our sport is growing in profile, prestige and professionalism across Europe and all over the world under the new Premier Padel tour.”
The ‘Italy Premier Padel Major’ will be broadcast around the world on the likes of ESPN (South America, Central America, Mexico and Caribbean), Sky Sports (Italy, UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland), beIN SPORTS (MENA, South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, France, Turkey), Viaplay (Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and the Netherlands), and many more.
Further details on the Italy Premier Padel Major will be announced soon.