Tennis Or Squash, Who Makes The Better Padel Player?

The majority of padel players in the UK come from a tennis or squash background. 

But which of them makes the better padel player?

There are a number of factors that make a good padel player, so let’s review this today, let me know what you think as well!

benefits From tennis

When tennis players first come to padel, they will benefit a LOT from the attacking shots such as:

  • Forehand volley
  • Backhand volley
  • Forehand
  • Backhand
  • Overheads 
  • Spin (sometimes)

The BIGGEST benefit from tennis players is definitely the fact that they can attack the ball well, this is because the technique for a padel player is fairly similar going forward, just with a couple small tweaks. 

They also understand spin quite easily, with a few pointers, they can usually play with slice, topspin, and flat.

Even if they can’t do this, because of their experience in tennis, it is not too tricky to teach them.

 

Benefits From Squash

When squash players come on the padel court, they do not feel too uncomfortable.

They are very used to playing in an enclosed area, where they have walls around them. 

Defensively, squash brings huge benefits, good squash players come to padel and find the walls very easy to use. 

This is because they use the walls themselves in squash, and they are used to seeing what happens when a ball hits a wall. They understand every angle and how a ball reacts at different paces.

They are also VERY good at digging out low balls, they can flick and dig out more than the average player from their squash technique, as we know a good padel player can defend well!

padel player

Disadvantages From Tennis

In the complete opposite way to squash, tennis players struggle a LOT with the walls.

A lot of players will choose to avoid them as much as possible because they would rather play a volley or half volley from the back than use the wall.

This is a huge disadvantage for when they play better players, as soon as they play high level players, they cannot win because they are forced to either:

  • Use the walls (which they struggle with)
  • Or avoid the walls, which makes it near impossible to defend with. 
 
So, tennis players will have to learn something completely new when coming to padel, and have to experience playing inside an enclosed space. This make it hard for them to be a good defensive padel player.
padel player

Disadvantages From Squash

The disadvantages from squash is that the techniques used in squash are very different compared to padel. A good padel player needs technique. 

A lot of squash players flick the ball, and have a very open stance. This makes it very tricky for them to play soft and hit the ball even at medium pace with control. 

Squash players, if they are serious about getting better, will have to spend a lot of time fixing their technique in order to improve. 

What Do They Both Excel At?

  • Both tennis and squash players will be naturally athletic and have good movement, which is very important for padel. 
  • A lot of squash and tennis players should be able to slice/chop the ball as well, which can be really useful for padel especially in the attacking phase. A good padel player needs both.

What Do They Both Struggle With?

  • Both squash and tennis player use a longer racket, so coming to padel they will often frame the ball (clip the end of the bat rather than the middle) because it is a natural place to hit the ball for them.
  • Both have to use something without strings, it makes it harder for them to grip the ball and add the spin that they learnt in their sport.
  • Having to move forward when a ball is played off the wall, the instinct is always to move back when someone smashes the ball, however in padel we must run forward.

Look at this clip of tennis player Novak Djokovic playing padel. He plays some great volleys and then struggles when the ball hits the wall!!

Who Will Win More Matches?

From my experience, tennis players will win a lot more matches in padel at the start of their game. They will beat a lot of people due to their natural ability and coordination with the ball. 

Due to the net game being the most crucial part of padel, tennis players will have a lot of success as they should have  fairly natural volley and attacking shots.

With a couple tweaks from a coach it can be very effective.

If padel was a very defensive game, squash players would win, defending is SO important, but when players play for the first time, the ones that can volley and attack well, will win.

padel player

It Is Easier To Coach Something New, Than To Break a Habit.

I think that tennis players will make a better padel player because their overall technique is okay, it needs improving but it is similar and easier to change than a squash technique. 

But what about the walls?

It is a lot easier to teach something completely new than to break a habit, so it is easier to teach the walls to a tennis player than to break a technical habit from a squash player that has been playing for 20+ years.

Conclusion

Overall, tennis and squash players both have a lot of advantages and disadvantages when they come to padel! 

I think that due to how important the attacking game is in padel, tennis players will win a lot more matches, so they are the better padel player.

Let me know what you think!  Were you a tennis/squash player before you started playing?

Tennis or squash, who makes the better padel player – Ewan Ramsden

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