Tennis or Padel? What’s The Difference?

August 27, 2021

Padel is one of the fastest-growing racket sports in the UK and its success can be down to the fact that the game is easy to play and is even more simple if you are familiar with other racket sports like tennis and squash. Padel is a sport that is not too difficult to grasp and the rules can be learnt in an hour or so of playing the game, the simplicity of padel makes it great for all.

If you are a seasoned tennis player, you will find that there are a lot of similarities between the two sports. A lot of tennis players enjoy padel in their downtime and tennis stars like Jamie Murray are great ambassadors of the sport. You might be thinking to yourself, can I just jump straight into the game? The answer is yes,and we at encourage many people from different backgrounds to take up the sport. There are many benefits to the game, which includes sharpening your spatial awareness on the court, which can be useful when switching between the sports of padel and tennis.

There are differences between padel and tennis which are useful to know before you start playing padel. Here are our top 4 differences between the two sports, some might surprise you!

The Size Of The Padel Court

You might not think it, but a padel court is a third of the size of a regular tennis court. If you are transitioning from tennis to padel, you might find this difficult at first to adapt because you have less room to play. This means that you won’t be able to play those powerful serves that you are used to on a tennis court because there is not enough room to generate that power. However, the confinement will allow you to better understand the padel court and to create strategies that will help you win games.

The Playing Style Of Padel

More than often, tennis is played in singles and a lot of the fans of the sport are attracted by the big tennis Stars like Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams and Roger Federer just to name a few. With padel, an average game is usually played in doubles because of the fast-paced nature of the rallies. Rallies on average in padel can contain 4-6 strokes individually, while a tennis game on average has 0-4 strokes per rally. 

This can be a challenge for people who usually play in singles because the style of your game will have to change, which will result in you having to amend your game plan so you can win as a duo instead of an individual.

The Difference Between Point Scoring In Padel And Tennis

The scoring system for padel follows the same rules as tennis, so if you are used to playing tennis you will find it easy to understand how the scoring in padel works. The only real difference between the two games where scoring is concerned, is the way points are scored.

With padel, points can be scored using the walls of the court. Obviously, you can’t do this in tennis so if you are playing padel for the first time and you come from a tennis background, you will need to be aware that you can score but also lose points against the walls. To padel beginners this might sound confusing, but trust us, after a quick game you’ll soon learn the rules and get into the swing of things.

Can I Use My Tennis Racket In A Padel Game?

Unfortunately, you can’t use your tennis racket for a padel game. Tennis rackets are designed for high-velocity shots, so are usually made out of lighter materials including carbon fibre. However, padel rackets need to account for the bounce that padel balls produce when being hit off the walls. They are usually made out of fibreglass or graphite which are heavier and sturdier materials than what is used for tennis rackets. Padel rackets have to be more durable than tennis rackets largely because padel balls are a lot heavier than tennis balls – who would’ve thought it?

If you want to learn more about the differences between the two games, take a read of our How Padel Is Different To Tennis blog.

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