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Padel is one of many racquet sports that have become more and more popular in recent years.

The game combines elements of badminton, squash, and tennis.

However, it has marked differences from all three of these games, setting it apart as its own sport.

Many pieces will tell you that padel can only be played as a doubles sport.

But can you play singles padel, even if the official tournaments are all doubles?

What happens if your partner isn’t able to come to a match?

The answer is a little complicated.

In short, it’s best to play doubles. But can you play singles padel on a technical level?

The answer is yes.

Why singles Padel isn’t ideal

Padel is made to be played on a court that’s 30 percent smaller than tennis courts.

The goal is for four players to cover the court.

Even though a padel court isn’t as large as a tennis court, it’s still big enough that single players will have trouble covering the necessary ground to return balls.

But people play tennis singles all the time, right?

And tennis courts are larger.

So there has to be more to this padel struggle than the court size alone.

The sporting design

There are reasons that Padel is meant to be a team sport. Padel courts involve fast-paced games that are played off glass walls.

Unlike tennis, there are very few out-of-bounds areas.

This means that the ball tends to ricochet all over the place, requiring players to use both tactical and technical skills.

Because of this fast pace, players need to bring their A-game.

They need to be relatively physically fit if they want to keep up with the ball.

In addition, if the players want to conserve their energy and cover as much ground as possible, they need to work well with their partner.

The game was designed to encourage teamwork between people.

When you have two people covering one side of the court, you get to employ different tactical strategies regarding who covers what areas.

This means that playing as a singles team isn’t just difficult, it’s also going against the original purpose of the game.

Before we can discuss what a theoretical singles match would look like in padel, it’s important to understand how padel and tennis singles differ.

We’ll also take a look at how a game of squash is different.

Tennis versus Padel singles

One similarity that padel shares with tennis is the net. Both a padel and tennis court are divided by a net stretched across the middle.

Padel courts are also divided into four quarters, very similarly to how tennis courts are divided.

But you won’t find many other similarities between the two games.

When you come into padel from a tennis background, these are the factors you’ll need to consider:

  • At 30 percent smaller than a tennis court, a padel court creates a much faster game. You don’t have as much time to shift into position or react. It may be hard to get used to the intense pace.
  • Padel balls look identical to tennis balls, but they’re different. When you bounce a padel ball, it doesn’t bounce as high because it has less pressure. This will have a serious impact on normal tennis moves. It’s harder to reach drop shots or to get used to the new trajectory of the bounce.
  • There aren’t any baselines or boundaries in a padel court. The court is enclosed by glass walls, and everything inside is part of play. Even the walls themselves can be bounced off, which impacts the strategies you use.
  • As you play the ball off the glass walls, you have to cover a larger amount of court in a smaller amount of time. You’re more likely to run, jump, dive, and do other high-intensity maneuvers during the game.

Tennis singles and padel singles aren’t similar at all.

The increased game speed and smaller court will force you to run a lot more and be a lot faster than you’d need to be in tennis.

This can quickly become dangerous, as it leaves you vulnerable to injuries like calf muscle tears.

Squash or Padel?

Maybe your background is in squash. You might think that you already know how this game play works, so you won’t have any trouble with a padel singles match.

But squash is extremely different from padel.

Basically, the only similarity you’ll find between the two is that you also play the ball off a squash court’s walls.

Here are some of the most important differences to note when compared to squash:

  • If you placed two squash courts end to end, the padel court would still be 60 percent wider. This is a massive amount of area to cover when you need to return the ball.
  • Squash balls are small and soft, which means that they travel slowly through the air. This also slows the game speed and gives you more time to move into position. Padel balls move much faster, forcing a quicker reaction time.
  • When you serve in squash, you only have to clear the service line. Squash doesn’t have a net. It might be difficult for you to hit the padel ball over the net if you’re not used to this.
  • Squash is mainly played toward the back portion of the court. With padel, players often use drop shots, which forces the opponents forward and causes the whole court to be part of play.
  • All areas of the wall in squash can be used to bounce the ball. But the rules are more complex when it comes to padel, so you have to get familiar with the “do”s and “don’t”s.

Padel singles would be a hefty undertaking for a squash player.

The court is more than twice the size of a squash court, and the ball moves significantly faster, requiring you to move and react faster to meet it.

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