The WPT’s Magic Padel Player
Ariana Sánchez Fallada has been one of the most anticipated players on the padel courts for the past few seasons.
Ariana has been gunning for the No. 1 position in the WPT ranking ever since she began playing padel tennis professionally in 2016. Her career in padel was no mere accident. Ever since she went to a padel school in Reus, Spain, Sánchez knew to focus all her might on the game. Slowly, she learned to perfect her game and strike true with her aim. Her swings were so perfectly curved that padel fans started calling her ‘magic’. It was not about the rackets she wielded; her wrists were golden. Her favorite shot is the backhand volley.
Ariana currently holds the third spot in the women’s WPT rankings. She has won 22 WPT titles and a World Championship. The FIP ranks her first among the women padel players with 4710 points. She and her present-day padel partner have positioned themselves as one of the best padel pairs of 2023 by winning the first tournament of the season: the WPT Abu Dhabi Master 2023.
Ariana’s winning streak of 20 consecutive wins puts her on the path to greatness. She won a total of 271 games out of 372 played matches, which amounts to a 72% winning percentage. The WPT statistics show a strong player with 17.135 points.
Ariana Sánchez’s Data
|Name||Ariana Sánchez Fallada|
|Birth||July 19th , 1997|
|Place of birth||Reus, Spain|
|Height||5’5’’ (165 cm)|
|Active years||2013- present|
|Partners||Marta Ortega (2013-2015) Tamara Icardo (2016- mid-2016 season) Paula Eyheraguibel (2016) Marta Ortega (2017-2018) Alejandra Salazar (2019-2020) Paula Josemaría (2021- present)|
Ariana Sanchez Fallada is a world-class player who has positioned herself as one of the most difficult players to beat on the padel court. She will evidently leave a dent in the history of padel.
Ariana’s Entry to Padel
Ari Sánchez was only a child when she first started playing padel. Just like players of her generation, Ariana took to the padel game quickly. Initially, this racket sport was only an extracurricular activity with a local sports club. At 9 years old, she was exclusively playing with her father and brother at the local padel courts in Reus. Soon after, her parents noticed her affinity for the sport and enrolled her in a padel school in Reus.
Sánchez was exceptionally apt. Her swings had gotten her onto the junior Catalan circuit. There, she was able to compete and hone her skill, which in turn allowed her to win several titles, including Champion of Spain and the World at the junior padel sports events. During that time, she met her dear friend Marta Ortega, with whom she would later win an outstanding title in the professional courts.
Ariana Sánchez’s WPT Titles
After having played with Marta Ortega in the National Spanish Junior Circuit, winning absolutely every challenge without losing a single set, then dominating the contests she played in the professional tournaments, and lifting Spain’s flag high at the 2021 Qatar World Championship in Doha, Ariana dreams of potentially representing her country at the Olympics.
Only a year after integrating the World Padel Tour circuit, in 2017, she won her first title, the Santander Open, alongside Marta Ortega (the WPT’s 2020 most valuable player). In 2019, Ariana Sánchez partnered with Alejandra Salazar and formed a fan-favorite duo; nicknamed the “AS. This powerful partnership led the players to win five WPT titles in 2019. They won the Alicante Open, Jaén Open, Valladolid Master, Mijas Open, and Master Final, which solidified Ariana’s name and put her at the top of the WPT rankings.
In 2020, Sánchez suffered a shoulder injury in the Barcelona tournament, which greatly affected her performance. However, the pair took home two more titles, the Valencia and Menorca tournaments, making a total of seven wins. This landed the padel players the No. 2 ranking for duos in the World Padel Tour rankings. Not long after, Ariana was given the Spanish champion title by reaching the number 1 position in the women’s WPT rankings.
In 2021, Ariana Sánchez and Alejandra Salazar parted ways. A new era began when she and Paula Josemaría paired up. Fans did not receive the duo well; they had to take some time to adjust. Consequently, after a few initial bumps in the road, Ariana and Paula both won five WPT titles and competed in the World Championship. Later that year, Ariana became a Master after winning the Master Final. In 2022, the pair only got stronger and won 8 WPT titles: Vigo Open, Marbella Master, Austria Open, Málaga Open, Cascais Open, Estocolmo Open, Madrid Master, and the Abu Dhabi Master. They competed in the World Championship, too.
Beyond the Padel Court
Even in Spain, padel was almost unknown when Ariana Sánchez started, but she immediately fell in love with it.
Ari Sánchez, who has a very long career ahead of her, is by no means satisfied and has enormous ambitions for both her future and the future of Padel. For her, the absolute unity of men and women is what the future of padel holds. She is pleased with the outcome but still holds out hope that, in the future, the opportunity to reunite will present itself. The Spaniard wants to see padel become a global sport, in the next five to ten years. She has also expressed many times her dream to play for Spain in the Olympics
She decided to study Sports Science and Physiotherapy to stay connected to the sport, once she finishes competing professionally. Her interest in padel does not stop at its physicality and competition. Ariana has advocated for more investment in the field, as she hopes to see it flourish like tennis.
Ariana Sánchez likes the idea in Padel that everyone has room to grow and that we must work together to do so. So, stay tuned if you are as intrigued by padel as Ariana.
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