Padel1969 is honored to share the story of this athlete who pursued her dreams in spite of easier traditional routes and distance. If you are ready to learn more about grit and bravery, please read along with us.
Virginia Riera is an Argentinian professional Padel player, who currently occupies the eighth position on the WPT rankings. Virginia has played a total of 261 games thus far, she has won 164 matches and lost 94, averaging her win percentage up to 62.84%. Virginia’s grit is shown in the record she holds of nine consecutive wins. This Padel player has amassed a total of 8252 points ever since the beginning of her career in professional Padel.
Virginia Riera was the first Argentinian to win a WPT title since 2014, breaking a 7-year national curse. She won her first title as a professional padel player in Spain in 2021, with her then partner, Patricia Llaguno, at the Vigo Open.
When Riera was playing in the Argentinian circuit, she was Argentina’s number one padel player along with Silvana Campus in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. She also participated in the 2012 Padel World Championship.
Virginia Riera’s Chart
Virginia Riera is a fierce Padel player, she is matches away from taking up the top positions in the WPT rankings.
|Name||María Virginia Riera|
|Birthdate||29th September 1988|
|Birthplace||Resistencia, Chaco, Argentina|
|Height||5’5” (165 cm)|
|Partners||Silvana Campus (2011-2017) |
Lorena Alonso and Ana Fernández de Ossó (2018)
Sofía Araújo (2019-2020)
Patricia Llaguno Zielinski (2021-2022)
Tamara Icardo Alcorisa (2023)
Virginia Riera’s Debut in Padel
Initially, Riera, like many of her generation, was enamored with tennis and its legends. Naturally, she started playing tennis. However, like any young girl, Virginia was immensely affected by her mother whom she considers her role model, the latter was a padel player. Therefore, after resisting the sport for a while, she could not avoid the pull of Padel anymore. When she reached the age of 15, she tried Padel tennis and has since been dedicated to it. Of course, the switch was not hard as the sports are very similar in nature, and it somehow gave her a head start as she could take some of her tennis experience and use it to her advantage. In 2011 she officially started playing in the Argentinian professional circuit.
Crossing the Atlantic
Riera began playing Padel on the Argentine circuit, where she was the number one player alongside her partner at the time Silvana Campus, for many years the pair won more than 90% of the tournaments played. At that time, Riera was studying for a degree in Architecture and Graphic Design. However, her mind was always thinking of a future in international Padel, and she could not level up unless she went to Spain. After six months of working at an office and saving up to build her own home, Virginia decided to drop out of everything and finally chose Padel once and for all.
In 2016 she decided to leap to Spain to compete in the World Padel Tour. The decision to start from scratch, in a place where no one knew her, was difficult. She crossed the Atlantic with dreams of becoming a professional padel player on her mind, full of fear and uncertainty but also hopes of becoming a household name. She made the journey alongside her friend and partner, Silvana Campus. In 2017 they played the Spanish circuit. In 2018 she settled in Madrid, Spain, to focus on playing padel tennis professionally.
How far will Professional Padel Take Riera?
Riera said that she always had the uncertainty of knowing how far she would go if she dedicated herself fully to Padel Tennis. That is why she dropped everything, crossed the Atlantic, and decided to try a year with the sport. Padel1969 concludes that it was the best decision she could have made.
In 2021 Virginia Riera won her very first WPT title, The Vigo Open, and was named the best player in the final. This title was special for her fans as she bested the number one player in the WPT rankings of 2021, Alejandra Salazar. In 2022, she was finally able to move out of her shared apartment and into her own place.
What is Virginia Riera’s Game like?
Virginia Riera engages in a spirited and high-energy style of play. She originally had some challenges adjusting to the Spanish padel courts, given her background in tennis and Argentinian Padel. Nonetheless, after finding her rhythm, Virginia became quite adept at playing comfortably, particularly when it came to making shots without a wall. Her extensive experience in tennis played a significant role in this, occasionally catching her opponents off guard, as she doesn’t always adhere to conventional padel strategies. Virginia leans towards an aggressive playing style, which is why she prefers to remain near the net and take more offensive shots rather than retreating as per standard padel tactics.
Her current partnership with Tamara Icardo has shone a light on the passion with which Virginia plays. In the 2023 Marbella Open, the pair reached their first final of the year. The game lasted for three glorious hours, full of ups and downs that left everyone watching at the edge of their seats. No one knew who would be victorious at the end. The pair played an extraordinary game. The first round was slow for them however in the second round, Virginia and her partner chose an aggressive tactic that left their rivals out of breath and a little broken. The third round translated into a quick draw. A tiebreak was what dictated the winners. Virginia Riera and Tamara Icardo delivered the final blow qualifying the pair for their first finale of the season.
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