UPT: Did We Need another Spanish Padel Tour?

Ultimate Padel Tour

The Ultimate Padel Tour is an innovative circuit looking to fill the void in the Spanish market. Read more below.

What is the Ultimate Padel Tour?

The Ultimate Padel Tour (UPT) is a professional Padel circuit that came into the market in 2024. Its number-one concern is revolutionizing professional padel. This circuit emerged as an alternative after the retirement of the World Padel Tour and presents itself as a competitor that promises equal opportunities for both male and female players. With a focus on equity, the UPT offers both genders the same conditions, prize money, and bonuses.

This project is led by Alberto Fasja, Héctor Sepúlveda, Hugo López-Valverde, and Yayo Muñoz. 

What Makes the UPT Different?

The UPT stands out for its commitment to the Spanish national Padel. At a time when all other tournaments are working toward global expansion, the UPT locates most of its headquarters and events in Spain. This circuit is making headlines because of its unorthodox position (advocating for a Spanish circuit), while Padel seems to be turning into a monopolized industry.

Combining the retiring of the World Padel Tour (WPT) and the 2024 premier Padel calendar has Spanish Padel players and fans feeling a void. There is an obvious lack of Padel events in Spain, the champion country of this sport. Premier Padel’s decision to plan fewer events in Spain than usual has been the main motivation behind this new circuit.

The UPT has taken an innovative, bold approach to promoting the sport. It is characterized by its focus on accessibility for both fans and players. The tour offers live, free broadcasts of events on platforms like YouTube and Twitch, making it easy for fans to tune in. Additionally, the UPT model offers its players the freedom to choose which events they want to participate in. Players do not have to pay registry fees or sign exclusivity clauses, allowing for flexibility in their schedules.

Ultimate Padel Tour Advantages

Winners of Premier Padel events are paid handsomely, while others eat the expenses of travel and loss all alone. The top 30 players and below are the ones who face the most problems concerning the economic costs involved in competing in all the international events held by Premier Padel in 2024. For many, the UPT is an opportunity to play for a lower cost.

It is a viable alternative for players in Europe and Spain, especially those who cannot afford to travel for the whole Padel season. Understanding that not all couples can make a living from Padel tennis, the Ultimate Padel Tour offers all sorts of support, including the following,  

  • Accommodation and transfers.
  • Laundry and diets.
  • First-level players’ room and physiotherapy during the competition.
  • Accreditation for trainers and agents.

The Ultimate Padel Tour’s Prize Money

The Ultimate Padel Tour is planning 14 events (12 in Spain and two in Europe) plus a final Master. The rankings for 2024 will be split as follows: 60% WPT, 25% FIP, and 15% A1P.

The UPT is offering €280,000 per event to be distributed between the men’s and women’s categories (140,000 euros per category), with the champion taking home 11,000 euros. The players will not have exclusivity and will have the freedom to play the tournaments they want. 

The open category tournaments will have 48 couples, 8 coming from the previous phase. The Final Master will be between the eight best couples of the year.

The top 20 in the ranking at the end of the year will have a bonus of €360,000, divided equally between both genders.

The top 10 of those under 21 years of age who are not part of the 20 best couples in the absolute ranking will have a bonus of €40,000 to be distributed between the men’s and women’s categories.

The following is a round-by-round explanation of how the prize money is split.

Table 1

Quarter finals€2,275
Round of 16€1,356.25
Round of 32€798.44
Thirty-second final€514.06

Controversies Around the Ultimate Padel Tour (UPT):

The establishment of the Ultimate Padel Tour has been exciting for those who love Padel content, wherever it comes from. However, it has been controversial for others, fans and experts alike, who have been advocating for Padel’s globalization. A centralized tour may hinder the sport’s international expansion and may stand in the way of inclusivity. Fans have also expressed worry about overly packed schedules with many circuits, which may leave players with little to no downtime and an increased risk of injury.

The UPT is seen as a controversial and insular tour that may not be fully serving the interests of the sport’s global expansion because of its position as a Spain-centric tour. The UPT’s primary catering to Spanish and Latin American players and fans offers limited appeal or accessibility to an international audience. The lack of English commentary and translation that would market the tour beyond Spain and Latin America is seen as a limitation.

The Success of the Ultimate Padel Tour

The first tournament of the Ultimate Padel Tour took place back in February in La Coruña, just a few weeks after the creation of the circuit, and it was a resounding success in its first edition. We have as winners for men Pablo Cardona and Javie Rice, and for women Claudia Jensen and Jess Castelló.

Many talents were present, like Miguel Lamperti, the legend of Padel, alongside his young teammate Jimenez, as well as the dynamic Tolito Aguirre, who joined forces with his new partner Gonzalo Alfonso.

The UPT may have faced harsh commentary and criticism, but the enterprise seems to have found a gap in the market, which they have successfully filled. PADEL1969 wishes to see more initiatives like these. Every contribution to Padel will inevitably help its establishment as an internationally recognized sport.

Do not forget to shop at your favorite padel shop, the PADEL1969 online store. Head there for a variety of rackets and Padel balls.

And if you’re looking for PADEL COURTS and you do not know where to begin, look no further, PADEL1969 is the right address! We offer product installation, counsel, and advice for those interested in the Padel Court business.

Contact us for more info.

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