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Premier Padel: the emergence of Al-Khelaifi to try to control the world circuit

Premier Padel. That is the name chosen by the International Padel Federation (FIP), which has the support of the Professional Players Association (PPA) and Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) —the company led by the president of Paris Saint-Germain, Nasser Al-Khelaifi—, for the new world padel circuit alternative to the World Padel Tour (WPT).

Premier Padel will start in just two weeks with the dispute of the Qatar Major 2022, the first category 1 event of the new tour that will take place in Doha from March 28 to April 2.

“The new fully regulated tour will be known as Premier Padel, a dynamic and exciting global brand that captures the essence and spirit of the new dawn of padel: professionalism, dynamism and top quality standards for a new global vision,” he explains. the organization in a statement.

The name of the category 1 Premier Padel tournaments will be called majorand the first of the four that the 2022 calendar will have will be held in Doha, between the end of March and the beginning of April, also coinciding with the draw for the Qatar 2022 World Cupwhich will be held on Friday, April 1.

In 2022 and 2023 ten Premier Padel tournaments will be held each year, while the number of events will be more than 25 by 2024.

The tournament has already broken records, according to the organization, without any match having been played yet, with 123 couples registeredincluding players from 19 different countries, and a cash prize of €525,000.

A new alternative circuit promoted by the Qatari Nasser Al-Khelaifi, a lover of paddle tennis and who was a professional tennis player in the 90s. In fact, the current president of PSG (he has been in office since 2011) was the second most successful member of the Qatar team in the Davis Cup after Sultan Khalfan, playing 43 games between 1992 and 2002, with a record of 12-31 in singles and 12-16 in doubles.

In addition, Al-Khelaifi played twice on the ATP Tour: in 1995 at the Sankt Pölten Tournament (Austria), losing to Thomas Muster, and in Doha in 2001, losing in the first qualifying round.

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