Marbella was witness to the emerging talent that can be seen in Spanish national padel. La Cañada Shopping Padel Center hosted the U-23 Spanish Championship, where more than 60 young athletes gathered and gave an excellent performance throughout the four day competition.
Javi Garrido and Arturo Coello, who started as the 3rd-ranked pair of the tournament, won in the men’s division. Bea González and Bea Caldera, for their part, demonstrated why they were the couple to beat in the women’s division.
The “Beas” completely dominated the tournament, and González achieved her third consecutive triumph in this competition, adding to her wins in the two previous years with Marta Ortega (2020) and Delfi Brea (2019).
Without giving up a set
Javi Garrido from Cordoba and Arturo Coello from Valladolid, a pair that’s already making waves in the professional circuit, started as third seed in Marbella and ended up winning the title without giving up a single set.
Garrido and Coello adapted better to the wind that blew throughout the week at La Cañada and didn’t have any major problems defeating Iván Ramírez and Miguel Yanguas, the 4th-ranked pair in the bracket (6-3 / 6-4). Garrido, by the way, was chosen as the final’s MVP.
Exempt from playing the first round, Garrido and Coello debuted in the second round against Alejandro Ramillete and Gabriel Toledo (6-1 / 6-4). In the quarterfinals, they faced off against one of the strongest pairs in the championship, Javier González Barahona and Alejandro Arroyo, but they again moved forward in the contest after a demanding match (6-4 / 6-4). In the semifinals, this powerhouse pair beat Javier García and Jaime “Chipi” Muñoz 6-4 / 6-2.
Ramírez and Yanguas also delivered a magnificent performance in three solid games: 6-2 / 6-2 against Juan Carlos Díaz and Gonzalo Pérez; 6-2 / 6-1 against Alejandro Garayo and Pablo Cuesta; and 6-4 / 6-1 against Jairo Bautista and Diego Gil.
In the men’s division, a shocking development occurred in the quarterfinals, when Coki Nieto and Javi Rico, the finalists of the 2020 championship, were eliminated by forfeit.
In the women’s competition, the “Beas” showed their rivals no mercy. They were the firm favorites, and they did not disappoint at La Cañada.
They opened masterfully in the quarterfinals against Marta Barrera and Lucía García (6-0 / 6-2).
In the semifinals, they easily overcame Lorena Vano and Alba Pérez from Marbella, the 4th-ranked pair in the division. Caldera and González won decisively (6-1 / 6-2) and continued on to the final, where Julia Polo and Patricia Martínez, the number two seeds, were waiting for them.
In the fight for the title, the “Beas” imposed their fast and forceful gameplay in the first set (6-3). In the second set, Polo and Martínez stepped up their game and had the favourites on the ropes. However, Caldera and González managed to turn a tough situation around (6-4) and were proclaimed the champions.
Martínez and Polo, for their part, also offered a solid performance in Marbella. Along the way, they defeated Lorena Cossio and Carla Pozuelo (7-6 / 6-1) as well as María Portillo and Cristina Trigo by a resounding 6-1 double.
A disappointing note was struck when the Rodríguez sisters, Eunice and Priscila, the 3rd-ranked pair in the division, left in the quarterfinals.
The Spanish U-23 Championship divided a total of € 18,000 between the male and female teams. Even though the General Technical Regulation of the Spanish Padel Federation (SPF) states that prizes should be smaller if there are fewer than 24 pairs registered, the organizing body chose to keep the amount at € 9,000 for each division.
The president of the SPF, Ramón Morcillo, attended the finals, and together with the vice president of the SPF, José Pérez, and the president of the Women and Sports Committee, Paqui Rojas, proceeded to the prize ceremony in the company of the sports councilor of the Marbella City Council, Manuel Cardeña, and the general director of Padel View, Juan León, a producer who had streamed the competition since the sixteenths.