Awards ahead of busy comp calendar for Tia & Christian

GB No 1 Tia Norton believes that when it comes to padel partners variety is the spice of life. The international, who has just been voted LTA Female Padel Player of the Year for 2023, is in Italy competing in the FIP Promises Italy Major in Rome alongside fellow Team GB ace Catherine Rose this weekend. RJ Mitchell reports.

After Rome Tia, who won the inaugural US Professional Padel League with the Las Vegas Smash team in June, will cross continents to Egypt to compete in the FIP Rise Al Alamein, partnering Dutch star Rosalie van der Hoek.

Speaking exclusively to The Bandeja Tia said: “It’s nice in a sense to play with different partners and get to know their games. Playing with other people, especially from different countries, means you can learn new styles and ways of playing padel and all of that can be adapted into your game.

“I certainly learned a lot from the US PPL in this respect from playing with Ana Paula De La Pena and competing against some of the legends in the competition like Cata Tenorio (Argentinian former four times World Champion and former World No 1) and Marta Marrero (Spanish former World No 1).

“That said, you do want to get stability with a partner and to play a few events together to get an understanding of your games that bit more but I am looking forward to partnering Catherine this week and then playing with Rosalie over the next two tournaments – in terms of playing with Rosalie then Egypt will be great preparation for London and bedding us in as a team.”

A busy stretch which will snake on into the Autumn will culminate in the European Championships or ‘the big stuff’ as Tia put it! “Obviously the first half of the year America (Pro Padel League) was the biggest thing and now in the second half the FIP in London is big as I want to defend my title after winning last year. But any international event playing for GB is an honour, so I am really excited for October.”


Tia Norton: LTA Female Padel Player of the year.
With Christian Murphy, LTA Male Padel Player of the Year.

Player of the Year awards

Earlier this month Tia received her second successive LTA Padel Player of the Year award where she was among 27 winners who were feted at the LTA’s National Tennis Centre in a glitzy event hosted by LTA President Sandi Procter and presented by GB Men’s Davis Cup team captain Leon Smith, with several high profile guests in attendance, including HRH the Duchess of Gloucester.

The award was presented in recognition of her stellar 2022, which included victory in the first FIP London Rise Open, the lead role she played in the GB ladies squad which came up just short in their bid to qualify for last year’s World Championships and her dominant status as GB’s No 1 female player.

Taking stock, the LTA Women’s Padel Player of the Year said: “It’s nice to be recognised for the work going in and to achieve the award for the second time in succession is a huge honour and hopefully shows I am doing a few things right!

“In general 2022 was just an incredible year with so many high points, probably my highlight was winning the FIP Rise London Open but aside from all the tournament stuff I had the opportunity to live in Barcelona and train there and my results really flowed from that. So hopefully I can maintain that and keep it going.

“It was great to be at the NTC for the awards ceremony and just once again brilliant that padel is being recognised and also good to see Christian Murphy being named Male Padel Player of the Year and recognised for a fine year for him.” 🎾