Murray’s team victory in Hexagon Cup
History has been made in Madrid as Andy Murray’s Team AD/vantage emerged victorious in the first-ever Hexagon Cup, a brand new team-based padel tournament backed by celebrities and sports stars.
In a ‘super Sunday’ of elite level padel matches, spectators at the Madrid Arena were treated to a day of nail-biting finals, with both the women’s, men’s and ‘next-gen’ tournaments going to the wire one set all/tiebreaker.
The Cup concluded on Sunday evening with a tense men’s final, with the Rafa Nadal Academy team going head-to-head with Team AD/vantage. Rafa’s team took an early lead, securing the first set 6-3 only for Team AD/Vantage to fight back in a thrilling second set, taking it 6-7.
Martin Di Nenno/Juan Tello for Team AD/vantage and Alex Ruiz/Franco Stupaczuk for Rafa Nadal Academy headed straight into a tie-breaker (according to commentator Mauri Andrini the players’ and organisers’ agreed way to decide a match), with outstanding padel from both teams.
The score was tight until 5-5, when Team AD/vantage forged ahead with four match points. A ball into the net for Andy Murray’s team took the score to 6-9 but Tello closed the game with an impressive out-of-court smash.
As Mauri, commentating with ITV’s Ned Boulting, said: “My God, the matches we have watched today.”
In the women’s tournament TeamAD/vantage’s Delfina Brea/Sofia Araujo proved victorious after a close match with Alejandra Salazar/Tamara Icardo. And in the next-gen, RL9 players Enzo Jensen/David Gala beat Eva Longoria’s team ElevenEleven’s Alex Chozas/Emilio Sanchez in another match that went to one set all and tie breaker.
In a ground-breaking move, UK padel fans were able to watch the weekend’s action live on ITV X – the matches are available here.
Organisers of the five-day Hexagon Cup presented a completely new format in which six teams made up of three couples – male, female, and ‘next gen’ stars of the future – competed for a share of a €1 million prize fund. Team owners included Rafa Nadal, Eva Longoria and Robert Lewandowski, while the player roster was the world’s very best.
“To be part of the first Hexagon Cup and witness our AD/vantage come out on top as the first team winners makes me feel incredibly proud of the whole team,” said Andy Murray, who partnered with investor Arran Yentob and Dani Vallverdu, founders of AD Global Sports, as co-owners of Team AD/vantage. “I’m thrilled to contribute to the growth of padel and look forward to more exciting tournaments in the future,” he added.
Enrique Buenaventura, founder of the Hexagon Cup, shared his satisfaction at witnessing the success of the inaugural event: “Andy Murray’s AD/vantage team played an outstanding tournament against the top players in the sport and their victory was well deserved. Our goal with the Hexagon Cup was to create an event which transformed the padel experience for fans, the players and the game. The feedback across the board has been overwhelmingly positive so it’s been a huge success.”
Hollywood star and padel fan Eva Longoria, owner of the Hexagon Cup’s ElevenEleven Team USA, was in Madrid to cheer on her team, whose next gen pairing made it to the finals. She said: “The Hexagon Cup is an amazing competition. I love the atmosphere it has created that mixes talent, rivalry, camaraderie, inclusivity and equality. In fact, one of the characteristics I like the most is precisely this desire to strengthen the female figure in the world of sports and to have great women involved in the tournament. That’s why, when I was presented with the opportunity to be part of this tournament, I didn’t hesitate,” added Eva.
The Hexagon Cup aims to elevate padel to new heights and provide a platform for players to showcase their talents on an international stage. The success of the inaugural tournament in Madrid marks a significant step forward for the sport, capturing the attention of fans and enthusiasts worldwide.