Rose & Maddock’s first FIP final appearance

British duo Catherine Rose and Hanna Maddock are confident they can become serial title contenders after reaching their first FIP Rise final – at the Australian Padel Open in Sydney – over the weekend. Lee McLaughlan reports.

The 24-year-olds, competing in the opening FIP tournament of 2024, admitted nerves and not enough self-belief was their downfall as they lost the final 6-3, 7-6 against Spanish No 1 seeds Patricia Calderaro and Nerea Santana.

“We watched them play the day before the final and you could see they were really good,” said GB squad player Catherine. “However, because of that, we went into the final with not enough self-belief and thinking that they were superior to us. When we started to play them we realised we could compete but we just didn’t have enough to win. We know if we play them again, which there is a chance we could do in Melbourne this week, that we have the ability to beat them.”

UK padel players Hanna Maddock and Catherine Rose.
Hanna Maddock and Catherine Rose.


Despite the defeat, it has been a very rewarding event in terms of experience and securing 15 valuable FIP ranking points and prize money of $800AUS each.

Their route to the final saw them save two match points in their 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 opening round victory over  Matheva Polo Cacncio (SPA) and partner Pascalle Thenoux (CHI) to reach the quarter finals.

The last eight contest was more straightforward with a 6-2, 6-2 straight sets victory over Alexia Lopez (SPA) and Jemma Peterswald (AUS), before they overcame Australian second seeds Alexia Dalley and Sarah Morante 6-4, 6-2 in the semi-final.

Top that

“This has just been one of the best weeks of my life,” said Catherine, who has committed more time to padel in the last year having moved from being a full-time to part-time teacher. “Coming to Australia and reaching your first FIP final, it is going to be quite hard to top that.

“It has also been a week where we have learned so much about each other on court and what we can achieve. We saved match points in our opening game and have proven to ourselves to never count ourselves out of a match and that we can turn it around. It has given us the mental resilience to take into the rest of the year.

“We also have the experience of playing in our first FIP final. This was the first major padel event of the year and it has really been pushed as Australia looks to grow the game, so there was a big crowd and a lot of interest. We were both nervous, but we now know what to expect and can learn from that experience,” added Catherine.

Hanna, who is based in the Canary Islands, said: “Given this was our first tournament of the year, we have started it off really well. This is going to set us up for the year.

“We’re now waiting for the full (FIP) calendar to come out and the plan is to compete together in a couple of FIP tournaments each month. We’re full of confidence after this week and we can’t wait to be able to compete on a more regular basis and go up the rankings.”

Padel players Hanna Maddock and Catherine Rose.

Pep talk

The duo also acknowledged the support and influence of Femme Padel’s Pep Stonor, who was also playing in Sydney. “She’s been brilliant,” said Catherine. “Pep’s been here all week supporting us, encouraging us and looking after us. She’s been like a mum and that has also made a difference.”

Pep was instrumental in bringing the incredibly popular Femme Open women’s-only series of padel events to the UK. She and partner Tinusha Sivaganam beat Brit Penelope Sloman and her partner, Australian Eleanor Proust, 6-2, 6-0 to make it into the quarter finals. There they faced Australians Sonja Basic and Jessica Brycki, losing 2-6, 4-6.

Femme Open's Pep Stonor in Australia
Pep Stonor (second from right) on court with partner Tinusha Sivaganam at the Australian Padel Open.


This is the second year the FIP Tour has come to Australia after the inaugural Australian Open was held in Melbourne last year. This year the tournament moved to Sydney, while Australia’s ‘sporting capital’ hosts the FIP Promotion Melbourne Padel Open this week at the Game4Padel club in Docklands, Maarm. The final will coincide with the start of the qualifiers of the Australian Tennis Open, so Catherine is expecting there to be a real buzz around the city.

“The FIP event coincides with the Australian Open qualifiers, while the padel final is on the opening day of the Open, so Melbourne is going to be incredible,” she said.

Rafter swaps allegiance

Pat Rafter playing padel

Also on court in Sydney was tennis legend Pat Rafter, former World No 1 and twice US Open winner who was last week revealed as the founding ambassador for Padel Australia. Pat, who only took up padel six months ago, partnered fellow Australian Luke Morland in the Open, going out to Andrea Melisi and Timothy Brown. 🎾


Lee McLaughlan is founder of Sweetspot Communications, a specialist padel PR business.