Dubai: Twenty pairs of players will be seen in action as the 2019 Padel season gets under way with the Padel Pro Club’s FIP 100 Tournament to be held this weekend.

The entries for the season-opener have already been finalised with a maximum 40 players confirming their names.

The in-house coaches at Nad Al Sheba (NAS) Sports Complex Sandy Farquharson and Javier Lopez Garcia have been given the top seeding, while the Spanish pairing of Emilio Misas and Guillermo Villafane are the second seeds.

The five-tournament calendar for the new season was ratified by the first meeting of the Board of Directors of the UAE Padel Association (UAE PA) led by chairman Shaikh Saeed Bin Juma Al Maktoum, at the NAS Sports Complex. “This is a brand new start for us at the UAE Padel Association as we seek ways and means to spread this sport all across the UAE,” Shaikh Saeed told media at the end of the board meeting.

“We have also discussed the idea of moving out into schools and getting the younger generation involved in playing paddle. The response from the three private schools that we have been visiting so far has been heartening and we have a young crop of players who are regulars at paddle courts in Dubai and Abu Dhabi,” he added.

Shaikh Saeed further insisted that the spread of paddle has to be carried out uniformly across the UAE irrelevant of the places. “That’s one of the reasons why we agreed on hosting a tournament in Abu Dhabi. We need other venues to be involved. We are aware that we cannot do this all alone and we need all the assistance we can get from the clubs spread across the UAE,” Shaikh Saeed noted.

The opening round matches of the Padel Pro Club’s FIP 100 Tournament will be held at the Padel Pro Club in Jumeirah Lake Towers from 9am on February 8 (Friday). The final will be held the next day.

The next three events on the 2019 calendar will also be FIP 100 Tournaments at the Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex (March 29-30), the Abu Dhabi Country Club (October 4-5) and the Real Racquet Academy at the Emirates Golf Club (November 15-16) followed by the season-ending Master FIP 250 Tournament at the NAS Sports Complex on December 13-14.