At the elegant Gare Maritime Brussels Tour and Taxis, everything is set for the second edition of the Circus Brussels Padel Open. On Wednesday on Belgian Day, the Belgian wildcard faces some very tough challenges. After all, Clement Jens/Maxime DeLoire and Helena Weikart/Anne-Sophie Mestach meet the absolute top spot in the world.
According to the organizers, the Cirque Brussels Padel Open – the ambition to welcome 50,000 spectators – is the most beautiful indoor tournament in the world. The first edition last year was already a success. The tournament was won by both the men’s and women’s number one players in the world, Alejandro Galan/Juan Lebrón and Alejandra Salazar/Gemma Treay. Organizer Vincent Laurencens once again brought together the top of the whole world. The main draw starts on Wednesday and immediately afterwards “Belgium Day”. After all, the Belgian wildcards will come into play in the first round.
In the men’s category, the best Belgian duo, 19-year-old Clement Jens and Maxime Deloire, were a bit of a shock in the draw. The Walloon pair immediately comes up against Spanish defenders Galan and LeBron, who are still number one in the world. This is a challenge. “It feels incredible,” says Jens. “We may only get a chance to substitute against Galan and LeBron once in our lives. It will be an unimaginable experience. We will try to enjoy every moment and play the best we can.”
Top seeds Galan and LeBron don’t seem to be the biggest title contenders this year. This favorite role belongs to the Argentine Agustin Tapia and the Spanish Arturo Coelho, the second seed. The duo has yet to lose a match this year. They have successively won the Abu Dhabi Masters, La Rioja Open, Chile Open, Paraguay Open and Granada Open. In Brussels, Argentine favorites Fernando Pelastiguin (WPT 8) and Miguel Lamberti (WPT 25) will also be in check. The 43-year-old Belasteguin, number one in the world for sixteen years, forms a duo with Spaniard Miguel Yangas (WPT 19). On the other hand, Lamberti creates a spectacle with 19-year-old countryman and emerging Padel sensation Valentino Lerac (WPT 56).
Currently, more Argentine players than Spanish players hold the absolute lead among men, while Spanish players still dominate women. In Brussels, the final match between the top two seeds, Paula Josemaría / Ariana Sanchez and Alejandra Salazar / Gemma Treay, appears to be in the works. Helena Weickart (WPT 93) remains the only active Belgian player on the World Padel Tour. I’ve already made the playoffs in four tournaments this season. “Usually my regular partner is Sweden’s Amanda Gerdo, but she’s been hit for a while,” Weickart says. “We played the Granada Open together this month and reached the final round of the qualifiers. That was a very strong result.”
At the Circus Brussels Padel Open, Weikart forms a duo with former tennis professional An-Sophie Mestach. “I play together with An-Sopie on the Belgian Padel Tour and she moves very well,” Weikart says. “It’s great that the Belgian duo is one hundred percent performing at the Circus Brussels Padel Open. An-Sophie has improved tremendously over the past year. It’s fun to play with her.”
Just like Jens and Monuir, Wickert and Mistache also face a tough first round. With Victoria Iglesias and Patricia Laguno, they meet No. 10 and 11 in the world. “Admittedly, last year I was a little nervous on the track at Gare Maritime,” Weickart says. “In terms of the result, we shouldn’t have too many illusions against Iglesias and Laguno. So now I hope I can overcome my nerves and enjoy the moment.”
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