FIP final heartbreak to spur on British padel duo Rose and Maddock

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British padel duo Catherine Rose and Hanna Maddock are confident they can become serial title contenders after reaching their first FIP Rise final at the Australian Open in Sydney.

The two 24-year-olds, competing in the opening FIP tournament of the year, admitted nerves and not enough self-belief was their downfall as they lost the women’s final 6-3, 7-6 against the 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 Rose, who trains at The Padel Hub in Slough.

“However, because of that, we went into the final with not enough self-belief and thinking that they were more superior to us. When we started to play them, we realised we could compete with them 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.”

Despite the defeat, it has been a very rewarding event in terms of the experience as well 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.

“This has just been one of the best weeks of my life,” said Rose, who combines competing on the international circuit with her teaching career at Thomas’s school in Battersea.

“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.”

Maddock, 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 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.”

The duo are seeded third for the FIP Promotion Melbourne Open tournament which starts on Wednesday.

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GB's Hanna Maddock and Catherine Rose