DUBAI: Spain’s Juan Lebron, the padel tennis world number one, and enigmatic playing partner Miguel Lamperti claimed a 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) victory in the inaugural Dubai Padel Cup, after a dominant display of clinical accuracy, devastating power and nerveless poise saw off Argentine legend Fernando “Bela” Belasteguin and Spain’s Arturo Coello.
In an all-action final, Lebron, nicknamed “The Wolf,” and Lamperti secured a pivotal break in the seventh game before holding serve twice to seal the first set 6-3. Bela and Coello fought back valiantly in the second set, leading 5-4 and 6-5 before eventually going down 8-6 in a dramatic, and ultimately pivotal, tiebreak.
“It has been an amazing week with Miguel, we have had some incredible moments — I am very happy,” said Lebron. “It’s been an unforgettable experience in this incredible place. The fans have been calling me ‘the wolf of the desert’ — it’s unbelievable, I thank them with my whole heart.”
Playing partner Lamperti was equally effusive in his praise for the Dubai Padel Cup: “I’ve really enjoyed playing with Juan in these amazing matches, but I have also loved the people, the city and the event.”
With the final day seeing eight doubles pairings — comprising 14 international padel stars and Dubai-based NAS Sport Complex coaches professionals Javier Lopez and Sergio Icardo — battling for overall positions in the exhibition series standings, Argentina’s Fernando Poggi and Spain’s Gonzalo Rubio defeated Lopez and Icardo 6-2, 6-3 to claim third place overall.
“Javi and Sergio played a great game, they were in the match all the time, but we played really well — we were ruthless,” said Poggi.
“I first came to Dubai in 2013 to play padel in an exhibition match, and it is amazing how the sport has exploded in popularity,” added the 2021 world champion.
After seeing bumper crowds flock to the three-day exhibition match series, Ahmed Hamada, co-founder of the Dubai Padel Cup, said the world’s best professionals would be returning next year.
“The response from the players has been amazing, they love the court, the city, the padel community here — we are already planning how we can grow the event concept to make it even bigger and better next year,” said Hamada.