Make Room Tennis, Pickleball and Squash. Here Comes Padel.

I first learned about padel last summer, when my partner sent me a photo from a small court during a visit to Germany.

What is that? I wondered.

“Padel. A childish version of tennis,” he texted, anticipating my question.

As an enthusiastic tennis player, I was not very interested.

A few months later, while biking in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I noticed a large building with a sign that read “Padel Haus,” which billed itself as the first padel club in New York City. This sport wanted my attention, so I invited Victor Mather, a veteran sports reporter, to join me for a lesson.

Victor was willing to try. “I am a reasonably fit guy,” he said. But he was turning 60, he said, and added: “My eyesight isn’t what it used to be, I haven’t played tennis since prep school, and I have never played squash or racquetball.”

I was just happy to be on a court with a racket in hand because it isn’t easy to book a tennis court in the city.

Here’s what we learned.

First, what is padel?

Padel is a racket sport that has been growing in popularity in parts of the United States and other countries. Credit…Christian Rodriguez for The New York Times

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