Can you play singles padel?
Padel is a popular racket sport that originated in Mexico but has since spread to Latin America and Europe in particular. It is similar to tennis, but is played on a smaller court surrounded by walls and fencing and with a padel racket without strings as you know it from tennis. A question that often arises among beginners is whether it is possible to play padel one vs one. The answer is yes, it is indeed possible to play padel with just two people, and it can be a fun and challenging alternative to doubles, which is the most common format in padel.
How do you play singles in padel?
There are dedicated singles courts in padel. A normal padel court measures 20 x 10 meters and is designed for doubles play, with two players on each team. In contrast, a singles court measures 20 x 6 meters and is designed for singles play, with only one player on each team.
Singles court for paddle tennis:
Can you play singles padel on a doubles court?
If there is no singles court available in your area, you can play singles padel on a doubles court by slightly adjusting the rules.
Padel on a doubles court is played with two teams of two players each, but you can also bend the rules for singles play. In a singles game on a doubles court, one player competes against another, just like in tennis. However, playing padel with only one other person can be more difficult as the doubles court is relatively large for 2 people and requires quick reflexes and good footwork.
How to play singles padel on a doubles court
Playing singles in padel requires some modifications to the standard rules of the game. In the doubles format, the server must hit the ball diagonally to the opponent's service box. The same rule actually applies in singles padel, but there is more of a tendency to bend the original rules.
Once the game is underway, players cover only a part of their half of the court, as the full capacity of the court is too much for one person to cover. It is also known as "cross drills". In the "cross" game, you serve as usual every time (diagonally), but here you finish the balls in a cross. This means that if you play the ball "longline" during the rally and the ball lands on the opposite side of the center line, the ball is called "out". You play the point diagonally because it makes it more realistic and you have the opportunity to practice as many different repetitions as possible and get the best possible flow. It is also possible to play on the longline part of the court, but you will be a bit limited on the repetitions of the different strokes.
If you play padel on a singles court, there are no special requirements for equipment, but it is of course important that your racket helps you with areas such as control or power in your game. If you're unsure which padel racket to buy, you can read our comprehensive guide to choosing the right racket here. Alternatively, you can head straight to our huge selection if you want to treat yourself to a new padel racket.
Practice your ground strokes and physique in singles padel
Playing padel 1-on-1 is used by players of all levels. It works well for beginner padel players, as new players benefit from repetitions to become strong in various basic strokes, improve their feel for hitting the ball and to get comfortable on the court in general. In addition, many tournament players use single padel as part of their training, where they can use the singles format to focus on technique and footwork.
In addition to being ideal for practicing different strokes, the singles format in padel is also a golden opportunity to improve your endurance. On the singles court, you only have yourself on your side of the net, which is why you have to return all the balls yourself. In this way, padel 1 vs 1 paddle tennis can boost your stamina and stability, which can be a great advantage in doubles when you reach the long matches, where it can be challenging to stay focused when your legs get tired and your breathing gets heavy.
Is there a difference between the tactics in singles and doubles padel?
For singles play, a single padel court may have slightly different markings and rules. For example, the service areas are smaller or positioned differently. Furthermore, the strategy and tactics used in singles play differ from the strategy and tactics used in doubles play. In singles, players have more ground to cover and they need to be more agile and have better stamina to cover the court effectively. Singles players can use different shot selection and placement tactics to exploit their opponent's weaknesses and win points.