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Credit: German Padel Open / Sascha Feuster

When the crème de la crème of the worldwide padel scene entered Düsseldorf's CASTELLO for their semi-final showdowns, their path led past a long line of visitors. Warm morning sun, best mood and approachable stars who fulfilled selfie and autograph requests: Everything was ready for high-class matches and great sport. And the fans were not disappointed.

Di Nenno and Stupaczuk get their act together

The first semifinal was contested by the men. That the Spaniard Francisco Navarro (7th place in the WPT ranking) and his Argentine playing partner Federico Chingotto (8th) are anything but to be underestimated was clear to their Argentine opponents Martín Di Nenno (3rd) and Franco Stupaczuk (4th) beforehand. But they probably didn't expect a 0-6 defeat in the first set. But "Stupa" and Di Nenno recovered from the initial shock and fought back with a dominant 6-2 set win. So the spectators* in the Düsseldorf CASTELLO got a surcharge, the gripping match culminated in the all-decisive third set.

Navarro and Chingotto remained stubborn opponents until the score was 3-3, but then the match tipped in favor of Di Nenno and Stupaczuk who tightened the reins and left no room for speculation as to who would walk off the court as the winner. The 6-3 set victory gave the two the ticket for the grand final in Düsseldorf on Sunday after just under two hours.

Triay/Ortega get chance to take revenge for Madrid

After that, it came to the big showdown in the women's singles. Gemma Triay (3rd) and Marta Ortega (6th) had to face Lucía Sainz (15th) and Patricia Llaguno (18th). On paper, it was a clear-cut affair, but Triay/Ortega were forewarned: the day before, their opponents had defeated the favored team Delfina Brea (7th)/Beatriz González (5th) in three sets in the quarterfinals.

In the semifinals, however, Sainz and Llaguno were denied another surprise coup. Gemma Triay and Marta Ortega showed no mercy and won 6-2 and a hard-fought 7-6 until the tiebreak.

In the final on Sunday, Triay and Ortega will face the world's undisputed No. 1 team this year: Ariana Sánchez and Paula Josemaría. The two Spaniards entered the final in Düsseldorf without a fight because their opponents Tamara Icardo (9th) and María Virginia (8th) had to withdraw due to injury.

This means a rematch of the recent final in Madrid: at the Masters final in the Spanish capital, Triay/Ortega lost to their compatriots Sánchez/Josemaría in two sets, 3-6 and 6-7 - now they have the chance for revenge just one week later.

Galán/Lebrón knock out No. 1 team

The third and final semifinal was the highlight of the day, eagerly awaited by all the fans in the packed CASTELLO. The world number 1 and 2, Arturo Coello from Spain and Agustín Tapia from Argentina, were challenged by two masters of their trade: Alejandro Galán (5th) and Juan Lebrón (6th). A duel that has already taken place three times as a final on the World Padel Tour this season. In Abu Dhabi, Chile and in Vigo, Spain, Coello/Tapia prevailed in each case. And in Düsseldorf?

It was yet the same - at least in the first set. Coello/Tapia won the first set clearly 6-3. But Galán and Lebrón fought their way back into the match and finally won the second set in a dramatic tiebreak. And the two Argentines continued to have the upper hand, leading 3-0 in the third set after a little less than two hours. Coello/Tapia did not let themselves be shaken off, however, and came back to 3-4 and 4-5. But the match did not take another turn: Galán/Lebrón had their first match point after 2 hours and 28 minutes - and used it to reach the final. In the final, the two will meet the Argentinians Martín Di Nenno (3rd) and Franco Stupaczuk (4th).

Picture: German Padel Open / Sascha Feuster

And then there were only four left: After an action-packed day, the four men's and four women's semi-final duos have been determined at the BOSS German Padel Open presented by SIXT.

As in the round of 16, the women's number 1 duo Ariana Sánchez and Paula Josemaría kicked things off in the quarterfinals. The two Spaniards defeated Verónica Virseda (17th in the World Padel Tour ranking) and Claudia Jensen (11th) 6-4 and 6-4 and thus marched on towards the final without losing a set. Gemma Triay (3.) and Marta Ortega (6.) also kept going, eliminating Claudia Fernández (20) and Victoria Iglesias (19).

The other two quarterfinals were much more competitive. In a marathon match lasting over three hours, Tamara Icardo (9th) and María Virginia (8th) defeated their opponents Alejandra Salazar (4th) and Sofia Araujo (10th) 7-6, 4-6 and 6-4. A great success, which the winners could only enjoy for a short time. A little later, they had to cancel their participation in the semifinals due to injury.

The duel between Delfina Brea (7th) & Beatriz González (5) vs. Lucía Sainz (15) & Patricia Llaguno (18) was also won after three sets. The duo Sainz/Llaguno, who are ranked lower in the WPT ranking, achieved a surprise coup with their success (6-2, 4-6, 3-6).

While Ariana Sánchez and Paula Josemaría moved into the grand final in Düsseldorf without a fight due to the withdrawal of their opponents due to injury, Gemma Triay (3, ESP) & Marta Ortega (6, ESP) will have to deal with Lucía Sainz (15th) & Patricia Llaguno (18th).

Coello/Tapía win in tiebreak

The men's quarterfinals were also very exciting. At times it even smelled like a sensation. The number 1 duo Arturo Coello (1) and Agustín Tapía (2) lost their first set during the tournament. In the second set, their opponents Jorge Nieto (16) and Jon Sanz (13) even had the chance to win the match at 6-5. But Coello/Tapía held on and fought their way back into the match. After more than two hours, they finally entered the semifinals in a tiebreak in the third set.

There they will meet Alejandro Galán (5th) and Juan Lebrón (6th) in an absolute top match. The two Spaniards in turn prevailed in a thrilling match in three sets against Juan Tello and Alejandro Ruiz.

The semifinal duels:

- Francisco Navarro (7, ESP) & Federico Chingotto (8, ARG) vs. Martín Di Nenno (3, ARG) & Franco Stupaczuk (4, ARG).

- Arturo Coello (1, ESP) & Agustín Tapia (2, ARG) vs. Alejandro Galán (5, ESP) & Juan Lebrón (6, ESP)

Picture: German Padel Open / Sascha Feuster

The WPT tournament in Düsseldorf is currently not only the hotspot for the international padel stars. The most important officials around the sport are also using the BOSS German Padel Open to work together on the future of Germany as a padel location.

Jasper Ahrens, Board of Directors, German Padel Association: "We assume that events like the BOSS German Padel Open will exponentially accelerate the development of padel in Germany. It was the same way before in other European countries like Sweden after the World Padel Tour was hosted there for the first time. We now have to position ourselves as DPV in such a way that we can also take into account the upcoming rapid development of padel. In doing so, we are of course also open for a cooperation with the German Tennis Federation to jointly create the best structure for Padel in Germany."

Peter Mayer, Managing Director, German Tennis Federation: "Padel is a very event-oriented and social sport. But it will not be enough for further growth if there are padel courts only in big cities like Hamburg, Munich, Berlin and Cologne. We want to and must gradually bring the sport into the area and thus closer to the people. The DTB, with its 9,000 clubs and tennis as the third largest sport in Germany, has very good prerequisites for this. Together with the DPV, we now want to develop padel further."

The top of the World Padel Tour (WPT) is also present in Düsseldorf - and draws a satisfied interim conclusion for the tournament so far. "It's a big achievement to put together a tournament like this. But it's worth it: this tournament is broadcast in 175 countries worldwide. The players are not just satisfied either, they are thrilled! They see this specially designed center court and the professional setup and they also know that padel is still on the rise in Germany. I am firmly convinced that Padel will go through the roof in Germany after this first WPT tournament. Padel will spill over into Germany like a wave," says WPT CEO Enrique Marques.

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