Padel is joining the BODYARMOR State Games lineup in 2024! To help us showcase our newest sport, we spoke with Alex Leatu, a Certified Padel Coach at Charlotte Padel Club. Alex played college tennis at Vanderbilt and Baylor before picking up Padel in 2017 and working her way to a top 2 ranking in the US that year. Check out our Q&A with Alex:

Q: When did you start playing Padel?

Alex: Back in 2017, Padel was just starting to pop up around the US. I was working as a tennis pro at TBarM Racquet Club, a premier club in Dallas, and the owner had a great vision to add three Padel courts. Every break I had when I wasn’t on court, I was playing Padel. I fell in love with it.

Q: What is your favorite memory or accomplishment from your Padel career?

Alex: Back in 2021, after a three year hiatus from playing Padel, I started playing tournaments again and was offered a spot on the US National Team to compete in Qatar at the World Championships. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go because of a work conflict, but it was a massive honor.

Q: Who are your biggest role models?

Alex: My biggest role models are my mother and father, as well as my husband. I am a first generation American, and growing up, I saw all of the sacrifices my parents made for our family and for me to have a better life and pursue my dreams. They were both athletes in Romania – my dad was on the Olympic bobsled team and my mom was on the national team for rhythmic gymnastics. I would not have had the success I did without their belief in me and their showing me what it means to be successful. My husband also inspires me every day. He is the most disciplined, kind, and hard working person.

Q: What is something you would want people who are unfamiliar with Padel to know about the sport?

Alex: Padel is an amazing workout, even being on a smaller court. Not only that, but it’s unique and challenges your mind as well as your physical ability.

Q: Why should people give Padel a try?

Alex: Padel can be played as soon as you pick up a racket. You and your friends will have a blast from day one. It’s social and can be played at any level, but it is addicting and you will want to do lessons and clinics to get better and challenge yourself!

Q: Are you planning on competing in the BODYARMOR State Games this summer?

Alex: Of course, I am very excited to compete and enjoy the experience.