Padel vs. Tennis: Key Differences and Similarities

In the vast landscape of racket sports, two stand out prominently: Padel and tennis. Both command a player’s agility, precision, and strategy. They share an echoing rhythm of balls striking rackets, a common scoring system, and designated service areas. Yet, the distinctions are clear. Padel’s smaller, enclosed courts contrast with tennis’s expansive arenas. Solid, string-less rackets in Padel differ from the strung counterparts in tennis. And while tennis shuns walls, Padel embraces them as an integral part of gameplay. These differences, along with many others, set the two sports on distinct pedestals, each captivating its players for unique reasons.

Key Takeaways

  • Padel and Tennis are distinct racquet sports with unique court structures and rules.
  • While both sports share a common scoring system, Padel integrates walls into gameplay, contrasting Tennis’s open court.
  • Both sports have a global presence, with Tennis enjoying worldwide popularity and Padel being predominant in Spain and Latin America.

Padel vs Tennis

Comparing Equipment and Courts

Padel and tennis are both racket sports, but they differ in their equipment and court design. Padel rackets are smaller and have a lower weight than tennis rackets. Padel balls are also smaller and less pressurized than tennis balls. Padel courts have walls made of glass or concrete that players can use to keep the ball in play. Tennis courts have no walls, only a net dividing the court. Padel courts are smaller than tennis courts, measuring 20m x 10m, while tennis courts are 23.77m x 8.23m.

Comparing Rules and Scoring

Padel and tennis have different rules and scoring systems. In Padel, the serve must be underhand, and the ball must bounce once before it can be returned. Points are scored only by the serving team. The first team to reach 6 games wins the set, and the first team to win two sets wins the match. In tennis, the serve can be overhand or underhand, and the ball can be returned without bouncing. the same scoring system. Points are scored by both teams, and the first player to win four points and be ahead by two points wins the game. The first player to win six games wins the set, and the first player to win two or three sets wins the match.

Comparing Techniques and Strategies

Padel and tennis require different techniques and strategies. Padel players need to have good reflexes, footwork, and control to play close to the walls. They use a lot of volleys and lobs to keep the ball in play. Tennis players need to have good power, control, and endurance to play long rallies. They use a lot of serves, forehands, and backhands to win points.

Comparing Physical Demands and Training

Padel and tennis have different physical demands and training requirements. Padel requires more agility and quickness, while tennis requires more endurance and strength. Padel players need to be able to move quickly around the court and react to the ball. Tennis players need to be able to sustain long rallies and play for several hours. Both sports require good hand-eye coordination and footwork. Training for Padel and tennis involves practicing strokes, footwork, and game strategy.

Comparing Popularity and Tournaments

Padel is more popular in Spain and Latin America, while tennis is popular worldwide. Padel has its own professional tour, the World Padel Tour, which features tournaments in several countries. Tennis has four major tournaments, known as Grand Slams, and a professional tour that features tournaments in many countries. Both sports have amateur and recreational players who play for fun and fitness.

Overall, Padel and tennis are both enjoyable and challenging sports that require different skills and techniques. Players can choose the sport that suits their interests and abilities.

Key Differences

Here are the key differences between Padel and tennis, laid out in a clear and concise manner:

Court Size and Structure

  • Tennis: Larger courts (78 feet long) without surrounding walls.
  • Padel: Smaller courts (20m x 10m) surrounded by walls, typically made of glass or solid material.


  • Tennis: Strung rackets with a larger head.
  • Padel: Solid, string-less rackets, smaller in size and with perforations.


  • Tennis: Uses a more pressurized ball, creating higher bounce.
  • Padel: The ball is similar to tennis but slightly less pressurized, resulting in a lower bounce.

Court Surface

  • Tennis: Played on a variety of surfaces including grass, clay, and hard courts.
  • Padel: Usually played on an artificial grass surface.

Scoring System

  • Tennis: Same scoring system (15-30-40-game), but with different match formats (best of three or five sets).
  • Padel: Also uses the 15-30-40 scoring system but typically played in best of three sets.


  • Tennis: Overhand serves are the norm, with one fault allowed before a double fault.
  • Padel: Serves must be underhand, and similar to tennis, one fault is allowed before a double fault.

Use of Walls

  • Tennis: Balls must be played before they hit a wall or fence; if they do, it’s out.
  • Padel: Walls are part of the game, and balls can be played off them, similar to squash.

Net Height

  • Tennis: The net is higher in the center.
  • Padel: The net height is consistent across its entire width.

Number of Bounces

  • Tennis: The ball must be hit before it bounces twice.
  • Padel: The ball can bounce once on the floor and can then be played after hitting a wall, provided it doesn’t bounce again on the floor.

These differences highlight how Padel and tennis, while similar in some aspects, offer distinct experiences in terms of play style, tactics, and physical requirements.

Padel and Tennis Similarities

Racket Sports: Both Padel and tennis are played with rackets, making them members of the larger racket sports family.

Scoring System: Both sports utilize the same unique scoring progression: 15, 30, 40, and game. This means players in both games strive to win points in the same numerical sequence.

Objective: In both sports, the primary goal is to score points by hitting the ball in such a manner that the opponent cannot return it.

Service: Both sports initiate play with a serve from one player to the other, aiming to start the rally. They also both allow for a second serve if the first one is faulted.

Doubles Play: Both Padel and tennis can be played in doubles format, meaning two players on each side of the net.

Court Lines: Both sports have designated areas marked by lines, such as service boxes and baselines, which determine the play area and affect how points are scored.

Net: A net divides both the Padel and tennis court, and players must hit the ball over the net for the rally to continue.

Ball: Both games use a rubber ball covered with felt. Although there are differences in pressure and bounce, the basic design and concept remain similar.

Faults and Lets: Both sports have rules regarding faults (invalid serves) and lets (situations where the serve must be replayed, such as when the ball lightly touches the net but still lands in the correct service box).

Competitive Play: Both Padel and tennis have professional circuits, championships, and tournaments that attract top players and large audiences worldwide.

Despite their differences in gameplay mechanics and strategies, these similarities underscore the shared heritage and foundational principles of Padel and tennis.


Padel and tennis, two titans in the realm of racket sports, captivate enthusiasts worldwide with their unique charms and challenges. While they share foundational principles, such as their scoring system and the essential use of rackets, their nuanced differences – from court structure to the role of walls in gameplay – set them apart, offering diverse experiences for players and spectators alike.

Whether you’re drawn to the expansive courts of tennis or the strategic confines of Padel, one thing remains certain: both sports offer a rich tapestry of history, skill, and excitement. Embracing the contrasts and commonalities of these games can only enrich our appreciation for the dynamic world of racquet sports.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the differences between Padel and tennis balls?

Padel balls are smaller and less dense than tennis balls, which makes them slower and easier to control. Padel balls also have less pressure than regular tennis’ balls, which affects their bounce and makes them easier to play with.

What are the rules of Padel?

Padel is played on a smaller court than tennis, with walls around the court that are used in play. The game is played in doubles, and the ball can be hit off the enclosed court walls as well as the ground. The serve is underhand and must be hit diagonally across the court. Points are scored when the ball lands in the opponent’s court or if they hit the ball out of bounds.

Why is Padel becoming so popular?

Padel is becoming more popular because it is a fun and social sport that is easy to learn. It is also less physically demanding than traditional tennis,, which makes it more accessible to people of all ages and fitness levels. Padel can be played indoors or outdoors, which makes it a great option for year-round play.

What is the difference between Padel and pickleball?

Pickleball is played on a smaller court than Padel, with a lower net and a smaller paddle. Pickleball is also played with a plastic ball that is similar in size to a Padel ball, but it has holes in it. Padel is played with a solid rubber ball that is smaller than a tennis ball.

How many calories do you burn playing Padel vs tennis?

The number of calories burned playing Padel or tennis depends on a variety of factors, including the player’s weight, age, and fitness level. However, on average, playing Padel burns about 400-500 calories per hour, while playing tennis burns about 600-700 calories per hour.

Leave a Comment