With newly-formed couples being announced thick and fast ahead of the 2023 World Padel Tour season, here is how the rankings will look to start the year.
It is set to be the biggest and most international campaign in the competition’s and the sport’s history, with 27 tournaments to be held in 14 countries around the world.
Juan Lebron and Alejandro Galan will have a target on their backs as they completed their third consecutive year as the number ones of the world.
Can any of the new couples below the Spaniards slow them down? Find out below how the rankings are shaping up to start the year!
Also read: Gemma Triay, the first number one for three straight seasons
1. Juan Lebron (SPA)/Alejandro Galan (SPA)
As has been the case ever since they got together in 2020, Alejandro Galan and Juan Lebron sit at the top of the rankings.
They were only the third men’s couple ever to win ten titles in a season, reaching a total of 15 finals.
Lebron and Galan have looked as unstoppable as ever, and are the pair to beat in 2023. It will be up to the players below to dethrone the dominant Spaniards.
2. Arturo Coello (SPA)/Agustin Tapia (ARG)
Many people will look to Arturo Coello and Agustin Tapia to go at Lebron and Galan.
Neither will be able to lean on the experience and leadership from Fernando Belasteguin or Sanyo Gutierrez, their previous partners, but Coello and Tapia have more than enough talent to make up for it.
The Spanish-Argentinian tandem has all of the technical and physical tools to challenge at the top, but it remains to be seen how it unfolds once the season gets going.
=2. ‘Sanyo’ Gutierrez (ARG)/Fernando Belasteguin (ARG)
In joint-second are Sanyo Gutierrez and Fernando Belasteguin, reunited after a season and a half apart.
Gutierrez and Bela played in 2021 and won three titles before splitting after the Lugo Open, and will have another bite at the cherry now.
Something to note is that Coello and Tapia have exactly the same number of points as Gutierrez and Belasteguin, meaning there will be a draw to determine who will be the second seed and who will be the third seed for the Abu Dhabi Padel Master.
Sanyo and Bela have both been number ones in World Padel Tour already, and have everything it takes to get there once again.
4. ‘Paquito’ Navarro (SPA)/Juan Tello (ARG)
A lot of question marks were raised when Paquito Navarro and Juan Tello announced their getting together in the latter stages of 2022.
Navarro has switched to the right-hand side of the court to accommodate Tello, just like a young Lebron did in 2019 when playing with Paquito – and that year ended with the Andalucians being crowned number ones.
The Argentinian-Spanish combination of Paquito and Tello has already yielded success, winning the Mexico Open.
Now, they tackle their first full season together, and starting as the four-seed, do not be surprised if they finish the year higher-up.
5. Martin Di Nenno (ARG)/Franco Stupaczuk (ARG)
Without question, the new partnership that has people most excited is the one of Martin Di Nenno and Franco Stupaczuk.
Di Nenno and Stupa came up together in Argentina and were nicknamed super pibes or super kids, as they tore through every youth category there was before moving to Spain to compete in WPT.
They separated after Di Nenno’s near-fatal car crash in early 2016, but did manage to win the Barcelona Challenger in 2015 (beating a young Juan Lebron in the final!).
After seven years apart, the super pibes are now back, having both grown into bona fide stars.
6. Alejandro Ruiz (SPA)/’Momo’ Gonzalez (SPA)
The Malagan team consisting of Alejandro Ruiz and Momo Gonzalez showed moments of greatness in 2022.
Ruiz and Gonzalez reached their first final together on home soil at the Marbella Master, and repeated at the Madrid Master, although they could not translate either into a title win.
On their day, they are capable of beating anybody, but consistency is what will define their 2023 campaign.
Can they take the next step and challenge at the top in their first full season as a team?
7. Pablo Lima (BRA)/’Coki’ Nieto (SPA)
Another new couple at the top is the one of former number one Pablo Lima and Coki Nieto.
On paper, Lima and Nieto form an incredibly robust duo that will be incredibly hard to beat as both are known for their defensive prowess.
Nieto has matured significantly in 2022, finishing the season alongside Martin Di Nenno and reaching the doorstep of his first Master Final appearance.
8. Federico Chingotto (ARG)/Javier Garrido (SPA)
Federico Chingotto and Javi Garrido have had two tournaments under their belt in the tail-end of 2022 to set themselves up for the upcoming campaign.
Their semi-final appearance in Mexico was promising ahead of their first full season together. Chingotto turned to the young Spaniard after separating from long-time partner Juan Tello, while Garrido had played the season with Lucas Campagnolo.
Both Chingotto and Garrido reached a single final at the book-ends of 2022 at the Master Final and the Miami Open respectively.
They very much have the tools to reach one or more alongside each other. A mix of footwork and dexterity on one side and firepower and finishing ability on the other, this is a couple to watch out for in 2023.
9. Lucas Campagnolo (BRA)/Maximiliano Sanchez (ARG)
After his break-out 2022, Lucas Campagnolo has now been chosen by 2018’s number one of the world Maxi Sanchez.
Campa, a life-time left-sided player, switched to the right to play with Garrido, and to great effect.
It was by far the best season in the career of ‘The Bull’, reaching the final in Miami and contesting several semi-finals.
Sanchez too reached a single final in Denmark, but the 22-time winner will hope to get back among the best in the upcoming campaign.
10. Luciano Capra (ARG)/Agustin Gutierrez (ARG)
One of the more interesting new couples is the one of Luciano Capra and Agustin Gutierrez, the two Argentines recently announcing their getting together.
The young Gutierrez, nephew of former number one Sanyo, only has four full World Padel Tour seasons under his belt, and has steadily improved during that time.
However, he is relatively untested compared to the more established Capra, a five-time Challenger champion and the Valladolid Master winner in 2021.
Capra and Gutierrez have played together before for the Albacete and La Nucia Challengers in 2021, reaching the final and semifinal respectively. Can they wield similar results two years later?
11. Jon Sanz (SPA)/Javier Leal (SPA)
Two other young stars joining forces for 2023 are Jon Sanz and Javi Leal. Sanz played his padel in 2022 next to veteran Miguel Lamperti for the better part of 2022, ending the season with Campagnolo.
The combative Spaniard reached his first-ever semi-finals with Campa in Menorca, and at 22 years of age, he should only get better. Leal is even younger, the teenage star continuing his meteoric rise in 2022.
Alongside Javi Rico, Leal made back-to-back quarter-finals in Santander and Menorca in October, having only made one before that in his entire career.
One or two surprises could certainly be sprung by Leal and Sanz, although they will have to beat some top opposition to put themselves among the very best.
12. Miguel Yanguas (SPA)/Alejandro Arroyo (SPA)
Another getting together between two young stars, Miguel Yanguas and Alejandro Arroyo should always provide top entertainment when they take to the court.
Yanguas and Arroyo, 20 and 21 years old respectively, are both famed for their hard-hitting and athletic style of play.
While power alone is not enough to win games, both players have shown increased levels of maturity and finesse, and this could prove vital ahead of the biggest and most international season in WPT history.