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Hexagon Cup: what is it and how does it work?

These are times of revolution in padel. The arrival of Premier marked the beginning of a new era in the sport. With the growth and internationalisation it is experiencing, everyone wants to be part of this explosion. This means the arrival of new formats, new promoters, new brands and, above all, more spectacle.

The latest to take a piece of the cake is Hexagon Cup, a completely new tournament that promises great emotions from the hand of the best players of the moment. It also has the added attraction of having some very famous people supporting the initiative.

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What is the Hexagon Cup?

What is the Hexagon Cup?
Photo: Hexagon Cup

It is a team exhibition tournament, independent of the professional circuit. Created by the founders of Formula E, it aims to “offer a new and disruptive approach to transform the sport of 20×10”. Its aim is to offer fans a new spectacle that increases the variety of competitions present in padel.

It is a project based on a team format, similar to that of the Pro Padel League, which attempts to give a twist to the traditional ranking system that has always predominated in racket sports. It also intends for each team to be chaired by a prominent figure to give an extra boost to the project. However, despite the similarity in this sense with the Kings League, they assure that their example to follow is different. “We want to be more like the Laver Cup in tennis,” said Carlos Almazán, former padel player and director of institutional relations for the Hexagon Cup in an interview with Marca.

What is its format?

What is known so far is that there will be six teams, made up of three couples each. The pairs will be: one male, one female and one of ‘promises’. Within the latter, the requirements that will be taken into account are: not to be over 22 years old and not to be in the top 50.

The six teams will be divided into two groups of three each. There, they will compete against each other and the best of each group will reach the grand final. Each match will score points and the team with the most points will be the winner of the first edition of the Hexagon Cup. As for the prize money, the organisers have confirmed that it will be one million euros, a figure that makes them stand out from other tournaments or circuits.

What teams are there?

The Hexagon Cup is made up of six teams, which have already been confirmed. The first of these is the organisers, the Hexagon Team, which has Paquito Navarro and Alejandra Salazar as its leaders.

The next is the high performance centre of a national sporting legend: the Rafa Nadal Academy. This school, located in Manacor and created in 2016, is betting more and more on padel and its presence in this competition is proof of that. They have already confirmed their first two signings: Álex Ruíz and Marta Ortega.

Following in Rafa Nadal’s footsteps, another tennis legend has wanted to join the tournament. This is Andy Murray, co-owner of the AD/vantage team. The Englishman has already invested in the growth of this sport in the past in his country and has also wanted to take part in this great event.

From the world of football, one of the best strikers of the 21st century and current number 9 of FC Barcelona: Robert Lewandowski. Under the name of RL9 Padel Team, the Pole is very excited about the project: “Padel is the most important sport in Spain after football and, since I live and play here, I have caught the ‘fever’. This is my chance to take my passion for the sport to the next level“. He has also issued a warning to the other participants: “I am committed to signing the best players and creating what I hope will be a championship winning team.”

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Hailing from the United States, actress Eva Longoria is co-owner of another of the teams. Her name is ElevenEleven Team USA. The Texan, like Lewandowski, has unveiled her love for the sport: “I’m passionate about padel and I love playing it, so I’m looking forward to sharing it on an international scale. The inclusive nature of the event, which brings the best male, female and next generation players together to form teams that play together as equals to achieve success, was something that really appealed to me and I immediately wanted to get involved,” said Eva.

Finally, from Central America, the latest to join the list: Team Bella Puerto Rico, led by María Esteve and Carlos López-Lay. The latter acknowledged that he was very excited: “To have Puerto Rico represented in this all-star tournament is a great satisfaction for María and me. In this way we reaffirm our business mission to promote our country through a sport that is on the rise and of international importance. It will be a great opportunity for the sport to grow on the Caribbean island. Apart from María and Carlos, other well-known Puerto Rican figures such as Iván “Pudge” Rodríguez, Mónica Puig, Jaime Mayol and Juan José Barea, as well as the Argentinean actor and model Julián Gil, will be supporting the event.

Players participating in the Hexagon Cup

The team formation format is very interesting. It aims to mimic the NBA draft system, with a touch of public participation and prominence for the presidents of each team.

To begin with, each of the six participants in this competition will have two franchise players. The only ones confirmed so far are Paquito Navarro and Alejandra Salazar for the Hexagon Team and Álex Ruíz and Marta Ortega for the Rafa Nadal Academy.

The owner and the franchise players must choose the rest of the teammates who will take to the court for their team. One boy, one girl and two ‘next gen’. They will do it in the draft system we mentioned earlier, where they will have to choose from among the many professionals who have volunteered to participate. The only one that doesn’t follow these rules is Hexagon Team, who have left it up to the fans to decide via a poll on their website

Among the players that make up the draft, there are many big names in professional padel. On the men’s side, illustrious players such as Franco Stupaczuk, Javi Garrido, Jon Sanz, ‘Coki Nieto’, Juan Tello, Juan Martin Diaz or ‘Momo’ Gonzalez, among others, will participate. As for the girls, Virginia Riera, Tamara Icardo, ‘Patty’ Llaguno, Lucia Sainz and Claudia Jensen stand out. The presence of all of them is not confirmed, as it will depend on the decisions of the public and the teams, but many of them will be there.

Where and when will it take place?

The tournament will take place in Madrid, in a great venue in the Spanish capital, the Madrid Arena. For five days, from 31 January to 4 February, all the matches of this competition will be played.

Initially it is expected to be an annual event and, although at the moment it is focused on Spain, the organisers assure us that the aim is to take the format to the whole world.

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Padel Addict
Padel Addicthttps://padeladdict.com/
Padel Addict is a website focused on the world of padel that is responsible for offering the latest news in the sport as well as tips and other news of interest to fans. In short, a portal whose main idea is to contribute its grain of sand among the media in our country.

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