TIA NORTON has revealed her delight at being named LTA Padel Player of the Year for the second year in a row. The Game4Padel ambassador was among 27 winners who were feted at the LTA’s National Tennis Centre in a glitzy event hosted by LTA President Sandi Procter and presented by GB Men’s Davis Cup team captain Leon Smith OBE, with several high-profile guests in attendance, including Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Gloucester.
The award was presented in recognition of Tia’s stellar 2022 which included her victory in the first FIP London Rise Open, the lead role she played in the GB Ladies side who came up just short in their bid to qualify for last year’s World Championships, and her dominant status as GB’s No.1 female ranked player which spanned the whole
of the calendar year.
With a raft of big-name sports and TV personalities, including Natasha Kaplinsky, Judy Murray, Sir Trevor McDonald, Jeremy Bates, and Roger Taylor presenting prizes to those in attendance, Tia shared her delight at being crowned the queen of UK padel for a second successive year.
Speaking exclusively to Game4Padel, the LTA Women’s Padel Player of the Year said: “It’s nice to be recognised for all the work going in and to achieve the award for the second time around in succession is a huge honour and hopefully shows I am doing a few things right!
“As a whole, 2022 was just an incredible year with so many high points. Probably my highlight was winning the FIP Rise London Open, but aside from all the tournament stuff I had the opportunity to live and train in Barcelona and my results really flowed from that. So hopefully I can maintain all of that and keep it going.
“But it was great to be at the NTC for the awards ceremony and just once again brilliant that padel is being recognised, and also good to see Christian Murphy being named Male Padel Player 2022.”
Game4Padel is also immensely proud of Tia for playing a dynamic and enthusiastic part at our three-day
Westfield London padel festival last autumn.
Speaking about the highlight of her Game4Padel year, Tia said: “I’d have to say in my role as Game4Padel ambassador playing padel with Andy Murray at Westfield was massive. I don’t think I ever expected in my life to share a padel court with Sir Andy Murray or play against him as well and also of course Jamie (Murray). So, it was an honour to share the court with Andy and Jamie 100 per cent. At the time I was like: ‘This is all right!’ but looking back it is a feeling of: ‘Wow, did that actually happen!’
“But I just felt like the whole experience and event that weekend was sensational and having some of the public come up to me to congratulate me for some of the things I had achieved was fantastic.
Also seeing so many people want to get involved in padel at Westfield was great and really underlined to me that padel is going in the right direction and Game4Padel are right at the heart of that in driving this growth – especially in the UK.”
In 2023, while Tia has been competing abroad – and of course was a member of the Las Vegas Smash team who won the inaugural US Professional Padel League – our ambassador also took time out to qualify as a Certified Padel Coach via one of our ground-breaking courses held in conjunction with Padelmba at Edinburgh Park.
This remains something she is very proud of and Tia shared: “The CPC course was great fun. Taking information away from that and helping other people with that, but also adapting it to my own game and boosting my knowledge of padel was very rewarding and also just really enjoyable.”
But there will be no taking the foot off the pedal for Tia as she jets off to Rome to compete in the FIP Promises Italy Major and she said: “I am off to Italy this weekend to play with Catherine Rose in the FIP in Italy and that will be a highlight of 2023 for me – for sure.
"We are seeded No.5 and although we don’t have the draw as yet our first round is Friday, so we will see what that brings but it is a great prospect to be playing in Rome for the first time.”
After Rome, Tia is crossing continents to compete in Egypt before looking to defend her title at the FIP Rise London Open and then turning her attention to GB’s bid for glory at the European Championships in the first week of October.
While she globe-trots the padel circuit Tia remains excited about her continued collaboration with Game4Padel, saying: “Game4Padel have a lot of things in the pipeline and it’s great to continue being on that journey with them. They’ve opened up in Valencia now and I’d love to head out there and check out the courts and a city I’ve heard so much about. So hopefully we can continue along the way supporting each other.”
The Team at Game4Padel congratulates Tia on her richly deserved accolade.