Updated: Nov 3
Game4Padel ambassador Tia Norton has spent a recent training block at Game4Padel's sun-soaked Spanish venue, where she worked with Oliva Nova’s head coach Miguel Mateu, as she ramped up her comeback from a knee injury.
The golden girl of British padel – who won the inaugural US Pro Padel League in the summer with Las Vegas Smash – hopes that the training stint at our flagship 7-court venue by the Mediterranean will be the first of many. The GB international is also confident her hard work in the sun has provided the perfect foundation to crank up her bid to crack the world top-100 rankings by the end of the year.
Tia shared: “First of all it was great to catch up with James (Rose, Game4Padel National Development Manager) and also to meet Miguel for the first time and just see everything Game4Padel has achieved at Oliva Nova. It is an incredible venue with a lot going on with the villas and accommodation next to the beach and I reckon the padel courts are incredible.
“In fact, I’d have to say that if Oliva Nova wanted to hold some events there then I would have no doubt about their ability to do so, and I for one would definitely go back to play them – the courts and venue are more than good enough to host a tournament at FIP level.
“I would also say that 100% I could see myself using Oliva Nova as a base to train again, I always like to keep my options open and it is a place I am keen to go back to particularly with it being a Game4Padel facility and just a special base.”
Tia added: “A top-100 world ranking is still on the table for me; I am around 140 and it is still achievable and that would be a great way to round off 2023, and definitely the work I’ve done at Oliva Nova will be a big help towards achieving that.”
Tia has gradually been building momentum in her comeback bid following a frustrating injury to her left knee as she explained: “I had been out for four weeks with tendonitis of my left knee and it was just great to get the feel for my shots back. I have been struggling with it since December and it has been a long time with it grumbling away and eventually, I just had to take the time away to let it settle.
“Then I was invited to join up with Eloise Tait and her renowned coach ‘Ximo’ and I just really enjoyed it. Eloise was an international hockey player who took up padel a year ago and is really serious about making it in padel. Ximo (Piera) is Ellie’s coach and it was great to experience new ideas and coaching influences and he definitely offered different things.
“Also, with me being a (Padelmba) CPC qualified coach I was interested in how he worked from that perspective, but what matters most was putting in some quality work in good weather that will give me a base to bounce back from the injury.”
Tia was also delighted to work with Miguel Mateu, Game4Padel’s head coach at Oliva Nova, who played a prominent part in assisting in the training sessions as Tia explained: “Miguel was assisting on the sessions that Ximo was running and it was great to meet him, as he is a lovely guy who is doing great things down at Oliva Nova.
“We were working on a few things prior to the FIP tournament I played at Beniganim in Valencia, so it was more tactically-based although we did some specific work on a few shots. Miguel was excellent and added some real value to the sessions.”
Projecting forward to her plans on the countdown to Christmas, Tia shared: “So, I just played with Aimee Gibson (FIP Beniganim – Valencia) and we lost 6-4, 6-4 in the quarter-finals against a Spanish pairing and to be fair to them they just played unbelievably. That said it was my first tournament back after the injury, so I felt like there was no pressure and it was just great to get a couple of wins under my belt on the way through to the last eight. We were very competitive against the Spaniards and on another day, we might have taken one of the sets and that would have made it interesting.
“But things are looking promising and there are still quite a few tournaments going through to the end of the year with a FIP in Stratford the same week as a FIP in Mexico and I am a bit undecided as to which one I will compete in. I will also be looking to play in the Grade One in Padium in December as well, so it is definitely an exciting spell we are coming into.”
We wish Tia all the best in her quest.
If you would like to be coached by Miguel Mateu and his team under the Spanish sun this winter, click here: PLAY PADEL AT OLIVA NOVA