El jugador de pádel Tomoaki Murasawa ha contado con el privilegio de ser el primer jugador japonés en entrenarse en el Centro de Alto Rendimiento (CAR) de Starvie en Reebok Sports Club La Finca, en Madrid. Tomoaki ha podido prepararse para un gran torneo que tiene por delante el marzo, y desde MundiPadel no hemos querido dejar pasar la oportunidad de entrevistarle para que nos cuente su experiencia en España. A continuación os dejamos la entrevista en exclusiva (en inglés). ¡No te la pierdas!
- ¿Cómo nació la pasión de Tomoaki Murasawa por el pádel? How did your passion for padel start?
I have discovered padel in Mid 2016 on a Facebook post and first played at July 2016 with some friends from tennis. After that I have found out that the Japan Padel Association (JPA) is starting official tournaments (JPT) and a ranking system in Japan from 2017. My partner Eiichiro Okuyama and I decided to aim for the top in padel and have started to train from Jan 2017. The starting of the JPT was the motivation for us.
- El pádel sigue creciendo en todas las partes del mundo, ¿es Japón uno de los países emergentes donde el pádel sigue aumentando los seguidores? Padel keeps growing worldwide according to statistics. Is Japan one of those rising countries where the number of padel players keep increasing?
Padel has been in Japan from 2013, so it is approx. 7yrs from its start.
The sport is growing rapidly and is said that there are approx. 15,000 people who play padel in Japan. On the Japan Padel Tour (JPT), there are approx. 200 male players and 100 female player on the JPT ranking system.
Within Japan, there are 12 clubs (+ 1 private company owning its own court) and 23 courts(4 covered courts). Around Tokyo/Greater Tokyo there are 4 clubs and 11 courts in total (3 covered courts). We hope and we are confident that this growth will continue and will have a boosting year in the coming several years since this sport fits the Japanese culture very well. In tennis Japanese love to play doubles and enjoy the social side of its game. Additionally, we only have a very limited space of land in Japan. Padel is only played in doubles and could also save space compared to tennis courts. That being said, it is logical to think that padel would suite this country very well and has a good potential for a continuous growth.
- Fuiste número 1 en el año 2017, ¿qué se siente al estar a la cabeza del pádel japonés? You were number 1 in the Japanese ranking in 2017, how did you feel being on the top of the classification?
To be fair, I was only #1 for a short period of time. However, as a pair, we were the 1st seed in the All Japan Tournament, meaning we were the #1 ranked pair. I was honoured to be in that position but at the same time, I was not satisfied because I knew that there was too much things that I have to improve in my game. Comparing the level in Japan with the WPT, we knew that we were nothing and even in Japan, we could not defeat the pair of Asier/Shoyama. Therefore, we were always thinking of improvement even though we were at the top tier in Japan.
- Ahora ocupas la décima posición, ¿volverás a luchar para alcanzar los primeros puestos del ranking? Now you are in the 10th position, do you think you’ll be fighting for the first positions again?
Getting back to #1 and also winning the All Japan Tournament title is a short/mid term goal for me. I think I am still in a position to reach that goal.
- StarVie sigue apostando por la internacionalización de la marca, ¿qué se siente al forma parte del equipo StarVie? StarVie keeps investing in business internationalisation, how do you feel of being part of Team StarVie?
It is simply amazing to be a part of this great brand. I am very pleased and happy to be a part of Team StarVie since I think that this brand does not only focus on the results, but it also focuses on the process of getting there. This creates a very good atmosphere and a strong team with a great relationship, something that I would say like a “Family”. It is exciting to have families all around the world!
- Tu equipo (StarVie) está plagado de estrellas del pádel de élite, ¿con qué jugador/a te gustaría compartir pista alguna vez? Your team (StarVie) is ful of padel superstars, who would you like to play with?
For me, playing with Mati Diaz would be an honour. I think I could learn a lot from him as a same drive position player. Also, I would like to play with Bea Gonzalez, Momo Gonzalez, Cokinieto, Javi Garrido and all other players training at CAR SV since I was able to meet them and have shared some time with them off court and at the gym, but wasn’t able to play with them on court.
- ¿Qué se siente al ser el primer jugador StarVie japones en entrenarse en el CAR StarVie? How did you feel being the first Japanese StarVie player to train at CAR StarVie?
I felt very honoured and pleased. I am currently not the best player in Japan, but also not the worst, so I think I was able to share what the level of padel is like in Japan to the members/coaches at CAR SV. I think I was able to bring a lot of new information back to Japan with my short stay in CAR SV, so would like to share it with the community.
- ¿Cuánto tiempo pasarás en España durante tu entrenamiento en el CAR StarVie? How long will you be training at CAR StarVie?
I have been able to train for 5 days. Very short!! Would like to train there for a month if I could take my days off from my normal work.
- Vienes a prepararte para un gran torneo que se celebra en Japón en marzo, ¿qué puedes contarnos sobre ello? You came because you want to get ready to play the most important tournament in Japan which is going to be hold on March. What could you explain about this tournament?
The All Japan Tournament, which is called “Zennihon” in Japan, is a tournament that only top players could compete and is the most important tournament within the Japan Padel Tour. It is like “Wimbledon” for us. For Men only the top 24 pair and for Women only the top 16 pair could participate. As a Japanese, winning the Zennihon is an honour and a must achieve goal. It would enable you to say that you are #1 in Japan and therefore, everyone works very hard especially before the tournament for the title.
- 10. ¿Te has planteado la posibilidad de competir en alguna ocasión en el circuito profesional World Padel Tour? Have you ever thought to play in the World Padel Tour?
I would love to play on the WPT but currently, I would have to improve a lot more on my basic technique, quality, accuracy, strategy and others. If there are more WPT tournaments close to the Asia Pacific area, I would like to compete in those tournaments. However, as I am usually working 5 days a day in my office, I could only think of competing at the WPT after I improve my game much more. It might be when I am 40 years old, but if I think I am ready, I would like to do so!
- ¿Qué metas te gustaría alcanzar como jugador de pádel? What are your goals as a padel player?
My short to mid term goal is to get back to #1 in Japan and winning the All Japan Tournament, and also to compete and win at the World Championships. As a final goal, I would like to make more people happy and spread joy through this sport, padel.