How high is Stupa's waist?
In the quarterfinals of the Areco Malmö Padel Open 1000, Franco Stupaczuk served a tiebreak set-point of a grueling set in his match with Martin Di Nenno against Momo González and Javi Garrido.
Momo immediately called for a video review of Stupa's serve, claiming that it was too high.
The height of the ball being served must be at or below the waist level at the moment of hitting it, and the player must have at least one foot in contact with the ground. (Federation International de Padel - FIP - Rulebook)
Obviously, with a shirt on, it is difficult for the server's opponents and the judges to see the height of the server's waist upon impact with the ball.
On the court
Stupa clarified, "if the serve is good, then we get the point right?"
"Correct", the court side judge replied.
After the players and crowd watched the replay several times, it was clear that the ball was above Stupa's waist. After a few minutes, however, the on court judge relayed the decision of the video reviewer: "the ball is good."
Momo, Javi, and the crowd were shocked.
Martin and Franco walked to their bench, clenching the victory of a very tough set.
Momo and Javi were unable to get their heads around the shock through the whole second set…Martin and Franco took the second set 6-0.
What do you think?
Should the rules be changed? Should the max serve height be an objective measurement, that is, not based on an individual player's height? Should Foxtenn be used? Why did the judge make such an obvious mistake? Is there favoritism in the World Padel Tour?
Theoretically, I could see padel max serve height being the net height plus ten centimeters, 1 meter, could be a good place to start.
Watch the replay on Twitter.
A padel serve can be at or below the server's waist, which is defined as the imaginary line ringing the player's belly button. Invisible to the judges, the perceived lack of valid observation has caused controversy in the professional padel curcuit.