Norton makes history with debut win on World Padel Tour
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Tia Norton, 17, became the first British woman to compete in and win a World Padel Tour match at the Malaga Open in Spain this week.
Norton teamed up with Swedish partner Amanda Girdo to defeat Romanian and Spanish duo Raluca Sandu, and Noemi Aguilar 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 to make it through to the second round of pre-qualifiers.
Norton and Girdo then backed up their victory by securing a spot in the qualifiers with another win over Carlotta Casali Vannicelli and Raquel Segura Aguilar in a close three-set battle 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
Their journey came to an end at the hands of Spanish team, Nuria Rodríguez and Marina Guinart España, losing 6-2, 6-2, which rounded off a debut to remember for Norton.
The British No.1 first started playing padel in 2015 at the age of 12, having grown up as a keen tennis player from a very young age. She was invited to play at a club in Birmingham, which began a growing passion for the game that would see her rise to the top of the British game.
She was selected to compete for Great Britain at the U14 Junior World Championships in Mexico, where she was part of the team that reached the quarter-finals.
At just 12-years-old, Norton was then also selected to be a part of the British women’s team, who she has represented six times over the last five years, including the European Padel Championships in Marbella in June.
It was here that she met doubles partner Girdo, with whom she has formed a strong partnership. After only a couple of weeks of training together, having joined up for practice in Sweden, they travelled to Malaga for their first World Padel Tour event together.
Commenting on their performance this week, Norton said: “This by far has been the highlight of my career so far, as to be able to be the first ever British woman to compete and win on the professional circuit, it’s something I could never even have imagined about when I first started playing.
“I’m so glad I got to share this experience with Amanda as it was also her first World Padel Tour, and I know this is only the beginning for us both!”