INTERVIEW LORENA RUFO AND MARTA TALAVÁN
Top 20 World Ranking World Padel Tour
We know what your name is, but what do your closest friends call you? And your track partner?
LORENA: My friends usually call me Lore or Rufo, and my partner has many funny names for me: compi, octopus, pegotito, etc.
MARTA: Many people know me by my last name, so they call me Talaván. Also, a while ago my coach started calling me Talavans and many people know me by this nickname too.
The truth is that Lore calls me a lot of friends, I don't have any nicknames, I think I have given her more nicknames than she has given me hahaha.
If you are not on the courts playing paddle tennis, where could we find you?
LORENA: I really like going to the countryside, for the landscape, the animals (they are my passion after paddle tennis), etc.
MARTA: Well for many years if I wasn't playing paddle tennis I was studying, I have a degree in Biochemistry and now in September I start studying a master's degree in clinical analysis.
Now that I have a lot more free time, I really enjoy going hiking with my family and my dogs. I like to go on routes and visit new places.
What moment would you highlight in your career in the world of paddle tennis?
LORENA: The moment that would stand out is the first time we made it to the quarterfinals, since we started that tournament beforehand and had to play even more games.
MARTA: I have had many good moments in terms of results, but I am left with the moments of enjoyment with my team and my family. In fact, now I think that Lore and I are in a very good moment of padel and enjoyment.
Are you more of a sea or mountain fan?
LORENA: I like the mountains much more than the sea, because I don't like the beach much either, I prefer the mountains for the landscape and the tranquility.
MARTA: I really like them both. As I told you before, I love hiking in the mountains with my family and dogs, but I also love going to the beach and sunbathing a lot.
Is there a special place you would like to play a game?
LORENA: I have always been very excited to play a game in Argentina.
MARTA: I really like playing in different places, both in Spain and abroad. I think that in tournaments the fans always receive us very well, but especially well when we go to new places, since they are very excited.
Any hobbies on the slopes?
LORENA: I have several, for example: when we lose a point, I change the ball to the next, between points I always touch the crystal and put on a pendant that I wear, etc.
MARTA: I am quite a neat freak in general. I like to have routines when serving or team dynamics. But perhaps the quintessential hobby is wearing your hair well tied up.
Chocolate or chips?
LORENA: I prefer chocolate, but only if it's white chocolate.
MARTA: French fries without a doubt.
Who is your favorite sports heroine? It's not worth naming your friend ;-)
LORENA: When playing on both sides of the court, I have one forehand and one backhand. The one on the right is Alejandra Salazar and the one on the back is Patty Llaguno.
Outside of paddle tennis, my heroine is Carolina Marín because she seems to me to be an example of improvement.
(If I could have chosen Marta, I would have chosen her without a doubt, since she has always helped me in everything and for me she is my example to follow).
MARTA: I look at many athletes, now that the Olympics have ended I have been able to learn many stories of women who have overcome difficult situations and still have not given up and have been able to win Olympic titles.
On the other hand, I am lucky to share my day-to-day training with Mapi Sanchez Alayeto, who is showing that all the difficulties that come his way fall short. Example of fighting.
A word that defines your relationship on the track. And out?
LORENA: The word I would choose is: trust. On the court we have the confidence to pull each other and get out of difficult situations, and off we have a very good friendship and enough trust to tell each other things, help each other with problems and when we are not together, we make video calls every day to talk a while.
MARTA: Well, I think it could be complicity. Both on and off the track we understand each other very well and we have grown a lot together. This complicity makes us have a great time and perform at a very high level.
Any funny anecdotes on the slopes?
LORENA: Last year, we were going to play the WPT Las Rozas and when we arrived at the club reception we told the girl our last name (Talaván-Rufo), and suddenly she started laughing to herself. Marta and I looked at each other strangely, and the girl said: I had named you OCTOPUS instead of RUFO. And Marta spent the entire tournament calling me that.
Hence the funny name in the previous question, when I told it to our friends, to say thank you they also started calling me that.
MARTA: We have had many funny moments on a track. It has sometimes happened to us that we have finished a game and not realized it hahahaha.
If it weren't paddle tennis, what other sport would it be?
LORENA: I always really liked tennis although I never got to practice it, but my passion before paddle tennis was football and athletics.
MARTA: From a very young age I practiced all kinds of sports, I was a very active girl. I'm sure I would practice any sport, but maybe horse riding, my parents passed on their passion for horses to me and I started riding horses from a very young age, but one day I had to choose and I chose paddle tennis.
If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
LORENA: The animal that I like the most and the one that would be, is the wolf. Especially because they always go in a pack and are strong and intelligent.
MARTA: What a difficult question!!! Maybe a horse or maybe a wolf. But a free and wild animal.
Any dream to fulfill?
LORENA: I imagine it's the same dream that almost everyone has: to become number 1.
Although I am already fulfilling my dream, being able to play World Padel Tour and competing against couples like Ale and Gemma, the twins, etc.
MARTA: Well, I think that on a sporting level, becoming number 1 or being among the best players in the world.
We live in a constant fight for equality between men and women in sports. Would you support a mixed tournament on the WPT? What do you think it takes to continue breaking down those barriers?
LORENA: I would love for there to be a mixed tournament, I think that both the public and the players would be very excited. I think we need the help of the spectators, because the more people support women's padel, the easier equality will be.
MARTA: I think it is super important to continue fighting for equality in sports, since there is still a long way to go.
I have doubts about a mixed competition, since today the way boys and girls play is very different, each with their own peculiarities, and I don't know if it would be as attractive.
For me, the most important thing is to continue giving visibility to women's sports, and to work on grassroots women's sports.
To someone who is starting out, what would you say?
LORENA: I would tell him to enjoy it, because it is the most important thing even on a professional level. It's something that gives you more confidence and helps you play better.
MARTA: Let your main objective when entering a court be to enjoy the sport since it has many positive values.
And we finish... a phrase that motivates/inspires you.
LORENA: " Union and strength." (We have this tattooed). "You have to live with the error."
MARTA: " While you reach your destination, enjoy the journey."
Interview Lorena Rufo (@ lorerufo_padel) and Martal Talaván (@martatalavan) , August 2021