Interview with Maxime Deloyer ahead of the Lotto Brussels Premier Padel

With the Lotto Brussels Premier Padel tournament just around the corner, we were thrilled to sit down and chat with one of Belgium’s brightest Padel players, Maxime Deloyer. At only 20 years old and playing alongside Clément Geens, the youngster is more than ready to impress and be the wildcard that’s going to hopefully make history.

Hello Max, thank you again for having us today. Let’s start with a general question: who is Maxime Deloyer, and what has he done to get where he is today?

So my name is Maxime Deloyer, I’m 20 years old, and I started playing tennis at the age of 5 and continued until I was 12. I played quite a few competitions at a good level, but by the time I was 12 I’d had enough of tennis, so I started playing Padel at the same time. When I was about 13, I realised that I lost the love for tennis, so I decided to devote myself 100% to Padel. Well, I have to admit that at the time, there were only one or two clubs, and it wasn’t very well known, so it was a gamble for me to give up the tennis, especially as I was playing at a good level. But in the end, it paid off and with the evolution of the Padel scene now, there are clubs everywhere. So, looking back, I’m glad I took that risk.

As you say, Padel is going through an explosion at the moment, but I imagine it wasn’t easy to find a club at first. Has La Casa de Padel Genval always been your club?

So La Casa has been open for 5 or 6 years now, and I’ve been playing for 8 or 9 years. Initially, I started out at Panorama in Overijse and in Evere, but once the indoor club here opened, my father and I were the first members. We hit it off straight away with Patrick, the owner of the club, who is now my sponsor and a great friend. So this is my second home , I feel great here and I know everyone, so it’s nice.

With the BPP just around the corner, I imagine you’re really into your training. What’s a typical day like for Maxime Deloyer in the run-up to such a big tournament?

So, for example, tomorrow afternoon I’m going to train with my partner Clément Geens, and tomorrow morning I’m going to do a bit of physical training. I’m trying to do one physical session a day and one padel session so that I’m in good shape for the 23rd or 24th of April. But you can’t overdo it either, because obviously there’s no point in overdoing it and risking injury. And it’s not in one week that you’re going to improve a lot of things, it’s just important to be in shape and to be fit.

Great, and we’ve also seen, and congratulations again, you’ve been a Cupra ambassador for 1 year. So, tell us about this choice of yours.

So yes, it’s the first car brand to get involved in Padel and to believe in players. As soon as they approached me, I was immediately excited, especially as they are truly beautiful, classy cars. Once they’d explained to me that they wanted to help a young player like me achieve his goals, we understood each other straight away, and we were heading in the same direction. So now I have a 3-year contract, and I’m delighted to be working with them.

As mentioned, your partner for the final round of the BPP as a wildcard is Clément Geens, a little older than you. What’s your relationship like?

We have a relationship as if there were no age difference. Of course, on certain points I benefit from his experience, but I’m 20, and quite mature for my age. I’m not really the ‘little baby’ on the pitch. We’re both consistent and stable. And above all, we share the same philosophy: we push each other, and we’re very calm on the pitch. Our style of play is also very similar, very aggressive. So it’s a good match between us.

Exactly what Belgian fans can’t wait to see

Yes, like last year, hopefully.

I was just about to talk about last year. What was your experience of playing at this venue?

Yes, there were maybe 5,000 people there. I enjoy playing in front of a crowd, I always play better. So, yes, of course, I loved it. That’s one of the advantages of this job. It’s so hard, but when you find yourself playing in front of a Belgian crowd, you’re sort of the local star. So you meet lots of people, people recognise you, congratulate you on what you’re doing. Because when you go abroad, you feel like just another stranger with a rucksack. So, yes, in Belgium, it’s motivating to have a crowd.

And with this wildcard status, which has been made official for a few weeks now, you are playing in the final round. So what are your ambitions?

Ideally, we’d like to win a match, but we’d need a bit of luck in the draw. If we can come up against players ranked 50/60 in the world or qualifiers, that would be perfect. But last year, we came up against Coello/Tapia, and obviously it’s complicated against the top players, so I hope not this year, otherwise it’ll be cut short again. But either way we’re going to make the most of every moment and if we’re lucky, why not play again on Thursday.

As you know already, Tuesday and Wednesday are our famous Lotto Belgian Days. Do you have a message for the fans? How badly do you need them?

Yes, of course, we’re not often in Belgium in front of so many people, so when you hear people shouting, it’s really great. Then, taking photos with them, seeing them dressed in Belgium colours, obviously puts a bit of pressure on the opposition. So yes, the fans give us even more desire to win and play well. We are inviting you all to come down and support us, as you do make the difference.

Thank you for hosting us today at the Casa de Padel in Genval. I hope the whole of Belgium will get behind you during the Lotto Belgian Days.

Thank you very much and see you soon.

Having the opportunity to chat with Max before this tournament was truly enjoyable. It’s great to get to know our young players pushing Belgian Padel forward. Hopefully, we will all witness Max and Clément make history this year.