All Hail the Queens: A look back at the Salazar-Triay era

All Hail the Queens: A look back at the Salazar-Triay era

We analyze Alejandra Salazar and Gemma Triay, one of the winningest and most dominant couples in World Padel Tour history.

02-08-2023

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Salazar and Triay have won 23 titles together in the last two-and-a-half seasons, and are the two-time reigning number ones in World Padel Tour.

Their attacking, ruthless brand of padel has seen them dominate the women's Tour in a historic way, winning almost two-thirds of the finals they participated in, a historically high win rate.

As they have elevated themselves to household names in the world of padel, we put the data behind the Salazar-Triay era into context, while also looking at some of the rivalries they have had to overcome. 

The numbers behind the greatness

Despite having only joined forces in 2021, Salazar and Triay have conquered 23 titles together, the second-most for any women's couple behind only Mapi and Majo Sanchez Alayeto, who have 32.

A big reason for this number is the Spaniards' efficiency in finals. They have won 23 of the 35 finals they have been in, an astonishingly high win rate of 65,7%, and the highest of any women's duo with at least ten finals made.

Salazar and Triay won an eye-watering 12 titles in the 2022 season, smashing the women's record (Mapi and Majo's nine titles in 2017) and tying the outright record for most titles won in a season, set by Pablo Lima and Fernando Belasteguin in 2016.

A record they did take from Lima and 'Bela' is for most consecutive finals reached. Between the Santander Open 2022 and the Cupra Danish Padel Open 2023, 'Ale y Gemma' made 14 consecutive finals, beating the record by two.

Speaking of streaks - on multiple occasions, Salazar and Triay have won over 20 consecutive matches. Both streaks ended at 23, coincidentally. To put this in context, four-time number ones Mapi and Majo Sanchez Alayeto are the only other women's couple to have reeled off multiple 20-match winning streaks.

The rivalries and challengers

Delfi Brea and Tamara Icardo not only were the absolute surprise package of the 2021 season, but looked like legitimate challengers for number one status for large parts of the season. 

They beat Salazar and Triay in back-to-back meetings in Santander and Valencia and won both titles, earning themselves the status of Ale and Gemma's bogey team, but just lacked the consistency week in, week out to mount a proper title challenge.

Then, there is the rivalry with Josemaria and Sanchez. Salazar knows the latter player all too well, having played with her through all of 2019 and 2020 and winning eight titles.

Salazar-Triay and Josemaria-Sanchez was a fierce but one-sided rivalry in 2021, but it took a left turn in 2022. Like a boxing match, momentum swung back and forth between the two sides. Every winning streak Salazar and Triay went on would be cancelled out by a Josemaria-Sanchez streak, and vice versa.

'Ari y Paula' officially took the number-one spot after winning the Madrid Master, but failed to win another title thereon out. Salazar and Triay, on the other hand, found an incredible vein of form when they looked out of it. They won four titles in a row heading into the Master Final, and for the first time in World Padel Tour history, the number ones of the year would be determined in the final match of the season. 

While Josemaria and Sanchez are dominating the 2023 season in the recent absence of Salazar, the final of the 2022 Estrella Damm Master Final will go down as one of the most emotional and epic matches the sport has ever seen. 

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