“The decision surprised me but I have nothing to blame him for”

Alex Ruíz (27 years old, from Malaga) will not continue playing together with Franco Stupaczuk from Chaco. This was confirmed by both players on their social networks: despite being the number four couple on the World Padel Tour / Premier Padel professional circuit, the Spanish-Argentine duo will separate their paths. In dialogue with Olé, Ruíz explained that the decision was the other way around: “As much as I don’t agree with the decision, I have absolutely nothing to blame him for.”

The left-hander, who will continue to work with Jorge Cárdenas as his coach, affirmed that Stupa “was the best partner” he had: together they won two titles (Sardegna Open and Mexico Open) and made four finals. He even clarified that he does not rule out that his paths will come together again in the future and that he has not yet closed on his new partner.

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– In the general public this decision to separate caused a bit of surprise. To you?

I was surprised just like everyone else. I take it as an apprenticeship. I sincerely agreed to talk to you to clear up some doubts about this situation but I don’t want to leave Franco (Stupaczuk) in a bad light. I think we have created a very nice bond and union throughout the past season and I decide to declare because I don’t want all that to be ‘dirty’. I am seeing in some comments on social networks that people became very fond of the Stupa-Ruíz couple and that now they do not understand the reasons, so I would not like everything that we built in this time with Franco to be tarnished.

– What were the reasons?

Without going into details, what I can tell you was a very simple conversation between two folksy people, it lasted a few minutes and it was enough. As much as I disagree with the decision, I have absolutely nothing to blame Franco for. Absolute respect. Accepting is also part of good education.

What I do want to make clear is that the chemistry and the relationship remained the same. It is true that after a year there was already a little more confidence and it may be that at some critical moment the good harmony that was seen last year was not reflected 100%. But for my part, it was still the same Alex Ruíz who was excited about the project we had. We were a couple four and we had been defending it against our greatest rivals who are Chingotto – Tello. So I was surprised, but it’s time to move on and I wish Franco all the best: there’s no rancor left.

And on the other hand, I value my work team and my sponsors who support me in situations like these. For me it is essential to feel accompanied to make decisions: Adidas, Adeslas, Philips and Kolln have always been at the foot of the canyon and row in the same direction as me.

– During the December-January break, had you considered the possibility of separating?

No. As I told you, it took me by surprise. We came from making three semifinals in a row and displaying a good game. In my opinion we were better than last year but not achieving the results: I felt that we had been enlarging the muscle of the couple, that we meshed well. But I am only one part of the couple. And it is true that it is a difficult time to start a new project but right now it is time to look forward. It is not the end of the world and these situations are part of the sport.

– How would you define your cycle with Stupaczuk? Was it, by results and performance, your best partner?

Yes, without a doubt he has been the best companion. The key to success was unity: it helped us to get a plus in the games that we had uphill and end up winning. I will fondly remember the year we lived in where we went from #7 to #4, even winning two tournaments. I am left with a very pleasant memory where we both left our souls on the track to bring out our best versions.

– Could there be, then, a Stupa-Alex version 2.0?

Logically yes. Life is a handkerchief: I don’t close the door to anyone and Franco, as he has put in his publication, doesn’t either. The paddle, luckily or unfortunately, moves a lot. And who knows the future…

– Have you already picked up the phone to find a new partner?

Right now I am enjoying a few days in Malaga after three weeks of travel, competition and tension. Logically, with my team, we are already thinking about my future. But it was all very fast…

– For your points and your level you could well get a good partner. What kind of player would you like to have on the backhand?

More than characteristics of a player, I value and prioritize unity in the team. It is what we had built with Franco (Stupaczuk) and it gave us good results. I need someone to be together with in the good times but also in the bad: I want a partner to work side by side and not go around throwing things in the face. That is what I will try to look for: for a couple to flow and have achievements, the most important thing is the ‘good vibes’ in daily work.