Jaume Martinez, from Majorcan in the elite US Buckleball

Jaume Martínez Vich left his job in Hawaii to devote himself entirely to his new passion: “My goal is to be the first”

to Jaume Martinez Fitch (Palma, 1993) Ten years ago, at the age of 19, he won a full scholarship to play tennis at Hawaii Pacific University. “My goal was to play tennis professionally, but at that age I no longer enjoyed tennis the way I did at 16. Going to Hawaii to study and play at the college level made more sense in my situation.” Today he has been living in Hawaii for a decade. “For my first three and a half years, I took an international business degree and then a master’s degree in business and marketing.”

When he finished his studies, he decided to join the business world and search for a small life. “I’ve never wanted to work for other people, I’d like them to work better for me.” The next five years of his life were an adventure of ups and downs. Jaume Martínez Vich became part of four companies. One for shoes, a Thai restaurant, car rentals, and a tennis program. “During COVID the world of business changed a lot. These worked thanks to tourism in Hawaii and disappeared due to all the restrictions. Eventually I decided to stop being a part of everyone but the one who was totally called Aloha Tennis Managementwhere tennis, pickleball and physical preparation lessons are offered.”

A few months ago, Jaume began to see that pickle ball I was running around and seeing how a few guys were making more than $300,000 a year. “I am in good shape physically and the rackets have always been very good to me. I thought I had a lot more talent than the people who were making a living doing it and I could do that too. Having a business is very cool, but I decided to completely immerse myself in this world, ”he says. At first he didn’t tell anyone, not even his family. «They’d be crazy if I told them I’d drop everything to play shovels.. But anyone who knows me a little bit knows I love to gamble with these things. It’s a pleasure to have no idea where I’m going. I’ve been improvising for 10 years and I’m not going to stop now.

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In just four months, Jaume managed to qualify for the biggest tournaments. “I won matches against top 10 players and now I’m in the top 30 in the world in singles and I started playing doubles and mixed. My goal is to be No. 1. In the first major tournament of the season, sixth was coming from the earlier stages.” The prize money is good, But the money comes more from the brands sponsoring you.” Austin and Utah are his next dates on the calendar.

The rise of this sport is exponential. “Contests are televised and brands are willing to pay a lot of money to play with their logos. I travel every two weeks around the United States and in the summer I plan some exhibitions in Asia and Europe.” Jaume shows himself quite a bit They question the landing of this sport in Europe. “Tennis is more fun. In the United States it is not played much at the moment which is why pickleball is so popular. I can’t say how these two sports will be combined in the future. Maybe they’ll end up putting glass in the bullpen. At this point I really expect anything.”

Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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