LEAMINGTON’S Tia Norton has been drafted to play in the Pro Padel League (PPL) in the United States of America – the sport’s first professional league in North America.
The league comprises seven teams with squads made up of four male and four female players.
And 19-year-old Norton was a first choice pick for the Las Vegas Smash women’s team and was the only British athlete to be drafted.
Norton posted on social media: “Looks like Vegas just got a little more British!
“Extremely humbled and proud to have been selected for the Las Vegas Smash team in the upcoming Pro Padel League in Tampa.
“Let’s make this a memorable one!”
Norton won her first international title at the London Padel Open in August last year and has already won LTA British Padel Tour trophies in Harrogate and Derby this year.
She has represented Great Britain at the World Padel Championships and turned professional in 2021 and was the first British woman to win and compete on the professional circuit.
The current British number one is ranked 117th on the World Padel Tour as she attempts to break into the top-100 and is joined at Las Vegas by Aranzazu Gallardo, Mariana Talarico and Jen Buckley.
Smash’s men’s picks were Sergio Icardo Alconsa, Javier Lopez Garcia, Alfredo Desiati and Sebastian Castaneda.
And the other six teams to take part are Miami, Cancun, Toronto, San Diego, Arkansas and Los Angeles.
Teams of two men and two women will take to the court with four alternates and only two players from outside of the USA can be selected.
The inaugural Pro Padel League season takes place from May 13 to June 4 in Tampa, Florida with the semi-finals and final to be played from June 10 to 11.