Ever Wondered Where Beach Tennis Came From?
Beach Tennis emerged in Italy in the early 70’s when tennis players on vacation in the coastal town of Ravenna decided to try out tennis with tennis rackets using the existing volleyball nets already installed.
Over the years, the sport spread to the beaches along the coast of Italy and it is estimated that today there are more than 1,600 beach tennis nets along the coast of Italy, and that number does not include the constantly growing number of inland and indoor courts. An estimated 250,000 Italian beach tennis players have made the sport so popular that the infrastructure for tournaments has taken on incredible proportions, check out some of these exotic destinations where beach tennis courts are being set up.
Beach Tennis only started spreading around the world in the early 2000’s but it has quickly gained popularity in coastal areas all around the world. It has been registered that Beach Tennis is being played in over 53 countries all around the world.
Beach tennis arrived in Brazil on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro around 2008, and the sport has now dominated about 1/3 of the beach volleyball courts along the coast.
As Brazilians from all over the country came to Rio on vacation they fell in love with the sport and have taken it back to their inland home towns, spreading Beach Tennis to the far corners of the country away from the coast.
*Today, most of the tennis clubs around the country (Brazil) have converted or are *converting at least one traditional tennis court into a *few beach tennis courts.
This is a worldwide trend. Originally played on the beach, geographical distance from the coast, whether restrictions and lighting restrictions on the beach for night play have now taken Beach tennis to tennis clubs, indoor beach tennis/volleyball warehouses, to tennis Clubs, Country Clubs, Resorts, gyms, up in the mountains and sand arenas mounted in all kinds of places.
Inland Beach Tennis Club in Sao Paulo, Brazil – set up by our friends at Ravenna Beach Tennis
The sport is entering its golden age, thanks to the recognition granted to it by the International Tennis Federation, or ITF, in 2010.
The ITF now manages the most well-known International ranking for beach tennis.
ITF is allocating resources to the development of BT, by setting up exposition sand courts at Pro Tour tournaments in the stadium areas
Ex World No 1 Maria Sharapova has been playing tennis in Hermosa Beach in 2016
World No 1 Serena Williams and No 2 Victoria Azarenka out on the sand courts
Wimbledon Champ 2013, Olympic & US OPEN Champion 2012 Andy Murray playing Beach Tennis in Australia, he was quoted saying “Beach tennis is cool and has a great Future, it is just a matter of time.”
World #1 Doubles players the Bryan Brothers played an exhibition match in Thailand in 2016
Rafael Nadal was spotted playing on vacation in Mallorca
Gustavo Kuerten has his personalized line of rackets
The ITF also supports Beach Tennis by sanctioning tournaments
*In 2015: 89 official sanctioned beach tennis tournaments were held in locations all around the world. These sanctioned tournaments bring together players from all corners of the earth looking to earn points for their world ranking.
In addition to the sanctioned tournaments, thousands of non-associated tournaments are held all around the world each year, and this number continues to grow.
Just in the Los Angeles area, 2 ITF sanctioned tournaments and 8 Amateur tournaments
In 2013 ITF started to organize Regional and World Championships
2015 Pan-American games held in Santos- Sao Paulo, Brazil
16 participating countries
2015 World Team Championship held in Moscow
28 participating countries, all with complete adult and junior teams, male and female teams
You can see from the list of participating countries how in many places now people are playing at a competitive professional level.
Check out our blog about our Euro trip 2017 to the Beach Tennis World Championship in Cervia-Italy! Click Here
Beach Tennis in the Media