From grass courts to hard courts to beach courts?! It may sound a little crazy to you (and to us), but Beach Tennis is alive and swinging. So much that the ITF just held the first-ever World Championships this past May in Rome.
The game is markedly different from the one you and I know, but has grown in popularity in the recent past and is anchored with enthusiasm in Italy. Played with smaller rackets that are more alike to paddles used for table tennis, beach tennis is played over an elevated net – think volleyball, badminton – and no bounces are allowed.
So much for Hawkeye, right?
The sport draws similarities with beach volleyball when it comes to its lively, party culture. The IFBT (International Federation of Beach Tennis), which operates separately from the ITF-run tour, is holding its World Championships this week in Marina di Ravenna, Italy.
And while we doubt any cross-over stars will emerge in the near future, the sport has spread to the States and even Japan. Now let’s see if the whole barefoot thing ever catches on at Wimbledon…
(screengrab via itf tennis web site)