Although it’s called beach tennis, it is more similar to volleyball than it is to actual tennis. This sport combines parts of tennis, volleyball, as well as, badminton. Just like beach volleyball, beach tennis is played across a net, but with a low-compression tennis ball and rackets. Even though the game is in a similar fashion to volleyball, it has a fast pace like tennis.
This fun sport is played, mainly, by people seeking to enjoy themselves on the beach. You do not need special skills to participate in this beach activity. Even individuals who have never played a racquet sport can quickly learn the rules and enjoy the game.
So if you’re considering taking on this sport next summer, or just want to learn more about it to make up your mind, we suggest you continue reading.
Next, we’ll provide you with a detailed facts list that will help you understand more about this up-and-coming sport.
These are 25 interesting facts about beach tennis.
1. It was started by tennis players.
In the early ’70s, beach tennis had its beginnings, when a group of tennis players, in an Italian coastal town, tried to play tennis using regular racquets and beach volleyball nets.
2. It was first played on beach volleyball nets.
In the early beginnings, beach tennis was played with a beach volleyball net; however, it was later lowered to make the game more appealing and faster.
3. It’s played with a low-pressure tennis ball.
Beach tennis is played with low-pressure tennis balls – Stage 2 “Orange” balls to be precise. The balls are half yellow and half orange. In tennis, these balls are used by kids of around 7 to 10 years old.
4. The net is lower than a volleyball net but higher than a tennis net.
The official beach tennis net height is 5.6 feet (1.7 meters). A volleyball net varies between 7.34 feet and 7.97 feet, while a tennis net stands at a maximum height of 3.51 feet.
5. It’s exclusively an aerial sport.
Since this game is played on the beach, to be more precise on the sand, the ball cannot bounce. Players have to hit the ball in the air; if the ball touches the ground, then the point is over. Like volleyball, beach tennis is played 100 percent in the air.
6. It’s played on a beach volleyball court size.
Although the beach tennis net is lower than that of a beach volleyball, the court size is the same. For doubles, the court size is 52.5 ft by 26.26 ft (16m by 8m), while for singles, the size is 52.5 ft by 14.91 ft. Regardless of singles or doubles, the court length is always the same.
7. It has a similar scoring system to tennis.
Since beach tennis is mostly played at a recreational level, it’s not unusual that the rules and scores, sometimes, are made up by the players.
8. You only get one serve.
Unlike regular tennis, where you get two serves, on beach tennis, you only get one. If you mess up on the serve, you are out of luck, and you lose the point.
9. It’s played with no add scoring.
Unlike tennis where a game has to be won by a difference of two points, in beach tennis there is no advantage after 40- 40 (or deuce). So, whichever team wins the next point, after 40 – 40, wins the game.
10. A point is won when …
A point is won when the ball touches the ground inside your opponent’s court, your opponent hits the ball on the net, and/or hits the ball outside the court.
11. It’s mainly played on doubles format.
Whether it’s men, women, or mixed tournaments, almost all beach tennis tour events are played in a doubles format. Nonetheless, beach tennis can also be played as a singles game on a smaller court, especially at a recreational level.
12. It is easy to learn.
Beach tennis is quite easy to learn compared to many sports. You’ll, probably, pick it up quickly if you have previously played other racquet sports like tennis and badminton.
However, even if you have not participated in any racquet sports, you can still learn the game in a day or two, and start playing with friends.
13. Beach Tennis is an official world sport.
The game was recognized by the International Tennis Federation in 2009 and now is ranked among the fastest-growing sports in the world. Beach tennis is officially managed and controlled by the International Federation for Beach Tennis (IFBT)
14. Italy is known as the capital of Beach Tennis.
Besides having its origin in their country, Italians are in love with the game. There are more than a quarter-million Italians playing the sport, and approx. 1,700 beach tennis nets all over the country.
On top of that, the Italians have dominated most of the international competitions, and have one of the highest participation rates.
15. Tennis courts are being converted into Beach Tennis courts.
In Brazil, the game has become so popular that many tennis clubs around the country are converting regular tennis courts into beach tennis courts. Yes! With sand and everything! Beach tennis is now being played in all kinds of places away from the beach; this is a trend around the world!
16. Music is part of the game.
It’s common to play music while playing beach tennis, even during professional tournaments and events. Since it’s played on the beaches, especially during summertime, beach tennis is more like a big sports party where everyone is having a great time – from the spectators to the players.
17. Many former and current top Tennis Pros are joining the party.
Tennis Pros that have been photographed playing beach tennis are Serena Williams, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Victoria Azarenka, the Bryan Brother, among others.
18. Beach Tennis can be played on grass, hard floor, or even snow.
Although professional beach tennis is played only on sand, at a recreational level, this sport is quite adaptable; it can be played on many different surfaces like grass, snow, or hard floor.
However, if you’re playing on a hard surface, just make sure you think twice before you dive for that ball!
19. It’s beneficial for your physical and mental health.
Besides being a great physical activity to play during the summertime, beach tennis is a game that also contributes to your emotional, as well as, mental health. Several studies have shown that racquet sports, which tend to be very social, can help you live longer and happier.
20. The ITF Beach Tennis Tour was formed in 2008.
In 2008, the International Tennis Federation became responsible for the organization and growth of the Beach Tennis Tour worldwide. That year the tour only had 14 tournaments, which all were hosted in Europe.
21. The First World Championship was played in 2009.
22. There are five major tournaments.
Each year there are many Pro tour events; however, currently, the five most important ones are the World Championships, World Team Championship, the European Championships, the Pan American Championship, and the African Championships.
23. In 2014, a Brazilian became the first non-Italian men’s world No. 1.
On June 16, 2014, Vini Font, a Rio de Janeiro native, became the first non-Italian men’s player to reach the spot of world No. 1 on the ITF Beach Tennis Tour.
24. In 2015, a German became the first non-Italian women’s world No. 1.
Following Vini Font’s footsteps, on September 14, 2015, German Maraike Biglmaier became the first non-Italian player to achieve the world No. 1 ranking in the women’s division.
25. In 2018, the first non-italian men’s team won the European Championship.
On July 15, 2018, after 10 years of Italian dominance, a French Team won the European Championship. It was the first time that a non-Italian men’s team wins the event since its inception.
If you’re a beach lover and enjoy being outdoors, beach tennis is definitely a sport that you should try. It can be very fun and, at the same time, a great workout.
As beach tennis continues to grow and become more popular, we’ll, probably, need to update this list. However, for now, we hope this list helped you to learn more about this relatively new, but great, sport.