Beach tennis, an exhilarating and entertaining sport, combines the best elements of beach volleyball and tennis. As its name implies, the sport is primarily played on sandy beaches, but it has also recently been gaining traction on inland courts. Its rapid growth has captivated the attention of numerous countries worldwide.
Originating in Italy, beach tennis has spread to various corners of the globe. The sport first appeared in the 1970s when a group of tennis enthusiasts vacationing in the coastal town of Ravenna decided to play tennis on existing beach courts. It was in the early 2000s that the sport began to gain momentum in other parts of the world.
Many countries are establishing local structures to manage the sport professionally. What began as a leisurely activity has evolved into a highly competitive sport, thanks to local and international organizations' efforts to champion its growth. As a result, beach tennis is currently experiencing its golden age.
Read on to discover which countries have wholeheartedly embraced beach tennis.
1. Italy - The Birthplace of Beach Tennis
It all started in Italy! As the epicenter of beach tennis, Italy boasts over 1,700 beach tennis nets and a growing number of indoor and inland courts.
The country has been hosting and dominating international beach tennis tournaments, such as the European Beach Tennis Championships and the Beach Tennis World Championships, since the sport's inception.
With a quarter-million Italian beach tennis players, it's no wonder the sport has become such a sensation!
2. Spain - A Mediterranean Love for Beach Tennis
Spain, particularly Barcelona, has embraced beach tennis with open arms. The country is home to numerous professional beach tennis players and regularly hosts ITF Beach Tennis Tour events.
With clubs like Beach Tennis Montgat and Barcelona Beach Tennis, Spain has become a hub for beach tennis enthusiasts.
Monthly open tournaments attract players of all skill levels, making the sport an accessible and exciting option for everyone.
3. Australia - Down Under's Growing Beach Tennis Scene
Since its introduction in 2004, beach tennis has taken Australia by storm. Beach Tennis Australia has played a crucial role in the sport's growth, with support from the government, local businesses, and tennis clubs.
Australia now boasts some elite players and hosts the International Beach Tennis Championships in Melbourne, solidifying its place as a significant player in the beach tennis world.
4. United States - A New Sport Takes the Coast
Beach tennis made its way to the US in 2005, and by 2007, Beach Tennis USA (BT USA) had already organized several tournaments across the country.
The sport is rapidly growing in popularity, thanks to interest from sponsors and media.
Beach tennis hotspots include Southern California, New York, and Florida, where people of all ages enjoy this fun and challenging sport.
5. South Africa - The "Fun Tennis" of the Future
Tennis South Africa (TSA) dubbed beach tennis the "fun tennis" of the future, and it's easy to see why.
This exciting sport has become the newest craze in South Africa, with full support and promotion from TSA.
As the country develops talented players, beach tennis is becoming increasingly popular along South Africa's picturesque coastal beaches.
6. France - Vive la Beach Tennis
French players have made significant strides in international beach tennis competitions since the sport's introduction in the early 2000s.
With many professional players, beach tennis has become increasingly popular along the French coast.
The sport's success in France is a testament to its players' and supporters' dedication and passion.
7. Russia - A Summer Sensation
Moscow has hosted several international Tennis Federation events, and the sport has become a popular summertime activity for Russians.
The Russian Tennis Federation actively promotes the development of beach tennis, and several former tennis players have found success in the sport.
Russia's commitment to beach tennis is evident in its high ranking in the ITF beach tennis World Ranking, coming in only after Brazil and Italy.
8. Brazil - A Tropical Beach Tennis Paradise
Brazil has enthusiastically embraced beach tennis, and it's not hard to see why. The country's beautiful beaches and tropical climate provide the perfect setting for this exhilarating sport.
Brazilian tennis clubs are converting traditional tennis courts into beach tennis courts, and the sport is rapidly growing in popularity among both competitive and casual players.
Brazil's dedication to beach tennis has led to a steady rise in professional players and a high ranking in the ITF Beach Tennis World Ranking.
9. The Netherlands - Embracing Beach Tennis in the Lowlands
Despite its relatively cooler climate, the Netherlands has quickly adopted beach tennis as a favorite pastime. The country has a strong beach tennis community, with numerous clubs and facilities available for players of all levels.
The weather does not deter Dutch beach tennis enthusiasts, as they play outdoors and on indoor courts year-round.
The Netherlands has also made its mark on the international beach tennis scene by hosting ITF Beach Tennis Tour events and sending talented players to compete in the world championships.
10. Japan - A Rising Star in Beach Tennis
Japan may not be the first country that comes to mind when you think of beach tennis, but the sport has been gaining traction in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Japan's beach tennis community is steadily growing, with clubs and facilities popping up nationwide. The sport has also caught the attention of the Japanese media, which has helped to increase awareness and interest in beach tennis.
As more and more people in Japan discover the excitement of this dynamic sport, its popularity will likely continue to rise.
Beach tennis is rapidly gaining popularity globally, with countries like Italy, Spain, Australia, the United States, South Africa, France, Russia, Brazil, the Netherlands, and Japan embracing the sport wholeheartedly.
As more people discover the fun and excitement of beach tennis, we can expect to see even more countries joining the ranks of beach tennis enthusiasts.
Whether you're a seasoned tennis player or a beach lover looking for a new way to enjoy the sun and sand, beach tennis offers everyone an engaging and challenging experience.
So why grab your beach tennis rackets, a tennis ball, and some friends, and try this exciting sport? Who knows, your country will become the next beach tennis hotspot!