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Beach Tennis hits the Sunshine State

April 20, 2006 03:45 PM

New York, Newswire Reports—Beach Tennis USA, the organization that launched the sport of beach tennis in North America last year, will bring its 2006 National Tour to Florida for two weekend-long events this May.

Delray Beach will host the first Florida beach tennis tournament, May 6-7, while Bradenton has been chosen as the site for Beach Tennis USA's May 13-14 event. Both Florida tournaments will feature high-caliber play by local tennis pros as well as top-ranked players from last season's tour. There also will be a "Fun Division" for those who are more interested in learning a new sport while enjoying a fun day at the beach. There is no fee to play.

Beach tennis is played on a regulation beach volleyball court. Using regulation tennis rackets, two players on each team try to hit a tennis ball back and forth, directly over the net, without letting it hit the sand. Only one hit per team is allowed on each volley and scoring is the same as in tennis: 15 - 30 - 40, with no-ad at deuce. If a player's serve hits the net and goes over, it counts -- just as in beach volleyball.

At all Beach Tennis USA events, rackets and balls are provided courtesy of Head and Penn, respectively.

Last year, Beach Tennis USA held tournaments and "learn and play" events in cities along the East Coast. Through an aggressive grass-roots campaign, the company introduced beach tennis to people of all ages and skill levels as over 25,000 Americans played the sport between last May and September. And the U.S. Beach Tennis Open Championship held last Labor Day weekend in Long Beach, N.Y., featured players from Virginia, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Aruba and Holland as well as New York City.

The founders of Beach Tennis USA are Marc Altheim, a New York City real estate developer, and his uncle, Fredric Finkelstein, a New York marketing and advertising executive, and Sjoerd de Vries, of Aruba. They started the company with the ultimate goal of making beach tennis a mainstream American sport.

"Beach tennis is such a natural fit for Florida's beaches," said Marc Altheim. "Tennis players have totally embraced this as a new competitive sport. Once they try this game, they're hooked."

After the Florida events, Beach Tennis USA will head up the East Coast in a series of tournaments that will conclude with the second annual U.S. Beach Tennis Open Championship in Long Beach, New York in August. In addition to pro level competition, events in each city along the tour will include teaching clinics for adults and children who want to learn how to play beach tennis. For the tournaments, Beach Tennis USA will draw its talent pool from 2005's top-ranked players as well as newly recruited pros in the cities that will host the tour events.

Players wishing to compete in either of Beach Tennis USA's Florida weekend tournaments can register online at http://www.beachtennisusa.net.






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