For those of you who attended the Australian Open this year, you may have seen the beach tennis exhibition court and demonstration events that were held.
Starting on Friday, the first ITF beach tennis tournament will take place in Australia with a combined 32 competitors contesting the men’s and women’s draws at BT10 Perth on City Beach.
Western Australia had already become the nation's first state to be affiliated with Tennis Australia in respect of beach tennis, with the BT10 event in its capital city Perth a significant step in the sport’s development.
Following on from the Australian Open exhibition, there is real appetite and desire within Tennis Australia to see the sport prosper in the coming years. The potential is there for Australia to become a sizeable beach tennis hub.
“Showcasing beach tennis throughout our most prominent and prestigious event generated significant awareness of the sport and we did see an uplift in interest,” Callum Beale, Tennis Australia’s Head of Game Development Partnerships, speaking to itftennis.com. “We now hope this translates to more year-round activity in Australia.
“We would like to see beach tennis more formally established in all major cities, with consideration given to hosting major events in this time. For this, however, there will be a need for more passionate and qualified operators developing clubs and programs.”
As Beale alludes, a considerable driving force behind the BT10 event in Perth, particularly in respect of operational and promotional support, is Tennis West. From their perspective, there is substantial scope to grow the sport.
“From seeing beach tennis in schools to competitions and leagues to ITF-level events, the opportunities are endless for the growth and development of beach tennis within Western Australia and across Australia.” Rob Kennedy, Head of Tennis – North at Tennis West, tells itftennis.com.