2008 saw the launch of the ITF Beach Tennis Tour, a new circuit of international events of the sport's fastest-growing offshoot.
The calendar consists of National Association sanctioned and/or organised tournaments worldwide, which offer international ranking points to participants. Players are be ranked individually based on their results in doubles events only.
Beach tennis merges the worlds of tennis and beach volleyball into one sport. The sport is predominantly played as doubles on a court similar to beach volleyball, with players using paddle bats and a slightly depressurised tennis ball, which is not allowed to bounce during play. Regular tennis scoring is used, with no-advantage at deuce, no second serve and no let.
Tennis Europe's involvement with the ITF Beach Tennis Tour comes mainly in the form of the annual celebration of the European Beach Tennis Championships. First played in 2007 as a team event, the competition has grown exponentially each year and the most recent Championships in Bulgaria were attended by over 100 players from 19 European countries.
Rules of Beach Tennis and Rules of the Beach Tennis Tour, together with application forms to stage ITF-approved Beach Tennis tournaments can all be found at the ITF's beach tennis weblet: www.itftennis.com/beachtennis
2014 European Beach Tennis Championships
A record-equalling 21 nations have so far confirmed their entries for the seventh European Beach Tennis Championships, which will return to Great Britain when they are held in Brighton on the south coast of England from 8-10 August.
Around 140 players are expected to take part in the event, which consists of men’s, women’s and mixed doubles competitions.
The national entry list is led by Italy, whose teams have dominated the past editions of the tournament, winning the men's and women's gold medals at all previous events. The world's top four-ranked players contested last year's men's final, with Marco Garavini & Alessandro Calbucci adding the European title to their ITF World Beach Tennis Championships win a fortnight previously. Second seeds Flamina Daina & Michaela Zanaboti claimed the women's title, while Daina & Garavini also teamed to win the mixed doubles.
Czech Republic, Russia, Spain and San Marino are likely to field some of the strongest teams in the draw, while the host nation will have high hopes and is able to nominate one additional team in each competition.
Israel will compete at the Championships for the first time, whilst teams from Belarus and Turkey return to the event after a break.
The player nominations will be revealed after the nomination deadline on 1st July.
Circular | Fact Sheet | Nomination Form (Player nomination deadline: 1st July)
Results and photos from previous editions of the European Beach Tennis Championships can be found here.