A smash hit in the sand: Beach Tennis at Zayed Sports City
The PSS Beach Tennis series continues at Zayed Sports City (ZSC) this weekend and players can indulge in their next instalment of one of the fastest growing sports in the world.
Beach Tennis suits the climate of the UAE of course, and luckily, there are some great facilities here to host social games, but organisations like Professional Sports Services (PSS) are now teaming up with ZSC to offer competitive matches for those who want to take things more seriously.
After the first event in this season’s series in November, the second is on Friday, December 13. It will begin at 09:00 next to the tennis complex where ZSC have built four competition beach tennis courts.
The tournament is open to all levels of players – above the age of 10 – in the three doubles teams’ categories – men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles.
Competition will start with nonseeded teams playing a round-robin qualification and after the main draw there will be a knock-out and consolation knockout draw. The cost of entry is Dh75.
This is not the first time that ZSC and PSS have combined for such a competition. PSS tennis coach and tournament organiser Tiago Neves says the sport is getting more and more popular, especially in countries like the UAE where games are part and parcel of a day at the beach.
"We are working to promote the game,” he says. “We can already see people improving their game and some serious teams coming to the fore. We already have a ranking system for the players set up and we update it regularly.
“The PSS Tour will continue over the next few months at Zayed Sports City with tournaments until June. Such is our involvement in the sport now that one of our main goals is to organise an international event (ITF Tour) here in Zayed Sports City.
“We have been getting very good feedback from all participants, and are seeing increased number of players at our events. At the last tournament, we had 30 men’s doubles teams – which is 60 players – and we had 15 mixed double’s teams.
“We are trying to promote the women’s doubles a bit more, but it’s difficult to get the numbers.”
That’s an incredible number of participants for a sport which you might say is not competitive, but it just goes to show how popular an activity can get when an element of competition is added.
“We supply the racquets for all players and no special gear is required. There will be lots of music to keep the players and spectators entertained,” says Neves.
The rules are pretty simple – the ball cannot bounce. The court dimensions are 16x8 metres and the net is 1.7 metres high. The hitting instrument is a ‘beach tennis paddle’.
Only one touch is allowed and the scoring system is the same as in tennis. So why not grab a partner and head down to Zayed Sports City on Friday and see if you have the skills for this exciting game. We promise it will be great fun.
Email [email protected] before Thursday, December 12, to register.
What: Beach Tennis Tournament
When: Friday, December 13. Starts at 09:00
Where: Zayed Sports City – next to the tennis complex
Contact: [email protected] com, or call 055 281 7842