A new and attractive sport has been gaining more and more popularity across the world. It is practiced on the beach, which guarantees fun. This is beach tennis and in June 20-24 the Bulgarian Black sea city of Burgas hosts the Beach Tennis World Championships.
Beach tennis originated in Italy and it is a fact that the best players in the sport come from this country. The rules are similar to those of the classic tennis but the game is played on a field for beach volleyball with a lower net. Teams of two use racquets to pass the ball over the net. The ball is softer than a regular tennis ball and must not be allowed to touch the ground. Passes in the teams are not allowed, which also contributes to the speed and attractiveness of the game.
Beach tennis was created some 20 years ago. 3 World Championships have taken place so far, as Italy was always the host. Recently the Bulgarian Tennis Federation received confirmation that the tournament would be played in Bulgaria for the first time and organised the event together with the Municipality of Burgas. The competition takes place at the central beach in the city.
It is a positive step for the Championships to move to a new venue in only their fourth year, reflecting the growth of the sport worldwide. Having successfully hosted last year’s European Beach Tennis Championships, the Bulgarian Tennis Federation is sure to stage an excellent event, following on from the high standards set by the Italian Tennis Federation,” ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said, as quoted by the web site of the federation.
At the previous 3 world championships Italian players won the titles. During the past year Alessandro Calbucci and Luca Meliconi won the title among the men, while Laura Olivieri and Simona Briganti became champions among the women. Despite Italian domination in the world of beach tennis, the battle for the title in Burgas will be fierce as a total of 18 countries take part in the tournament.
3 Bulgarian teams among the men and three teams among the women take part in the championships, as they won wild cards. These are the teams of Lazarina Stefanova and Katina Simeonova, Katerina Genova – Vanya Georgieva; and Ralitsa Arsova – Diana Miteva. Wild card winners among the men became the teams of Petar Kirilov and Ivailo Bozhilov, Yanaki Yanakiev and Dimitar Simeonov, as well as the team of Mario Iliev and Stanislav Tabov. Bulgarian player Rossen Nenchev will also take part in the tournament together with an Italian partner. The team of Ralina Bozhilova and Hristina Dyankova competes, too.
The Beach Tennis World Championships is the most prestigious tournament in this sport. A total of 150 competitors from all over the world are expected to arrive to Bulgaria for the hottest sport event in Burgas this summer.