Photo: Stuart BarracloughThales Santos and Marcus Ferreira (BRA)
The ITF has announced that Brazil will host the second edition of the ITF Beach Tennis Pan American Championships in Santos from 19-21 September.
This flagship event on the Tour will attract top players from the Pan American region to battle it out for the chance to win gold for their nation. The inaugural event in 2013, also held in Brazil, saw the Brazilian team clean up as they dominated in the men’s, ladies and mixed doubles events.
Santos is no stranger to beach tennis as it is home to the defending Pan American Champions Marcus Ferreira and Thales Santos who claimed the title at the 2013 edition in Porto Seguro.
ITF Beach Tennis Tour has already visited the beaches of Santos twice this year, including a Grade 1 event in January in which local talents Marcus Ferreira and Thales Santos overcame the top seeded team of Alex Mingozzi and Vini Font in an enthralling three set match in the final.
With Brazil boasting the world number ones on the ladies’ side in Joana Cortez and Samantha Barijan, who also hold the title of Pan American Champions, they will be the nation to beat at this year’s event but competition will be fierce as an increased number of nations and teams are expected to take part.
The city of Santos is perhaps better known for its football club, Santos FC, where Brazilian football hero Pele began his career and also features in the Guiness Book of Records for having the largest beachfront garden at over five kilometres but it is fast establishing itself in the world of beach tennis.
The Pan American Championships will be immediately preceded by an ITF Grade 1 tournament offering $10,000 in prize money. This will not only provide a chance for the top players in the region to weigh up their opponents ahead of the weekend’s event but will also attract elite players from around the world to compete.
The ITF Beach Tennis Pan American Championships is a team competition in which doubles teams from nations in the Pan American region compete against each other in Men’s Doubles, Ladies’ Doubles and Mixed Doubles events for the title of Pan American Champion.