Photo: Andrea BelliEuro Champs V - Men's finalists
The European Beach Tennis Championships will be held in Great Britain for the first time this summer. The English south coast town of Brighton has been chosen by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), Tennis Europe and the ITF to stage the event on 9-11 August.
The LTA will be working with Beach Tennis UK, who have staged numerous coaching workshops and tournaments in Brighton, in running the sixth edition of the European Beach Tennis Championships.
Great Britain takes over from San Marino as host nation in a two-year agreement that will put the hosts alongside Italy as the only two nations to hold the Championships twice.
LTA President Peter Bretherton said: “Tennis is a fun, social sport, and Beach Tennis is a great example of this. We’re delighted that Great Britain is hosting the European Championships and we will use this opportunity to showcase our sport to a whole new audience.”
ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “These Championships will provide an excellent opportunity to bring this relatively new brand of tennis into the public domain, and inspire more people to take up the sport both in Britain and throughout Europe.
“The European Beach Tennis Championships are a major highlight for players and we have no doubt that they will be eagerly awaiting the chance to showcase their talents on British sand.”
The event holds much promise as the defending men’s champions Marco Garavini and Paolo Tazzari of Italy are also the reigning World Champions. Fellow Italians Simona Bonadonna and Eva D’Elia are defending women’s champions, having also reached the final in 2011.
Italian teams have proved the ones to beat in previous years but the gap is closing all the time as the ITF Beach Tennis Tour continues to grow around the world.