Two-time Grand Slam champion Lukas Dlouhy is the latest high-profile name from the tennis world to warm to Beach Tennis.
Dlouhy, who won the 2009 Roland Garros and US Open men’s doubles crowns alongside Leander Paes and has ranked as high as No. 5 in tennis’ team discipline, revealed his growing interest in beach tennis this weekend at an event in his native Czech Republic.
“I started to play beach tennis last year during the tennis off-season with my friends,” said the 30-year-old Czech. “I played one or two tournaments and I did well. I like [beach tennis] – it’s different. It’s good for physical fitness, running in the sand. I like it and my touch is very good for this sport.”
Dlouhy, who has reached the semifinals at three Tour-level tennis events this year at Auckland, Vina del Mar, and Dubai and is currently ranked at No. 44 in the men’s doubles rankings, has no immediate plans to compete regularly on the beach tennis tour but is keen on the idea in the near future.
“When I’m at home I can play a couple of beach tournaments here in [the] Czech [Republic] and maybe when I become a better player I can go on to play international tournaments, but not yet during my professional tennis career,” he said.
Having represented Czech Republic in Davis Cup by BNP Paribas on nine occasions between 2006 and 2011, Dlouhy admits that he would be very happy to don country colours and represent his nation in beach tennis as well.
“I’ve stopped playing for the Czech Davis Cup team so I would love to become a player of the Czech beach tennis team,” he said. “Beach tennis has become a bigger sport in the Czech Republic. A friend of mine is the president of the Czech Beach Tennis Association so I hope for him that it’s going to be successful [in my country] and beach tennis is going to continue to grow.”