Claudia Chiossi plays beach tennis.
The 35-year-old personal trainer used to play in her hometown of Garopaba, Brazil, but since she’s relocated to Pacific Beach, she’s found locals to play with by Tower 22, which is close to her home.
“Beach tennis is played on a sand court and if the ball hits the ground, it is a point,” she said. “The game is scored in increments of 15, 30, 40; but the server does not serve twice when it’s deuce/tied 40-40.”
The game is usually played two-on-two where the court measures 16 meters long and 8 meters wide (which is the same parameters as a beach volleyball court); the net measures 1.7 meters high. For singles, the width of the court is reduced to 4.5 meters.
The players use paddle bats with no strings to hit the stage 2, low compression, orange-balls; kids’ tennis balls can be used.
On hotter days the sand can be watered down to make it more bearable on the bare feet.
Dick’s Sporting Goods has packets of low compression balls.
The problem is, according to Chiossi, who’s been playing the sport for three years now, the paddle bats “don’t sell here and you have to buy them online.”
There is a list of paddle bat dealers listed on the International Tennis Federation website.
Another thing that’s challenging for new players is “for some people, the movement in the sand is difficult,” she said.
“On July 7-8, I played with Krishna De Moura in a tournament in Santa Monica, we won the finals and we were champions.”
Chiossi plays with a PlayBT Beach Tennis San Diego group. According to their page: “We set up and play throughout the week at Tower 22 in Mission Beach, at the end of Zanzibar Court, which is a good reference point. If you want to play, send us a shout out here on the page and we’ll fill you in on the next time people are going to be playing.”
Donny Young is a 55-year-old pro-tennis coach and president of the Beach Tennis Associationin Hermosa Beach. He was recently in Del Mar providing a beach tennis clinic for some players.
“Beach tennis started about 40 years ago in Italy,” Young said, “then it started in the U.S. around 2005 when our players first used regular tennis rackets.
“Now, we are hoping that it will be a sport in the World Beach Games San Diego 2019.”