The first ever edition of the World Beach Games was held in 2019 and Beach Tennis was one of the sports that made it to the list of those played in the competition. Needless to say there were a lot of eyeballs for Beach Tennis in these games and there were medals on offer for three events in its discipline.
First things first though…
…when and where were the World Beach Games 2019 held?
The original plan to host the World Beach Games of 2019 was for San Diego in the USA but in the months leading up to the competition it was revealed the hosts had run into funding problems. What that meant was this first season was allocated to Doha in Qatar.
Qatar, who will also host the 2022 football (soccer) World Cup, put up a fine show with the World Beach Games lasting six days between October 11 and 16, 2019. The discipline of beach tennis kick-started on day two and the medal rounds were held on the final day of the games, i.e. October 16.
Which sports were played at the World Beach Games 2019?
Beach tennis aside, there were 12 other disciplines in which medals could be won at the World Beach Games 2019. These included:
- 3X3 basketball
- beach soccer
- karate kata
- beach handball
- park skateboarding
- open water swimming
- 4X4 beach volleyball
- wakeboarding & waterski jumping
- beach wrestling
Beach Tennis Format at World Beach Games
16 doubles teams participated in each of the three draws, the men’s, women’s and mixed doubles beach tennis competitions at the 2019 World Beach Games. The competition consisted of four knockout rounds including quarterfinals, semifinals and the final. The matches were played across five different courts including the centre court.
Who won the Beach Tennis medals at the 2019 World Beach Games?
There were three gold medals on offer for beach tennis in these games; men’s, women’s and mixed doubles with the matches played at the Katara Beach.
The Brazilian pair of Andre Baran and Rafaella Miller won the mixed doubles gold by beating Eve Marie Hoarau and Nicolas Gianotti of France, while the bronze medal went to Brazil too. Joana Cortez and Vinicius Font defeated Flaminia Daina and Tommaso Giovannini in the match for the third place.
Miller said after the match:
“Our strategy worked perfectly. We played a lot of points to [Hoarau]. I just wanted this medal so much. We just gave 100 percent.”
On the previous day of the event, the men’s and women’s doubles final had been played with Brazil having notched up a couple of silver medals as well.
In the women’s doubles final, Nicole Nobile and Flaminia Daina of Italy edged out the Brazilian pair of Joana Cortez and Rafaella Miller in a hard-fought match while the men’s doubles final was won by Spain. Gerard Rodriguez and Antonio Ramos were straight-set winners over Vinicius Font and Andre Baran in that men’s doubles final.
Does this mean Beach Tennis can become an Olympics sport?
While efforts are on from those in charge to push beach tennis into the realms of being an Olympics sport, it will not be a part of the competitions for either the 2020 Tokyo Olympics or the 2024 Paris Olympics. The games at Paris will provisionally include breakdancing, surfing, sport climbing and skateboarding, some of which were also included in the World Beach Games 2019.
When and where will the next World Beach Games be held?
The next edition of the World Beach Games will be hosted in 2021, but the hosts are yet to be decided. Hong Kong is one of the countries interested in hosting the games and beach tennis is expected to continue being a part of it. More information will be revealed soon.
More information on other beach tennis tournaments?
Beach tennis is conducted and organised all over the world and all through the year under the auspices of the ITF, which also looks after the sport of tennis. Some of the top beach tennis tournaments can be found here, but to give you a gist, different competitions award different number of points.
The C1 grade beach tennis competitions are the biggest on show with the Aruba Open Beach Tennis Championships being one of the most popular ones in business. Some of the others include St. Petersburg Beach Tennis Cup and Guayaquil Open while the World Championships of Beach Tennis is held in Italy midway through the year.
If you are a beach tennis beginner, you can also learn more about the rules of the sport here.