The summer of 2011 may have come to a close, but not before a great season of progress made in the beach tennis world. Beach Tennis USA (BTUSA), along with Long Island Tennis Magazine, held five great International Tennis Federation (ITF)-sanctioned tournaments throughout the summer which came to a close on the weekend of Sept. 17-18.
The weekend of Aug. 18-21, saw the 2011 BTUSA International Championships held in Long Beach, N.Y., with players from Italy, France, Brazil, New Zealand, the United States, Aruba and more flying in to compete for $10,000 in prize money for the top finishers on both the men's and women's sides of play. The championships included both professional and amateur singles, doubles, mixed-doubles, and open play for all. The playing area ion Long Beach included 20 courts, a boutique, a player’s lounge with food provided by Long Beach Bagel and One Natural Experience coconut water for all attendees and players. This year's tournament was held at a new location, directly in front of the Allegria Hotel in Long Beach. The results of the 2011 BTUSA International Championships saw Alex Mingozzi & Matteo Marighella of Italy take down Alessandro Calbucci & Nicolo Strano in straight sets, 4-6, 6-1, to win the Men's Professional Doubles title. Another pair of Italians, Simona Bonadonna & Eva D'Elia, defeated Laura Oliveri & Simona Briganti in straight sets, 6-1, 7-5, to take the Professional Women's title.
Also during the International Championships, the first-ever Nation's Cup was played at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, N.Y. Crest Hollow has developed a beach arena, with five beach tennis courts along with a covered lounge area for players. In just six weeks under the guidance of owner Richard Monti, the Crest Hollow turned its underutilized hard tennis courts into the first permanent beach arena on Long Island. Monti and his staff’s great generosity went above and beyond their calling during the opening weekend, providing complimentary cocktails and lunch for players and guests during the one-day Nation’s Cup held on Aug. 19.
The Crest Hollow also put up $1,500 in prize money for the event. At the Nation's Cup, each country assembles a team to play against the other countries. And in the end, we saw Team Italy come out on top with Team Brazil not far behind to take second.
Beach tennis has gained a large amount of traction this past summer, with multiple new locations to play, country clubs and camps joining the movement, and one of the largest turnouts for tournaments to date. The summer may have ended, but that does not mean you have to stop playing, check into BTUSA's brand new Web site, BeachTennisUSA.net, for more information about upcoming events and places to play. Serve's up!