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5 Amazing Sports based on Tennis

Tennis is by far the most popular racquet sport around the globe. Its popularity though is said to be dwindling. There are several amazing sports based on tennis that are slowly filling the void in

racquet sports.

female tennis players hits the ball (1 of 5 amazing sports based on tennis)

However, these racket sports are just as, if not more, electrifying, often consisting of their own unique rules and are becoming increasingly popular worldwide. Lets take a look at 5 amazing sports based on tennis.

Padel

Girls plays padel - fastest growing sport
Padel player hits the ball

Read: Padel: The fastest growing sport in the world

Padel is the fastest growing sport in South America and Europe. With over 4 million players and approximately 20,000 courts in Spain alone, Padel is taking the world by storm. Played with a paddle rather than a stringed racket and a low-pressure tennis ball and in a court that is three-fourth the size of a tennis court. What makes padel unique is that the court is surrounded by glass walls, which allows the player to play the ball off the wall, much like in squash

The sport follows the same rules and points system as tennis but is almost exclusively played in doubles, especially at a professional level. With a fast-developing formalisation process, this sport will be coming to all of our screens before we know it!

Pickleball

Pickleball player ((1 of 5 amazing sports based on tennis)
Pickleball player on the court

Pickleball is an incredible sport that also uses paddles, which are significantly different in shape to the paddles used in padel. It is one of the fastest-growing sports in the US and Canada. Pickleball is also based around the social element of sport, with lots of activities available for recreational players such as barbeques and community hangouts. A pickleball court is around the same size as a badminton doubles court and much smaller than a tennis court. 

This also means that the learning curve of the game is quite easy, and it is easy to learn for players of all ages, whether or not they have played a lot of racket sports. Unlike padel though, the sport is regularly played in both singles & doubles. While the rules of pickleball are quite similar to tennis, you can only score on your own serve, and the first team to 11 points wins.

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A sport for all ages, which is quick, relatively easy to play, and a whole lot of fun, pickleball (the second racquet sport based off a vegetable) is growing in popularity and worth giving a try!

Beach Tennis

Females enjoying a singles game of beach tennis
Beach Tennis – Another one of those amazing sports based on tennis

Beach tennis is a rapidly growing hybrid of tennis and volleyball, which is played by over half a million people in over 50 countries. It is the 3rd sport managed under the banner of International Tennis Federation, the other two being Tennis and Wheelchair Tennis. The ITF Beach Tennis Tour boasts over 300 tournaments in 37 countries. More information can be found here.

The game was invented in Italy by tennis players in the 1970s while on vacation to try out tennis on already installed volleyball nets. It didn’t take long for the game to formalise under the rules we know today, using paddle bats. What first comes to mind when you hear the name ‘beach tennis’ is that you have to play the ball with racquets without letting it hit the ground. That’s it!

The points system is similar to tennis following the 15-30-40 pattern except that deuce (40-40) does not require a two point advantage to win a game. On the other hand, the major difference from volleyball is that in doubles the player is not allowed to pass the ball to the partner. A quick guide to knowing all the rules can be found here.

Italy continues to lead the game in player rankings, courts and popularity, with an estimated 1700 beach tennis net, also producing over 250,000 players pushing for the development of the sport. Spain and Brazil are the next two popular destinations for beach tennis.

 

Pop Tennis

Platform Tennis court

This is a Pop Tennis court (Source: Arbitrarily0CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Formerly known as Platform Tennis, Pop Tennis has been around for nearly 100 years! Created as a means for tennis and racket sport players to continue playing the game outdoors during the winter. The court is built on elevated ground with space for heating equipment under the court, this way melting the snow and ice. It also consists of a chicken wire fence which you can play the ball off of, similar to padel. Nowadays, in warm locations, it is built without the platform at the bottom.

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The game is played with paddles and a spongy ball, unlike tennis or padel.  The ball is also less lively, and while the game follows the same rules as tennis it makes for a very different game with the padel, court size and ball. It may not be as popular as some of the other sports listed here, but in America, Pop Tennis has over 30,000 courts and is a popular recreational sport endorsed by the USTA.

touchtennis

Touchtennis racket in black and red color (1 of 5 amazing sports based on tennis)
A touchtennis racket (source: supplied)

Read: touchtennis: The accessible tennis format with founder, Rashid Ahmed

touchtennis is the grassroots solution to what is often considered a very elitist sport, tennis. You can play it anywhere, it’s easily accessible and it’s open to everyone. Former tennis pros like Fernando Gonzalez, Tracy Austin and Marcus Willis play the game and continue to rave about it.

A touchtennis court is one-fourth the size of a regular tennis court, its rackets are about the same size as a kids tennis racket, the ball is made of foam and the net is naturally smaller too. This means the game is much quicker and easier to learn as well. Today, more than 10,000 people play touchtennis around the world, and the sport has now spread to over 23 countries. With accessibility being key it is inevitable that touchtennis will continue to grow, and if there’s a court nearby, or if you’d prefer, set one up in your backyard and head on over!


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