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As tennis fans around the world eagerly anticipate the start of Wimbledon fortnight, followers of a sister sport are gearing up for their major event.
Across the Atlantic the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba is the birthplace of beach tennis and far from the leafy environs of SW19, it will attracts hundreds of professional and amateur players and spectators as it hosts the Aruba Open Beach Championships from November 13 to 20.
With a prize purse of US$60,000, this is the world’s premier beach tennis tournament and, with its associated parties and other social events, makes a much-anticipated return after previous pandemic cancellations.
Beach tennis is similar to its bigger sister lawn version, with a smattering of volleyball and badminton thrown in. Players volley a pressureless tennis ball back and forth over the net without letting it hit the sand. It is the number one beach sport in Aruba and holidaymakers can easily make their debut with lessons with a local pro readily available. Such is the popularity of the sport that popular courts around Eagle Beach and Palm Beach are well-lit at night and available 24/7.
The Aruba Beach Open features seven tournaments, including mixed doubles, singles, doubles for men and women, a junior event, a team cup and a nations cup.
Matches are staged, as in previous years, at Bushiri Beach, a couple of miles north of capital Oranjestad. It was once the location of a major resort, which was closed and subsequently demolished in 2016 to create an attractive recreational beach area.
Plays runs throughout the eight days of the tournament, with live music or DJs performing in the evenings and with a spectacular closing party on Sunday, November 20.
The event attracts players and fans from all over the world and is a key element in Aruba’s lively calendar of sporting, social and cultural events.
For more information on the Aruba Open Beach Tennis Championships, go to www.arubabeachtennisopen.com
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