Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Beach Tennis Strikes Again

Today's guest post is another submission by Zach Smart. Zach Smart is an award-winning writer whose work has been featured in a number of sources--The New Haven Register, The Rivertowns Enterprise, Hoopsaddict.com, and Big East Basketball Report--to name a few. Mr. Smart is a New York native and currently operates ZSmart's Sports Blog This is is second offering on the sport of beach tennis

Beach Tennis USA is the world's newest sand sport.

In no way, however, will it cloak in club-like secrecy. People are starting to catch the fever as the game is spreading like wildfire.

New teams have splashed the shoreline, with many mastering the sand-to-gravel metamorphosis.

In both the men's and women's pro division, however, the top-tier teams are ziplock-tight and evenly matched.

In the men's division, two teams are going out guns-a-blazin' to knock off the reigning national champion Team Italy.

In the women's pro division, where the stakes are now jacked up, Nicole Melch and three-time national champion Nadia Johnson (a Long Island native) have proved there's a new sheriff in town.

The first time teammates have eaten up the national slate in Jaws-sized bites, with all signs pointed towards a Melch-Johnson conquest. The tandem's impenetrable desire and unflappable, fiery focus has produced a winning formula.

Still, memories of last year's national championship are all but swept underneath the rug.

Johnson has never been a player who harps on wins and losses (there's also not much to hark back on in the loss column).

Still, reminding Johnson of Laura and Lisa Maloney's national title under the lights in Long Beach, N.Y., has been akin to tossing a match into a fuel-drenched bucket.

She's burning to re-write the script this summer.

The Maloney's--who've carried an unblemished record on the Beach Tennis USA circuit since 2007--have become the hunted in the women's pro division.

This could be an epic year, with a major challenge cooking on the Johnson's front burner.

Will Johnson and new partner Melch be able to neutralize the sisters who've apparently forgotten how to lose lately?

I'm not for certain, but what I do know is this:

Last season's championship was action-packed, appearing on the Tennis Channel and the Sports New York (SNY) network.

Consider the intriguing subplots to this year's event, and the action could set the beach ablaze on Labor Day Weekend.

On the men's side of the house, expect a bevy of fresh faces come September.

"We're really interested in seeing what this sport is all about," said Tom Curran, a tennis instructor who starred at Quinnipiac University.

"I think it definitely attracts a beach crowd, people that want more excitement and athletic activity under the sun. On the other side of the coin, a lot of tennis players are likely going to gear up for the challenge."


Lindsay said...

Crazy, I didn't know there was such a thing as beach tennis. Sounds like it would be an intense workout! I'd love to watch.

Great guest post!

Apryl DeLancey said...

I know - it looks pretty awesome. I'm gonna try to catch some this summer.