I’ve played a lot of tennis tournaments in my life, from junior tennis to college tennis, but one tournament that I played recently tops them all in terms of atmosphere— it was like a party. The tournament I’m talking about was the 2022 Spec Tennis US Open presented by Asap.com. Spec Tennis is a new sport that resembles traditional tennis in many ways but is played on a pickleball court with a perforated paddle & an orange dot low compression tennis ball.
The tournament took place in Coral Springs, Florida over the course of 3 days. I played singles, men’s doubles & mixed doubles. Unlike a traditional tennis match which can take 1 1/2 – 2 hours, Spec Tennis matches are quick, typically 20 – 30 minutes. This allowed for playing many different opponents and being able to handle playing in 3 divisions. Everything small detail at the tournament made the players feel like royalty. A large stadium sized bleachers brought in on a semi truck provided great viewing of the matches on center court. A professional TV Production crew filmed the finals matches & provided live commentary. The free player’s lunches on Saturday & Sunday were a nice addition as it kept players at the site all day, cheering on their friends, and socializing with other players. But the one detail that really sealed the deal in terms of providing a party atmosphere was the DJ. This would be unheard of in a traditional tennis tournament, where it’s not proper etiquette to have much noise. Players had fun on the court, but they also had fun off the court, which to me is very important. I never had fun off the court at a traditional tennis tournament. I’d play my match, leave, and come back to the site for my next match, or if I lost, I’d immediately head home. While many of the players in the tournament were from South Florida, there were also players who flew in from California, Boston, Michigan, & Pensacola. Spec Tennis has been growing rapidly especially in South Florida, and I encourage you to start playing. If you’re a current tennis player, you’ll find it exciting because you can use all the same strokes & strategies as you do in tennis. It offers a different ‘flavor’ than pickleball. Spec Tennis is also family-friendly because the learning curve is small. So if you’ve wished in the past you could enjoy time on the court with your family but it wasn’t realistic because they would need to take lessons & spend many hours on the court before they could even rally with you—now you’ve got a solution. Most new players are able to perform a simple rally on Day 1.