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Hybrid Tennis Court Designed To Make Players Adapt To Clay

April 21, 2011 04:00 PM
Hybrid tennis court, Myrtle Beach, SC
"It’s like driving a hybrid car ... it’s new, it’s exciting."
Take it from the inventor, Renata Marcinkowska: Hybrid tennis courts are an innovative tool in teaching tennis to juniors looking to broaden their games.
Before explaining the concept of hybrid court tennis, the more pressing matter here is to describe the court itself: hard court on one side of the net and a green clay court on the other.
This variation on tennis court design got the most publicity in 2007 when Rafael Nadal played Roger Federer in a European exhibition on a half-clay, half-grass court. The king of dirt (Nadal) defeated the king of the lawns (Federer).
But, Marcinkowska was way ahead of the curve. She had already patented the dual-court concept in the United States.
Marcinkowska is a top senior who still competes on the ITF senior circuit and was ranked #1 in the world by ITF in 35-year-old division for two consecutive years. She has represented the U.S. in numerous Senior World Cup championships. Marcinkowska peaked as top junior in her native Poland and is a former All American at Oklahoma State University. She lives in and teaches out of Rock Hill, S.C.
Hybrid Tennis International, LLC, the company Marcinkowska founded, has built one hybrid at The Rat Hole of Myrtle Beach (S.C.). The site, on 3833 Socastee Blvd., is used mostly for motorcycle races and horse show events.
"Teaching on a hybrid court is a dream come true for a teaching pro," according to Marcinkowska, the president and founder of the company. "The ability to work with clients on their technique, footwork, versatility, mental toughness, speed, patience, strategy, adaptability perseverance and creativity is priceless. The players also get an opportunity to develop and grow their tennis game through practicing on a hybrid court surface.
"This surface is not only fun but also helps developing our juniors. Today’s juniors are one-court specialists. On the hybrid surface, you can work on the players’ specific strokes and strategies so they can adapt. The development will improve juniors and help to make them more creative. As a country, we haven’t adjusted to clay. With the hybrid surface, they can see the difference between how to play on clay along with hard courts.
"My dream is to have tournaments on the hybrid. I’ve developed three different formats: You can switch sides; you can stay on your favorite side; third is to play first set on favorite side, second side on other side and then switch in third set," explained Marcinkowska. "I’d like to see every club have at least one court."
If you are interested in a tennis lesson on a dual surface, would like to sponsor a Dual Surface Tennis Event or would like more information, please email Marcinkowska at info@hybridtennis.com or go to www.hybridtennis.com.



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