Fighting for Victory| Visit 'Little Lotus' to find out difference between soft tennis and tennis
A tennis court. [Photo/hangzhou2022.cn]
You've probably seen plenty of tennis matches, but have you ever witnessed a game of soft tennis?
On May 24, the 2023 National Soft Tennis Championship, part of the "Exciting Hangzhou" series, kicked off at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Tennis Center, also known as the "Little Lotus".
The tournament is the highest-level soft tennis competition in China, with 14 teams consisting of 120 athletes from across the country participating, including 11 national team members.
The competition includes men's and women's team events, as well as various individual events such as singles, doubles, and mixed doubles.
Ma Yue, a member of the national women's doubles team, explained that the national team has not yet established fixed partnerships, so the focus of the tournament was on tactical coordination. She couldn't praise the court enough, saying, "The facility is excellent, and playing here is really comfortable."
Soft tennis originated in Japan as a derivative of tennis and was introduced as an exhibition event at the 11th Asian Games in Beijing in 1990. It became an official competition event at the 12th Asian Games in Hiroshima, Japan in 1994.
A soft tennis player during a competition. [Photo/hangzhou2022.cn]
In soft tennis, a rubber ball, which is softer that a standard tennis ball, is used. The ball requires inflation with specific air pressure requirements. The racket used is slightly smaller than a tennis racket. The court requirements are the same for both sports, allowing for both indoor and outdoor playing. The main types of soft tennis courts include hard courts, clay courts, and artificial grass courts.
While most of the rules in soft tennis are similar to those in tennis, the major difference lies in the scoring system. Soft tennis adopts a seven-set best-of-four format for singles matches or a nine-set best-of-five format for doubles matches. The winner of each set is the first to reach four points. Due to the shorter duration of matches, players are expected to quickly find their rhythm, which places higher demands on their psychological resilience.
So, if you want to explore the nuances of soft tennis and experience this unique sport, the "Little Lotus" is the place to go.
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