Thinking of Malta, images of swimming, snorkelling, diving and other water sports might come to mind. Tennis might not be directly associated with Malta, but the island, located in the Mediterranean sea, wedged in between Sicily to the north, Tunisia to the West and Libya to the south, has the perfect climate to play tennis all year round and especially during the winter months. There are several venues in Malta and Gozo where you can play while on holiday, on a business trip or living on one of the islands as an expat. Tennis is an ideal way to get and keep fit, staying active and have some social interaction. In case you didn’t bring your equipment, don’t worry. Most courts have balls and rackets for rent.
Tennis in Malta has been supervised by the Malta Tennis Federation, which was established in 1966 and the sport grew in popularity due to British military presence, as Malta was a British colony until 1964 with a British military presence until 1979. Malta was accepted to the International Tennis Federation In 1985, which enabled the Men’s National Team to participate in the Davis Cup of 1986, while the Women’s National Team participated in the Federation Cup of that same year. When it comes to competition in the Small Nations Games, tennis has proved to be one of Malta’s leading sport, as the game has brought the country five gold medals, six silver medals and seventeen bronze medals.
Tennis can be played both as an individual sport in a singles game, as well as a team sport in a doubles game. Tennis can be played on many different surfaces, grass and clay being the most well-known ones. Of the so-called Grand Slam Tournaments, the four biggest tennis tournaments in the world, the famous British Open at Wimbledon is being played on grass courts. The other Grand Slam tournaments, the French Open Roland Garros, the Australian Open and the US Open Flushing Meadows are played on clay courts and hard courts respectively.
All Grand Slam tournaments are played outdoors although Wimbledon’s Centre Court has a roof that can be closed when it rains making it the only indoor grass court. Another less common tennis court surface is the so-called carpet court. These courts tend to be installed temporarily for the duration of a certain indoor tournament.
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