Palisades Tennis Center Hosts Shotgun Tournament
By Tennis Week
7/23/2008 1:50:00 PM
Tennis Channel founder Steve Bellamny will transform tennis into a shotgun shoot-out next month.
The inaugural Shotgun 21 World Championships will take place at the Palisades Tennis Center in Pacific Palisades on August 3rd. The qualifying draw, which is open to the public for participation, will be at noon and the main draw will at 3 p.m. Pacific time. The entire event is free to the public for viewing. For more information, please visit www.shotgun21.com
The Shotgun 21, sponsored by Wilson, will be the world’s first standalone professional sporting event where men and women compete directly against each other with no bias of gender.
"The opportunity to increase heads up play between men and women and the opportunity for basically anyone to go up against tour professionals with a play-schedule that is great for fans to enjoy from the start to end is going to be exciting to see with this type of marquee event," said Jon Muir, General Manager of Wilson Racquet Sports.
There will also be admittance of all age, gender or ability to the qualifying draw, meaning anyone off the street could qualify to play with against the pros. A committee will decide main draw spots and seedings.
A number of top ranked professional players have indicated their participation including:
* Vince Spadea
* Justin Gimelstob
* Alexandra Stevenson
* Derrick Rostagno
"I have done well in mixed doubles against the guys and when you take the serve out of the equation, it is a much more even playing field," said Stevenson, a 1999 Wimbledon semifinalist.
The Shotgun 21 format has been used for many years at the Palisades Tennis Center and was used in the qualifying tournament for three years at Tennis Channel Open. It features many unique changes to the way tennis is played and scored.
* Serve — there is no overhand serve, second serves or lets. All serving is drop hit and fed from below the waste like ping pong, squash, racquetball and paddle tennis.
* Format — each player serves 5 points crosscourt from the deuce side and then each player serves 5 points from the ad side. Balls are considered in play when they bounce anywhere on the appropriate side of the court.
* Scoring — each game is played to 21, and at 20 all the next point wins
* Music — there will be lots of it!
The 32-player main draw event will take no more than 3 hours and will be played on just 4 total tennis courts. About 40 percent of the points in tennis end in aces, service winners, missed serves and returns meaning nearly half the points are over before they start.
"We have always done these types of tournaments at the Palisades Tennis Center because it is far more appealing to our world today," said Bellamy. "Traditional tennis is still basically scored the same way it has for centuries. One-day events fit in people’s lives much better. Also, the fact that any hacker can play the qualifying and then minutes later have a chance to play against someone who won a Wimbledon Title is pretty cool."
Players will be competing for over $20,000 in prize money and sponsors include: Wilson Racquet Sports, Palisadian Post, Pepsi, The Ski Channel, Palisades Tennis Center, Westwood Tennis Center and Fender Guitars.
© 2007 Tennis Week