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The biggest problem is that many officials from tennis associations and clubs still view beach tennis as competition to tennis. However, that is definitely not the case. In fact, associations and clubs could use beach tennis as an asset to enrich the overall product for their current members and to entice new members.

Sarah Bolsmann


In commemoration of the 10-year anniversary of BEACHCLUB2010®, we wanted to give a voice to our friends and faithful companions who have been by our side throughout our journey. We spoke to players, organizers and commentators about their beach tennis stories. You can find them in the following interviews.

Sarah Bolsmann, 35, startet beach tennis in 2016 and experienced a lot since then. With the German national team she participated with success at the World Team Championships in Moscow, and she represented her country at the European Championships. Sarah is involved in her home club Osnabrücker SC, where she focused on beach tennis. At the Tennis Federation Niedersachsen Bremen (TNB) she works as an advicer, at the German Tennis Federation (DTB) she is part of the player's council and thereby a voice of all the beach tennis players in Germany. As an elementary school teacher she has the pedagogical sense for the whises of the beach tennis community. She sent us her greetings for our 10-years anniversary: "I wish the team of BEACHCLUB2010® all the best for the future! It's great to see what you have achieves in the past ten years. Keep it up!"

In our interview he talkes about her passion for the sport, her experiences with the national team and her aims with beach tennis.


  • September 25, 1984
  • Osnabrück
  • Osnabrück
  • Player, Orga
  • WTC 4th place

#beachtennis #beachclub2010 #sarahbolsmann #dtb #teamgermany #osnabrück

What did you do before 2016 without beach tennis?

Before I discovered beach tennis in 2016 I had played tennis since I was five years old. As you can see, sport in general has always been my passion (I also studied sports), especially ball sports. Besides tennis I played soccer during my study.

Now beach tennis seems to be your new passion, you are involved in your home club Osnabrücker SC, the tennis federation of Niedersachen Bremen (TNB) and the German Tennis Federation (DTB). Why does beach tennis fascinate you?

In tennis already I loved playing volleys and compete with a team. And that's where my passion for beach tennis started. We drove to Schillig with some tennis players and participated at the tournament just for fun, some still played with tennis rackets. But then quickly it became clear for me and my partner Christin Meyer, that we had so much more fun to compete on the sand than on the tennis court. Since then I am fascinated by the cooperation both with my own partner and the opponents. That was a totally new experience for me that in beach tennis you sit down with your opponents after the match and have a drink together or that you practice together with them, even if you didn't know them before. In addition to that I love moving on the sand, jumping to reach the ball, listening to music during the play, getting to know people and being able to play beach tennis at different locations worldwide. As you can see, I am still fascinated by this sport and that's why I am trying to get involved many more people in beach tennis so they can find out by themselves what a great sport it is. That's my drive to get involved at TNB and DTB. There are still too many people, who don't know beach tennis and didn't discover the fascination of this sport.

What are the differences between tennis and beach tennis? Did your knowledge in tennis help you with beach tennis? What are the disadvantages?

When I started playing beach tennis in 2016/2017 I played both tennis and beach tennis. My experience in tennis did help me for sure in the beginning. I knew the volley, serve and smash and also the counting method from tennis and so I could start with joy and play. Furthermore my experiences in tennis doubles and the tactical understanding helped me a lot and are still helping me. Initially we all thought beach tennis was simply tennis on sand and that it couldn't be that difficult. But as soon as you keep playing you recognize that it's a different sport, that certainly has some things in common with tennis, but also a lot of differences. First of all it's totally different to move on the sand than on the tennis court. Then there are tecnical differences when hitting the ball, but also the tactical behaviour on the court together with your partner is different to doubles in tennis. To break through these common patterns is for sure a challenge - but it's exactly what it made so interesting for me in the beginning. So tennis had both advantages and disdvantages for beach tennis. I always tell beginners, that it's not mandatory to have played tennis before; it can help, but it also can lead to some difficulties when learning the game.

  • Sarah Bolsmann
    ITF Beach Tennis Open Saarlouis, Saarlouis, with Fabienne Bretz

Last year you opened the beach tennis facility at your club OSC. What was the idea of this project and what are your expectations?

Yes, that's right. Last year, actually at the end of 2018, we made important steps towards our own beach tennis courts. With the help of a newspaper article some clubs were attentive to us and beach tennis. As a consequence we were able to build the first courts in Osnabrück. We built two beach tennis courts on one tennis court. We pursue the following goals: First of all we have a training facility for us, then we'd like beach tennis to become more popular in Osnabrück. Therefore we organized an opening with a show match, training lessons free of charge and we made contact with the local newspapers. We are also on social media like Instagram and Facebook. In our first season we were able to welcome 15 new beach tennis players. That doesn't sound much, but for an unknown and relativly new sport like beach tennis this was a great start.

The beach tennis facility in Osnabrück is way too small for you, you travel around in Germany and abroad to play tournaments. What are your experiences on these tournaments. What is beach tennis all about?

The great thing about beach tennis is: It doesn't matter what tournament you play or in which country you play (especially in Belgium or the Netherlands), you always look forward not only to play but to meet the players again. It doesn't matter if it's your next opponent or the best team in the draw, you simply look forward to a great weekend with them. The crazy thing about this is the fact, that I quickly felt the sense of belonging. And I think I speak for a lot of players, who started with me or after me playing beach tennis. The beach tennis community in Germany and Belgium or the Netherlands is very open minded, every player, no matter where he comes from or what language he speaks, is always welcome. In the short period of time, since I startet playing beach tennis, I got to know a lot of great people, a lot of them I can call now real friends.

You are ranked in the top 100 of the ITF World Rankings. Do you have a goal? The top 10?

At the end of 2019 I have been in the top 100 for the third time in a row. That alone for me is already a huge success. But I have to admit anyway that my main goal is to play certain tournaments and not a ranking position. As a teacher I have a lot of free time (laughs), but it's still not a beach tennis friendly job. A lot of tournaments start on a friday, that makes it almost impossible for me to participate. So a lot of events and ranking points are not reachable for me. That's why I set my goals in a way I can arrange with my job. Before the corona crisis my goals for 2020 for example were to play the tournament in Aruba and to take part in the World Team Championships and the European Championships as part of the German national team.

You play for the German national team, although you haven't been that long on the beach tennis tour. What did you experience there?

Yes, that's right. The European Championships 2016 in Bulgaria have been my first official and international event. I was just lucky back then. At the beach tennis tournament in Schillig the former captain of the German national team participated and saw me playing. Because of injuries in the team they were looking for one more player. So I had the honor to play for Germany. It was very exciting then, because I travelled to Bulgaria without knowing my teamates. But it was worth it and it was the go-ahead for my beach tennis career. The year after I participated at the World Team Championships in Moscow. Again I got to know my teamates Maraike Biglmaier and Laura Kemkes only two weeks before the event. The WTC in Moscow was very exciting and for me another level than the EC. Since 2017 I participated three times at the World Team Championships in Moscow and two times at the European Championships (Latvia, Bulgaria). My benefits at the events in Moscow were that I have always been a team player, I can put the team success over my personal interests. That helps in those moments, when you wish you were on the court but another player combination seems to be more reasonable. When I look back on these European Championships I remember in particular the pleasant atmosphere we had in our team (juniors, adults and team-captains), my first match against the top players from Italy and the exciting mixed doubles with my partners Tobias Notter and Alexander Bailer.

  • Sarah Bolsmann
    Team-WM 2018, Moskau, with Laura Kemkes und Maraike Biglmaier
  • Sarah Bolsmann
    Team-WM 2018, Moskau, with the German national team
  • Sarah Bolsmann
    Team-WM 2018, Moskau, with the German national team
  • Sarah Bolsmann
    Team-WM 2018, Moskau, with the German national team
  • Sarah Bolsmann
    Team-WM 2018, Moskau, with Alexander Bailer before the match against Spain

Especially with the national team unity is imperative for success. In what position do you see the German Tennis Federation in this case?

A good chemistry in the team and on the court is a basic requirement to be successful and to get the best of the team. But this unity and a positive vibe have to be built long before the events like the WTC or the EC. It takes time, a good communication, meetings betweeen the players and training sessions, the discussion on the different roles for the upcoming event and last but not least the attunement on a common goal. Of course it's very difficult to meet for training courses, because the team members live in different parts of Germany and everyone, besides Maraike, is not a full-time beach tennis player. If you look back on the past two very successful years with the national team, the unity is one point, where we as the national team definitely have to continue to work on.

Where does the German national team stand as compared to international competitors?

I see the German team currently as the number one country of the non professionals. In recent years our results showed, that we established ourselfs behind the four or five top nations. If you look at the players of those nations it becomes clear, that most of them are professional players. And because beach tennis is becoming more and more professional, it might get more difficult for nations like Germany to keep that level.

You often played doubles with Christin Meyer. How important is a good understanding with your partner on and off the court?

I noted, especially in the last year, that this for me is a very important if not the most important requirement, to get along with my partner on and off the court. I can show my best performance only when I feel, and my partner gives me that feeling, that it doesn't matter if I make a mistake or hit a great shot. The most important thing is that you give everything you have, you have fun and you can go to the bar together to have a drink even after a loss. I need this feeling from my partner and on the other hand I try to give it to my partner. We are not professionals, we are playing beach tennis because it is a lot of fun. We shouldn't forget this, regardless of the importance of the game. We had our best matches exactly when we were able to build this feeling in our team. For example in the final of mixed doubles at the German Championships in Saarlouis with Tobias Notter.

  • Sarah Bolsmann
    EM 2018, Jurmala, with Christin Meyer
  • Sarah Bolsmann
    EM 2018, Jurmala, with the German national team
  • Sarah Bolsmann
    EM 2018, Jurmala, with Christin Meyer, Federica Bacchetta and Giulia Gasparri

Since 2017 in Saarlouis we have one of the biggest tournaments world wide, players from all around the world are coming to play. It's a flagship project for beach tennis in Germany. What are your experiences with this event, what positive effects do you see for beach tennis in Germany?

I was able to be part of this event in 2017 and 2019. It was great in 2017 what the event agency Plan B made out of it, but last year it became even bigger, more professional, perfect organized for the players. The attractiveness of this event can be seen when looking at the growing number of participants. In 2019 almost every beach tennis player in Germany came to Saarlouis, that's what makes the atmosphere so special there. It's an unique event in Germany, where the best German players meet with the top international players and celebrate the sport. I hope, that this event will grow even more and that more sponsors and other cities in Germany take this as an example so we can have more of such great events all over Germany.

Attached to this ITF event in Saarlouis are the German Championships. What do you think about this combination?

Both events are benefitting from this combination. The German Championships are valorized, and especially the mixed doubles final is a great chance to present beach tennis on Saturday evening under floodlight in front of hunderets of spectators. Then most of the German players are at the location the whole weekend and make sure that the atmosphere is great throughout the event. It is a great combination that will hopefully remain that way for a long time.

How did you keep tracking beach tennis from when you first played in 2016?

What you can say is - I don't know, if the numbers confirm this - that since 2016 a new, let's call it generation, has started to play. Since 2016/2017 we had some new developments in the northern part of Germany. We have a new hotspot of beach tennis in the north-west. Before that most of the players and members of the national team came from the southern part of Germany, that changed a bit in 2017. The northern part and the west found out about beach tennis and a lot of players from those regions pushed themselves to the fore. What helped was the support of the TNB, beach tennis has always been an important part in his work.

To what extent is it a limiting factor for the growth of beach tennis in Germany, that we only have a few playing facilities in the winter months?

This is the most important limiting factor besides the bad infrastructure of the outdoor facilities. It is a main disadvantage that we're not able to play from October to April. This hurts the ambitious players on the one hand, because it becomes more and more difficult to compete with players from other countries (Italy, Spain, Brazil, Russia ecc.), who have these training opportunities during these months. On the other hand it hurts us on the way to make beach tennis known in Germany and to keep beginners in the game. Besides the training opportunities players and coaches have to be instructed how to promote beach tennis. Training opportunities in the winter months are useless if we don't have coaches ho can show the beginners how to play. So we have to work both on the infrastructure and the education of the coaches.

You are part of the player's council at DTB. What does one talk about in the player comunity, what are the hopes and wishes?

It's the third year now that I'm part of this player's council. We are two men and two women and are elected for two more years. First of all it was a great idea of DTB to create this group, because we work as a connection between the player community and the DTB, our opinion is appreciated. We try to collect in regular intervals the opinions of the players on certain matters; we answer the questions from players and organizers, who don't want to go directly to DTB; we get a lot of suggestions and wishes and we pass them to DTB. Furthermore I try to stay in good contact with the players from all around Germany, so they know, that we really try to make something happen and their interests are well represented at DTB. It is very important that everybody, regardless of their level of play, has the feeling that they can come to the player's council. I think that we did a good job in the last three years. The wishes are diverse, they want more tournaments in Germany, simpler forms for organizers and they want information on how to structure workshops.

  • Sarah Bolsmann
    ITF Ladenburg 2018, Ladenburg, with Marika Colonna, Alice Grandi and Christin Meyer
  • Sarah Bolsmann
    ITF Beach Tennis Open Saarlouis 2017, Saarlouis, with Laura Kemkes
  • Sarah Bolsmann
    ITF Beach Tennis Open Saarlouis 2017, Saarlouis, with Laura Kemkes
  • Sarah Bolsmann
    ITF Beach Tennis Open Saarlouis 2019, Saarlouis, with Tobias Notter

There has been the idea, to bring beach tennis to the schools. You are a teacher, what is your plan in Osnabrück?

For eight years now I'm a elementary school teacher in my second school. In both schools I was lucky to be able to offer a beach tennis and tennis workgroup. The kids are showing a major interest, even if they didn't know about beach tennis before. In my first school I was lucky to have a tennis court and a beach tennis court right next to the building.

How are the kids reacting to beach tennis?

I can report that my elementary school kids (age 8-10) were impressed, especially when they could jump in the sand. In Saarlouis we did a training lesson last year with older kids, the feedback was positive, they wanted to continue playing. Again the problem is that many kids haven't heard anything about beach tennis. Our goal must be that more kids get to know beach tennis, most of them are amazed after the first time playing it and they'd like to continue playing. Another main aspect in the growth of beach tennis in Germany is to find and to encourage kids. The cooperation with schools can play an important role.

Not all the regional federations in Germany support beach tennis. Give them some reasons to do it.

The biggest problem is that many officials from tennis associations and clubs still view beach tennis as competition to tennis. However, that is definitely not the case. In fact, associations and clubs could use beach tennis as an asset to enrich the overall product for their current members and to entice new members. In TNB for example we have a popular series of tournaments outside of the tennis saison. You meet a lot of tennis players there who use this period to play beach tennis. In Osnabrück we have convertet one tennis court into two beach tennis courts and subsequently added almost 20 new players to the club.

Back to the international circuit of the ITF, that recently made another rules change. What should the federation do to make a real big step in the future?

The main task for the growth of beach tennis in Germany is to find a big sponsor, who supports the sport, then the development of the infrastructure (beach courts, indoor facilities) and the implementation of beach tennis in the training education.

What are your goals with beach tennis? In which tournaments do you want to participate?

Before the crisis my aim for 2020 was to play the tournament in Aruba for the first time. That remains my aim for 2021, if I cannot go there this year. A general objective of mine is to promote beach tennis in Germany and especially in Osnabrück, to get more players involved in beach tennis.

Maximilian Hamm, May 2020