2017 Beach Tennis World Cup Brings Most Dedicated to Sheraton Sand Key and SSG Beach Games

CLEARWATER, FL 9/26/17 – While traditional lawn tennis has existed since the late 1800’s, it took nearly a century until Gianni Bellettini created the official beach variation of the sport in Ravenna, Italy.

With the formation of the International Federation of Beach Tennis (IFBT), in 1997, Bellettini would go on to host World Championship events at some of the finest beaches in the world.

Adrienne Cerra Simeon and Rick Simeon were invited to the 2007 World Championships in Italy. “It was incredible, the most amazing event we have ever experienced,” said Adrienne. The two, who are participating in this weekend’s Beach Tennis World Cup on Clearwater Beach, quickly developed a friendship with Bellettini who offered them the opportunity to introduce the IFBT to the USA.

“In the early years, few had even heard of the sport on this side of the world, so this was no easy task,” said Adrienne. “Together we dedicated much of our time, weekend after weekend, year after year spreading the passion we share for beach tennis, the beach and the lifestyle.”

Adrienne used her management and marketing experience to work out a model to establish events in the USA and around the world. She is currently the president of the IFBT USA. For the past 15 years she has dedicated her life to growing IFBT around the USA and expanding to areas in the Caribbean, Central and South America.

“It takes dedication to travel to all of the tournaments. Finding a partner who can do the same, train hours a week and study how the game is evolving and try to incorporate that into your game,” said Rick, who held the #1 spot for years on the IFBT world rankings. He will be competing in the Men’s Open Doubles at the Beach Tennis World Cup, being held at the Sheraton Sand Key in Clearwater, Friday through Sunday.

“It is something that is great to do on the side,” says Rick. While currently a tennis coach at Sunset Lakes Tennis in Miramar, Rick is a former college and professional tennis player. “This becomes full time once the world cup tournament comes around.”

The World Cup is one of the most important events in the IFBT, with competitors from all over the world coming together in hopes of earning the maximum ranking points and a chance at the top prize money of the IFBT tour. Among the over 60 players registered to compete at the 2017 SSG Beach Games are players from Italy, Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Czech Republic, and of course U.S. athletes from California, South Florida, the Midwest, and the Tampa Bay area

The 2017 Beach Tennis World Cup will be held at Sheraton Sand Key September 29 – October 1st in conjunction with the Sunshine State Games. For a full list of times and events visit www.beachtennistampabay.net

Online Registration has been extended through Thursday, September 28 for Beach Tennis, Beach Ultimate, the Ultra Weight Pentathlon and Under 19 Weight Throw and the Scottish Heavy Athletics event. Registration for Beach Powerlifting has reached capacity and is no longer taking registration. Entry fees vary by sport and online registration can be accessed at

The Sunshine State Games are an annual program of the Florida Sports Foundation, the state’s lead sports promotion and development organization. The 2017 International Beach Games are being held in conjunction with St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports and Events and the Sheraton Sand Key Resort. Nearly 10,000 of Florida’s finest amateur athletes have competed in over 25 sports during the 2017 Calendar Year. For more information about the Games, the nation’s longest continuously-running State Games in the nation, visit www.ssgbeachgames.com, call toll free 1-866-FLGAMES (354-2637) or email games@flasports.com.