Same game, new twist: The introduction of Hybrid Tennis

Myrtle Beach's own hybrid tennis court

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - "People don't really know what to think at first," said David Schnibbe of Hybrid Tennis.

Renata Marcinkowska has been involved in the sport for 35 years, but it wasn't until she was done on the tour where she played eight years that she got an idea for a new twist on an old game.

"I practiced with a friend of mine, and it was on a rainy day, and his side was wet and mine was dry, I noticed the difference in bounces, and I thought 'well, maybe we do need to have two different surfaces on one court,'" Renata said.

Shortly after, the first hybrid tennis court in the U.S. was born, made of half concrete and half clay, a unique challenge is provided for players of any skill level.

"Moving from one surface like clay, you slide," explained Christiaan Lee-Daigle, a 24-year old that has been playing the game since childhood. "Then on hard court you're stepping, not sliding around, it is difficult to get used to but I've had a lot of fun so far."

"We had one player that comes here that changes his shoes every time he switches," said Schnibbe. "One for hard court, one for clay."

Different footing and bounce of the ball is one thing to worry about, but it is also healthy mental exercise for those trying to improve.

"I'm trying to plan out the point before I even step to the line to serve or to receive," said Lee-Daigle.

Challenging as a split surface may seem, Renata plans to keep teaching on the Grand Strand, and thinks this avenue is way to increase one's improvement.

"I eat, sleep and breathe tennis," she said. "And for me to see improvement in someone? That's the best reward."

At first glance, it appears like your average tennis court. But the different surfaces are no accident.

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