By James Crook

103190138February 23 - The 2013 International Tennis Federation (ITF) Beach Tennis World Championships will take place in Italy at the Adriatic resort of Cervia in Ravenna in the north-west of the country from July 31 to August 4, it has been announced. 

These Championships will be the fifth of their kind, and were previously hosted in Rome at the Foro Italico between 2009 and 2011, before moving to Burgas in Bulgaria last year.

"We are delighted to see the continued growth of the Beach Tennis Tour." said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti.

"The ITF Beach Tennis World Championships remain a focal point of the beach tennis calendar, and it is fitting that this year's event is staged in such an active region for the sport.

"The Italian Tennis Federation are experienced hosts of these World Championships, and we are confident that the event can go from strength to strength."

102824605World number one Simona Briganti (left) and Italian compatriot world number two Laura Olivieri (right) will battle it out for the beach tennis world title at Cervia this summer

A total of 20 match courts will be used at the World Championships in the Ravenna province of Italy, which is considered to be the heart of beach tennis.

Italy are the dominant force in beach tennis, with 10 Italian men's players ranked in the top 11 of the ITF world rankings, as well as seven Italians currently ranked in the top 10 women's players in the world.

It was announced earlier this month that the south-coast city of Brighton and Hove in England would host the 2013 European Beach Tennis Championships in August- the first time the event has been held in the UK. 

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