Best of the Maldives: Astro-Turf Tennis Court – Conrad Rangali

Conrad Rangali tennis court


The Grand Slam hits its apogee this week with the start of the Wimbledon Championships. In fact, the opening session had a distinctly Maldivian touch as the headline for the day was “Stunned Nadal Mauled by Shark” (reference to unseeded victor Steve Darcis’ love of fish complete with tattoos).

Distinquished by its old school grass courts, I have often wondered why a Maldives resort hasn’t added such a posh surface to its resort. But a few top seeds do have a distinctive court surface that is a step in the right direction – astro turf.

The turf has a number of advantages…

  • Softer so easier on the pounding of legs.
  • Cooler than asphalt or cement which absorbs and holds the tropical heat more intensely.
  • Prettier with a gentle texture and colour.

The elite astro-trio astro-trio includes

  • Conrad Rangali (photo above)
  • Gili Lankanfushi (photo below)
  • Zitahli Kudafunafaru

I had to go to a Hawkeye like line judge to figure out the winner. All are floodlit for evening playing. Gili took the first point with the pristine condition of the court which impressed me when I visited it. But Conrad Rangali came back to take the set and match by having a tennis instructor on staff (see picture at bottom) who provides lessons for less than half the price of Gili (and the instructor has to be arranged).

Advantage Rangali!


Gili Lankanfushi - astro turf tennis court


Conrad Rangali tennis coach

Best of the Maldives: Squash – Palm Beach

Palm Beach - squash


Also a bit longer swim away are the world junior squash championships in Chennai, India. Reethi Beach, with its surperb racket sports centre, is a top contender for Maldives squash honours. But Palm Beach features not only a brand new court, but also their own squash pro, Romel Diaz (see photo above) who provide free instruction or playing partner.

Best of the Maldives: Beach Tennis – Palm Beach

Palm Beach beach tennis


While perhaps the most famous ‘beach’ sport (and the only one of Olympic standing), Beach Volleyball is not the only ‘beach’ game in town. In fact, there are so many, that the Maldives was just this month announced as host of the next 2013 South Asian Beach Games. Including some I have never even heard of.

One of those is ‘Beach Tennis’ which Palm Beach features. It is also known by its Italian name, Racketoni. Basically, it is a paddle like racket with a slightly heavier tennis ball. You will often see it on beaches around the world where people play without any net or court just hitting it to each other and trying to keep a volley going. But Palm Beach has a proper, dedicated court at Palm Beach as well as an instructor, Mohamed Adam (shown here in the far court).

Best of the Maldives: Raquet Sports – Reethi Beach

Reethi Beach badminton

48 resorts have tennis, 11 have squash courts, and 7 have badminton courts (according to my research). But only Reethi Beach has 2 tennis courts, and 2 squash courts and 2 badminton courts. And they are all in pristine condition. The latter two are situated in their large indoor sports complex in the centre of the island. The tennis courts are all weather surface with flood lighting. Also, the extensive indoor space becomes a hedge against any unlucky bouts of weather or just a break from an overdose of sunshine.

Reethi Beach tennis court