Game. Set. Catch.
We played a lot of tennis growing up and there are a handful of elements we can attest to that can be distracting during a match. Playing underwater and separated by a giant glass partition from countless fish is not one that we’ve encountered. But if Polish architect Krysztof Kotala gets his way, a Captain Nemo-type environment while battling deuce in the 5th set will be a reality and in the unlikeliest of places – Dubai.
Then again, maybe it isn’t the most surprising location. Dubai is no stranger to unusual tennis courts. In 2005, a court was built atop the 1,000-foot-tall Burj al Arab hotel to promote the Dubai Tennis Championships. This one-of-a-kind proposed underwater tennis complex could be built just offshore in the Persian Gulf, between the Burj al Arab and the Palm Jumeirah islands.
The seven-court complex calls for a rooftop coral reef (of course it does), thus taking on the form of part sports arena and part aquarium.
Before you start packing your snorkle and tennis racket in the same bag, there are some legitimate engineering challenges in completing this project, including creating a single piece of glass large enough to cover the structure and strong enough to withstand the pressure of the water. Should developers ever decide to tackle this project, Kotala thinks the arena would be the perfect spot for a fifth Grand Slam.
So, in other words, Australia, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, Flushing Meadows and…Dubai?
It still sounds fishy to us.