Top 5 Cities to Play Tennis
Avalon Harris-Trussell, 27.06.19
One of the biggest fixtures in the tennis calendar is officially underway: the lawn is ready, the Pimm’s is on ice and the strawberries are waiting. If Wimbledon 2019 is set to dominate your life for the next two weeks, then why stop with just watching the tennis on the television? Now is the ideal time to plan a tennis break of your own and perfect that tennis forehand.
As the world’s oldest and one of the best loved tennis tournaments gets going, we bring you five of the best cities for playing tennis from around the world. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert and however you see yourself progressing, there’s a court out there waiting for you.
Fun fact: The longest match on record took place during Wimbledon 2010, when John Isner took on Nicolas Mahut, resulting in a 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 70-68 win for Isner. The epic game spanned three days and lasted 11 hours and five minutes!
1. Barcelona, Spain
For the truly dedicated, Barcelona is home to a real gem: the Sánchez-Casal Resort. The resort runs programs for adults and children and is dedicated to high performance. If you’re considering going pro—or just want to live out your fantasy of being a pro—a visit to the resort is an absolute must. Visitors are able to stay on-facility and train for five hours a day, while making most of the resort’s facilities, which includes a personal development area, pool and fully equipped gym. A stay at the resort also offers a great opportunity to explore the beautiful city of Barcelona!
Fun fact: Andy Murray trained at Sánchez-Casal resort aged 14!
Take me to Barcelona
Fly to Barcelona-El Prat Josep Tarradellas International Airport. The Sanchez Casal Academy is conveniently located, just 5 minutes away from Barcelona International Airport, so no need to travel far once you touch-down in the city!
2. Tampa, Florida
Credit: Saddlebrook Resort
You’ll find tennis firmly rooted in Florida, with public courts aligning the beach fronts of the state’s glamorous coastal cities. Florida has a big reputation for churning out tennis pros, including Jack Kramer, Pancho Gonzalez and Maureen Connelly—to name just a few! Its cities are famed for their premier tennis resorts and training centres, and not far from Tampa, a major city on Florida’s Gulf Coast, you’ll find one of the best known: Saddlebrook Resort. Tennis enthusiasts of all abilities flock to the world-class training facility, which offers training packages—complete with luxury overnight suites—for all abilities. There are over 45 courts, sun-drenched and lined with palm trees, where pros themselves can often be found mingling and practising their sport.
Take me to Tampa
Fly to Tampa International Airport. Saddlebrook Resort is conveniently located just 30 minutes north of Tampa International Airport. If you’re staying at the resort, private transportation services to and from the airport can be booked by Saddlebrook's Transportation Concierge.
3. Nice, France
Patrick Mouratoglou Academy
Nice is a vibrant and bustling city and offers plenty of opportunities for those after a game of tennis. Founded in 1890, Nice Lawn Tennis Club is a popular 20 court facility in central Nice and open to all abilities. But if you’re after a more focused experience, just a short journey from the city centre is the Patrick Mouratoglou Academy. Patrick Mouratoglou is one of the most renowned tennis coaches in the world, having coached Serena Williams in recent years. The academy offers intense short-stay training programs, ideal for a long weekend or day of training. After your stay, why not spend a night in the nearby coastal town of Antibes, to relax at one of the restaurants and enjoy the stunning harbour setting, or head back to Nice explore the beautiful and historic city?
Top Tip: Why not time your trip with the French Open, held during 2 weeks in late May and early June? For as little as £22.00 GBP (€24.59 Euro), you can catch a single flight from Nice to Paris with airlines such as Easyjet.
Fun fact: Serena Williams has played in 60 Grand Slam tournaments in her career and has won 21 of them!
Take me to Nice
Fly to Nice Côte d'Azur International Airport. If you’re heading straight to the academy, your best option might be taxi/private transfer; the resort is just a 20-minute drive from the airport, but the journey is difficult if you choose to travel via public transport.
From Europe: fly with Easyjet, Lufthansa, British Airways, Iberia, or Norwegian.
From outside Europe: fly with Norwegian, Delta, Air France, British Airways or KLM
4. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Credit: CF Tennis Academy
Clark Francis Tennis Academy
Ultramodern Dubai, home to architectural wonders and engineering feats—including the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world—does nothing by halves, and this includes its approach to tennis. With the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship a big name in the tennis calendar, it’s no surprise that the sport is a staple for many of the city’s inhabitants. Dubai is home to numerous public and private courts, one of the best known being the Clark Francis Tennis Academy. The academy has over 20 venues within the city, including a facility at the Dubai Sports City, a world-class sporting haven. Founded in 1997, the CF Tennis Academy is one of the most dominant players in the global academy battle, offering a range of programs with highly qualified trainers. However you imagine yourself progressing as a player, the CF Academy is the place to make it happen.
Take me to Dubai
Fly to Dubai International Airport. With venues throughout the city, no matter where you stay in Dubai you will have easy access to a CF Academy.
Dubai International Airport is a hub for Emirates and flyDubai. Other airlines that fly to the airport from all over the world include Qantas, Emirates, Gulf Air, Turkish Airlines, and British Airways.
5. London, United Kingdom
London’s Public Parks
If you’re looking forward to getting into Wimbledon fever, then a trip to discover some of London’s best courts for yourself is an absolute must. Steeped in heritage, from the exclusive to the budget-friendly, London is home to an array of courts suitable for all levels. For a great afternoon of tennis, head to one of London’s many parks: the perfectly managed courts at Hyde Park are available to book privately for a small fee, with short courses run by qualified coaches; or head to Goodmayes Park, an Edwardian Park that offers free-to-use courts within a beautifully landscaped garden.
Fun fact: Wimbledon is the only major tennis tournament still played on grass.
Fun fact: There is a little pineapple on top of the Wimbledon trophy. It’s believed to represent the tradition of English sailors putting pineapples on their gateposts when returning from a long voyage… no one knows how tennis became associated with long trips at sea!
Take me to London
Depending on where you are flying from, fly to London Heathrow or Gatwick Airport.
From outside Europe: fly with United, Austrian, Lufthansa, and Finnair