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View Full Version : 10 best cities in the U.S for tennis


ESP#1
03-05-2009, 11:44 AM
Those of you who have traveled the country, where are the best cities for tennis?

From what I've gathered, there are alot of hot spots in South Florida, New York, DC, and SoCal.

Let me know what you think

Lefty5
03-05-2009, 12:12 PM
Atlanta has more leagues than anyone can even play. EVERYBODY plays, all the time. Its great.

qq49h
03-05-2009, 12:32 PM
Atlanta by far. Alta alone has 80000 members. Then there is USTA, Ultimate Tennis, K2, Visionary, and probably more leagues.

GeoffB
03-05-2009, 02:51 PM
Of the places I've lived/been on the West Coast

Seattle: Great in the summer, with long long days, but gets shut down many days each year with just enough drizzle to make the courts unplayable. Outdoor tennis is seasonal.

San Francisco/Bay Area is great: SF itself is chilly and windy much of the year, even (especially!) in the summer, and heavy fog can make the courts slick in the morning until it burns off. Take a ten minute drive out of the city in almost any direction and it gets consistently warm and beautiful about six months a year, and playable most other months. The rain/drizzle situation isn't as bad as Seattle, but SF does get shut down by weather often enough that I'd say we have quasi-year round tennis here.

Los Angeles: My knowledge is limited to Santa Monica. Good scene, plenty of good public courts and year round good weather. Eyes may burn on smoggy days, unfortunately - try to play by the coast!

San Diego: Top spot for the west coast. Phenomenal year round weather, perfect climate, air quality reasonably good. Terrific public facilities and private clubs. Weather here is so good that people hang out by the courts, so there's an especially good scene.

My only non-west coast spot was Manhattan. There's a lot to recommend about living here, but easy and cheap access to tennis courts ain't it. Court time seemed to be either very expensive or a huge hassle. Was only here for six months, so I don't know too much about it. I mainly played squash, and I hate squash. Froze my fingers off while walking twenty paces between buildings on the Columbia campus.

bluetrain4
03-05-2009, 03:11 PM
I always hear about Atlanta. I started a thread months back about the best US tennis city and Atlanta won hands down.

I was just in Phoenix visting my parents and played in a tournament. I talked to several local players and was surprised to find out that the Phoenix tennis scene wasn't that great relative to the size of the metro area and the abundance of good weather. [Note: Almost all the Phoenix guys said that the extreme heat at the peak of summer wasn't a huge issue except on a handful of days. They either played early in the morning or at night. Tons of lighted courts and simply being out of the sun makes a huge difference even if the temp is still high.]

Skanavis
03-05-2009, 04:30 PM
Um definitely Wauwatosa Wisconsin. Theres courts 6 blocks away from me in 3 directions. Altogether we have like 50 tennis courts in a small city like wauwatosa. Most are lighted until 10:30 at night. Also there all in like really nice places, like in a park next to a river. Yea definitely wauwatosa No contest. And we have a lot of good players from milwaukee playing in wauwatosa leagues.

(K)evin
03-05-2009, 04:44 PM
well Connecticut really sucks to rent a court for an hour its $49

Chris De Tone
03-05-2009, 05:33 PM
Atlanta is the best...but the area in which I live is pretty good...Tampa-St. Pete, Bradenton, Sarasota. But definitely not in the same weight class as Atlanta.

ESP#1
03-05-2009, 07:30 PM
Wow! atlanta seems like great spot, any tourneys there?

lawrence
03-05-2009, 11:49 PM
well Connecticut really sucks to rent a court for an hour its $49

that is theft. 49 for an hour?
the only time id pay 49 for an hour of tennis is if a pete sampras hitting session came with the court hire

blue12
03-06-2009, 12:25 AM
What are the best cities in Florida for tennis?

SlapShot
03-06-2009, 10:37 AM
Minneapolis is actually a very decent city for tennis - if you don't mind playing indoor 6 months of the year. The actual number of tennis players is high, and there is a lot of access to public outdoor courts during the summer.

goober
03-06-2009, 10:49 AM
I always hear about Atlanta. I started a thread months back about the best US tennis city and Atlanta won hands down.

I was just in Phoenix visting my parents and played in a tournament. I talked to several local players and was surprised to find out that the Phoenix tennis scene wasn't that great relative to the size of the metro area and the abundance of good weather. [Note: Almost all the Phoenix guys said that the extreme heat at the peak of summer wasn't a huge issue except on a handful of days. They either played early in the morning or at night. Tons of lighted courts and simply being out of the sun makes a huge difference even if the temp is still high.]

I would tend to agree. Given the location and weather, the tennis scene in Phoenix should be bigger than it actually stands right now. That said- pretty much everybody I have met who has moved here from the midw3st and East coast thinks it is way better than where they moved from.

abbeytxs
03-06-2009, 11:24 AM
I vote for Austin Texas (and the surrounding area). Plenty of courts. Lots of public, lighted courts. Lots of different leagues. There are at least one or two tournaments each month. Year round play. Plenty of players of all levels. Awesome college level tennis to watch. A couple of pro exhibition matches each year. A couple of junior tennis academies, plus Newk's ranch is not that far away.

The only thing Austin is lacking when it comes to tennis, is not enough variety in court surfaces available. There a couple of clay and grass courts at the high end country clubs, but that is pretty much it.

mikeler
03-06-2009, 11:38 AM
What are the best cities in Florida for tennis?


Orlando is pretty good. I can't speak for the other cities in Florida. I played a guy who moved from Atlanta in a 10 person 4.5 league a few years ago. He said in Atlanta there would be 8 of the same size leagues and then the winner from each would play each other in a playoff. So all this talk about Atlanta does not surprise me.

rasajadad
03-06-2009, 11:38 AM
Atlanta
Hilton Head Island
Western Massachusetts

Douggo
03-06-2009, 11:50 AM
Minneapolis is actually a very decent city for tennis - if you don't mind playing indoor 6 months of the year. The actual number of tennis players is high, and there is a lot of access to public outdoor courts during the summer.

Tennis magazine did a story several (many? I'm old now) on the best U.S. tennis cities, and named St. Cloud, MN number one. I kid you not.

bluetrain4
03-06-2009, 12:34 PM
Tennis magazine did a story several (many? I'm old now) on the best U.S. tennis cities, and named St. Cloud, MN number one. I kid you not.

My parents live in St. Cloud and I can guarantee that it should not be number one. The tennnis community is pretty good considering that it's only about 120,000 metro area and has only 5 indoor courts (which matters given the winters). But, it's not that great. St. Cloud is located about an hour and 15 minutes NW of Minneapolis on I-94.

SlapShot
03-06-2009, 09:08 PM
My parents live in St. Cloud and I can guarantee that it should not be number one. The tennnis community is pretty good considering that it's only about 120,000 metro area and has only 5 indoor courts (which matters given the winters). But, it's not that great. St. Cloud is located about an hour and 15 minutes NW of Minneapolis on I-94.

I grew up halfway between Mpls and Cloud town - St. Cloud has 2 solid HS programs (Tech and Apollo), but I agree that it's not really what I'd call a booming tennis city. Their junior tourneys did draw some solid players, though - I don't think that I ever made it past the 3rd round in a tourney there.

ESP#1
03-06-2009, 09:31 PM
I like the idea of austin being a great tennis city, the weather there always seems great, anyone know if its humid there or if its dry heat?

abbeytxs
03-07-2009, 11:25 AM
I like the idea of austin being a great tennis city, the weather there always seems great, anyone know if its humid there or if its dry heat?

Depends on the day. We have both, although I would say that we have more dry days than humid.

DrewRafter8
03-07-2009, 01:35 PM
Snow Hill, NC. End of discussion....

ESP#1
03-07-2009, 02:35 PM
Snow Hill, NC. End of discussion....

You sound really confident, what makes snow hill so great?

TonLars
03-07-2009, 03:28 PM
Tennis magazine did a story several (many? I'm old now) on the best U.S. tennis cities, and named St. Cloud, MN number one. I kid you not.

Yeah, thats definitely funny. 20-25 years ago and earlier apparently it was doing well with what it had, even 10 years ago when I was playing around there it was doing much better than current. These days the programs could really be doing better and alot more, and the juniors and highschool teams are not real strong.

jmjmkim
03-07-2009, 03:55 PM
Ojai, CA in April

mikeler
03-07-2009, 05:05 PM
Depends on the day. We have both, although I would say that we have more dry days than humid.


You could say the same thing about Orlando. We have 4 to 5 humid months a year and the rest are fairly dry but the humidity is so oppressive in the summer it can make you forget about these dry months we have now!

jwr1972
03-07-2009, 05:19 PM
Have to go with the Atlanta area since I live here and can play tennis year round. There's even a new indoor complex at James Creek for those nasty days.

The Wreck
03-07-2009, 05:23 PM
I'll throw in more support for Atlanta. It truly has the most tennis opportunities. USTA isn't even the most popular league here; ALTA dominates. There are tournaments nearly every weekend, and its just about a guarantee that if you go by any neighborhood or park on a Saturday or Sunday, there will be a match going on. Just about 10 miles from where I live, they built and marketed an entire neighborhood based solely around tennis. And with so many people playing, you never have a hard time finding a player your level to hit with.

I've even heard that they don't play pro tournaments in Atlanta anymore because all the tennis players would would come to watch are busy playing their ALTA matches every weekend.

I'm done gushing now. Atlanta is awesome. That's all.

ESP#1
03-07-2009, 09:29 PM
I'll throw in more support for Atlanta. It truly has the most tennis opportunities. USTA isn't even the most popular league here; ALTA dominates. There are tournaments nearly every weekend, and its just about a guarantee that if you go by any neighborhood or park on a Saturday or Sunday, there will be a match going on. Just about 10 miles from where I live, they built and marketed an entire neighborhood based solely around tennis. And with so many people playing, you never have a hard time finding a player your level to hit with.

I've even heard that they don't play pro tournaments in Atlanta anymore because all the tennis players would would come to watch are busy playing their ALTA matches every weekend.

I'm done gushing now. Atlanta is awesome. That's all.

Thats impressive, how are the winters? im guessing pretty mild, really sounds like a great city for tennis in the U.S

jwr1972
03-08-2009, 09:11 AM
Thats impressive, how are the winters? im guessing pretty mild, really sounds like a great city for tennis in the U.S

Winters are mostly ok but we will have those days where it doesn't get out of the 30's(very rare). I am playing in a winter league and it has been fun. Most days it will be upper 40's at the least and up to 73 today for example. :)

ESP#1
03-08-2009, 04:11 PM
Winters are mostly ok but we will have those days where it doesn't get out of the 30's(very rare). I am playing in a winter league and it has been fun. Most days it will be upper 40's at the least and up to 73 today for example. :)

Do they have alot of singles tournaments?

jgn1013
03-08-2009, 05:24 PM
Do they have alot of singles tournaments?

I don't think their are many USTA tournaments, mainly because league plays takes up most of Saturday morning. I play year round, the weather is awesome, this weekend we has 70+ temp. and sunny!

Why would you pay $25 for tournament, when you can join a league for $25-35, mostly with 7 matches guaranteed.

TheGreatestAudia
03-09-2009, 08:10 AM
I don't think their are many USTA tournaments, mainly because league plays takes up most of Saturday morning. I play year round, the weather is awesome, this weekend we has 70+ temp. and sunny!

Why would you pay $25 for tournament, when you can join a league for $25-35, mostly with 7 matches guaranteed.

Agreed. You're going to get a ton more league play than you are tourney play. If we only had Alta, we'd still be one of the more popular cities. Instead, we have several other leagues, singles and doubles, to satisfy a tennis thirst. Not many indoor courts, though. There might be less than a handful in the entire state that allow you to reserve courts for matches. (That knocks the PGA Superstore indoor courts out of the picture.)

As for the weather, there are some bitterly cold days that make playing tennis impossible. For example, last weekend, it snowed a couple inches. This past weekend, it was sunny and in the 70s. Summer can get a bit humid but nothing too rough.

bluetrain4
03-09-2009, 08:21 AM
I grew up halfway between Mpls and Cloud town - St. Cloud has 2 solid HS programs (Tech and Apollo), but I agree that it's not really what I'd call a booming tennis city. Their junior tourneys did draw some solid players, though - I don't think that I ever made it past the 3rd round in a tourney there.

True, the tennis scene in St. Cloud was better previously. I played high school tennis in the late 80s and early 90s. My high school was in the north subsection of section 8AA for tennis and we could never get past St. Cloud Tech (who was always ranked in the top 3 at the time) in the regional final to get to the State tournament.

At that time, the Boland brothers played for Tech, including Brian, who is now the head coach at the University of Virginia.

I remember playing the St. Cloud summer USTA tournament and it was huge - played at the St. Cloud Country Club and the tiered courts (two on top, five on the bottom) next to Hallenbeck Hall at St. Cloud State University (which I think are gone now). Many of the Minneapolis, St. Paul, and metro suburban players would play, which was always intimdiating for us kids from the sticks of west central MN (LOL).

St. Cloud St. had a decent division II program and I think the local rec programs were very well organized. The indoor club out by I-94 closed and now the only indoor courts in town are the 5 under a bubble on the back of Gold's Gym in Sartell (suburb just to the north of St. Cloud). I'm not sure if St. Cloud State U. has some sort of multi-purpose court with tennis lines where students and the team can play.

I can see where St. Cloud in the past could have been the No. 1 tennis city (at least "small" tennis city), as there seemed to be an engaged and organized community and a lot of participation for a city its size. But, it seems like a silly distinction today.

KFwinds
03-09-2009, 09:13 AM
34 posts on this thread and no one has mentioned Chicago? There is a TON of tennis going on around here, especially in the 'burbs. I know Atlanta is a hotspot, but I gotta tell ya; I've known some folks that have moved here (I live in the Aurora area) from Atlanta, and they tend to have to adjust a little to our level of play... I'm not saying it's not competitive down there, but I think there are more players in this area simply due to the higher population.

Unfortuntely though, like Minneapolis, it's indoor tennis for a good chunk of the year. The good news is that there are plenty of reasonably priced facilities around and lots of league play (mainly NITTL and USTA, but there are others). I personally prefer playing outdoors, and usually try to milk as much out the summers as I can get :)

KFwinds
03-09-2009, 09:20 AM
I'll throw in more support for Atlanta. It truly has the most tennis opportunities. USTA isn't even the most popular league here; ALTA dominates. There are tournaments nearly every weekend, and its just about a guarantee that if you go by any neighborhood or park on a Saturday or Sunday, there will be a match going on. Just about 10 miles from where I live, they built and marketed an entire neighborhood based solely around tennis. And with so many people playing, you never have a hard time finding a player your level to hit with.

I've even heard that they don't play pro tournaments in Atlanta anymore because all the tennis players would would come to watch are busy playing their ALTA matches every weekend.

I'm done gushing now. Atlanta is awesome. That's all.

That sounds awesome. The folks I've met from Atlanta have talked a lot about ALTA; I'd definitely like to check out that scene sometime.

Rabbit
03-09-2009, 09:28 AM
Although I don't live there, I can testify to Atlanta as being the best spot in the US for tennis. I've been told that many new communities just weren't doing well unless they had a tennis club and pro in the initial build. There are many former pros and D1 players who play Alta. USTA isn't that big a deal over there from what I'm told, it's all ALTA.

max
03-09-2009, 09:36 AM
Um definitely Wauwatosa Wisconsin. Theres courts 6 blocks away from me in 3 directions. Altogether we have like 50 tennis courts in a small city like wauwatosa. Most are lighted until 10:30 at night. Also there all in like really nice places, like in a park next to a river. Yea definitely wauwatosa No contest. And we have a lot of good players from milwaukee playing in wauwatosa leagues.

I like Wisconsin quite a bit; underrated, it should be the Colorado of the '10 decade. Excellent state.

KF: where in the surburbs? south, west, north? You know a lot of that '70s tennis boom was started by folks on the North Side.

Atlanta has a lot of tennis, but I just don't think for a minute I'd like the weather in the South. Too much for me!

jgn1013
03-09-2009, 10:48 AM
That sounds awesome. The folks I've met from Atlanta have talked a lot about ALTA; I'd definitely like to check out that scene sometime.

ALTA is to me a more "social" event, the men play during the Spring & Fall season, every Saturday morning, 5 doubles line. Home team supplies food, sports & adult beverages. Women play Spring & Fall on Sunday @ 1 PM.


Summer & Winter season you play USTA, same concept but not as popular, not sure why. I like having 2 singles line, & 3 doubles lines.

tennismike33
03-09-2009, 10:51 AM
Last year I played in Columbia, SC. Great tennis complexes with a mixture of hard courts and clay courts. Lexington Tennis complex was a fantastic place to play. Met a lot of great people there that played a high level of tennis!!!

KFwinds
03-09-2009, 12:15 PM
KF: where in the surburbs? south, west, north? You know a lot of that '70s tennis boom was started by folks on the North Side.

West suburbs. I live near Aurora, and my "home" club is the Vaughan Athletic Center (formerly the Aurora Tennis Club). The Rush Copley Healthplex is actually a little closer to me, but the Vaughan A.C. is much less expensive.

pines2222
03-09-2009, 12:40 PM
Norcal is underrated in activity. The USTA leagues have exploded in popularilty over the last several years. Just to give you a sense, there are currently approximately 200 Men's 3.5 teams signed up for the Norcal region for the upcoming Spring 2009 Leagues. That seems like a lot for me, but I'd be interested to hear how that rates relative to other regions.

Also, the weather isn't that bad. It rains in the winter, but you can certainly play year around. And in most parts of the region, it doesn't get too hot in the summer.