You can play tennis any time of the year, but now that the weather is getting warmer, it’s time to get out there. Grab your racket, don your tennis whites and head to one of these year-round locations.
Sportime Randall’s Island
Price: Hourly $44 for members/$72 for associates
Hours: Daily – 6:30 – 11 p.m.
The city’s newest state-of-the-art tennis facility, open on Randall’s Island since 2010, has 20 courts for use including year-round, indoor hard courts, and five hard courts and 10 clay courts available for indoor/outdoor play depending on the season. Players and fans of the sport can also enjoy the Courtside Café, special events and tournaments held on-site, or even rent courts for kids’ parties or other tennis-themed functions.
Roosevelt Island Racquet Club
Smack dab in the middle of the East River on Roosevelt Island lies this indoor facility featuring 12 green clay courts, as well as an exercise warmup room and pro shop. In addition to court time, the club has a number of instructional and playing programs for all ages and experience levels. The Roosevelt Island Racquet Club is easily accessible by tram or subway; free parking is also available.
Midtown Tennis Club
Price: Hourly from $75 to $115
Hours: Mon to Fri – 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sat and Sun – 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.Conveniently located in Chelsea on Eighth Avenue at 27th Street, the Midtown Tennis Club is one of New York’s first indoor tennis clubs (built in 1965). There are eight Har-Tru courts inside, and no membership fees. Rookies and kids can take lessons from a team of renowned pros, and it’s a great location for private tennis parties, corporate events and tournaments.
Sutton East Tennis Club
Tucked away beneath the Queensboro Bridge on Manhattan’s east side is the Sutton East Tennis Club, housing eight indoor clay courts. Membership is not required, but courts are in high demand so expect a long wait and less-than-ideal time slot (not to mention high rates). But for the hardcore tennis lover, the setting may be worth the wait and cost: The courts are in a 45,000-square-foot bubble built to give players lots of back-court room and high ceilings. (For those who have wondered what that big bubble under the bridge is, now you know.)
USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
Price: Hourly from $20 to $65
Hours: Daily – 6 a.m. – 12 p.m.
This one will have to wait until the Open is over, but then you can play where the champions play. The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center opens its courts to the public 11 months out of the year. The home of the U.S. Open Tennis Championship, at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, has 12 indoor courts and four climate-controlled courts available for hourly and seasonal rentals. Tennis buffs can take the 7 train or Long Island Rail Road from Manhattan to this largest public tennis facility in the world and feel like pros for a day. Stadium courts are not available, so don’t bring too many of your fans to watch.
Michael Browne is a freelance writer and editor based in New York City, specializing in travel and the hospitality industry. Browne is the former managing editor of Travel Agent magazine. His work can be found on Examiner.com.