Tennis venues aren’t all the same. They offer different experiences for the eager spectators that swarm to them, and for the tennis players too. To understand which ones may be worth travelling to, here are some of the world’s best tennis venues.
Court King Rainier III, Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo has always been seen as an impressive place and it surely attracts the crowds to Court King Rainier III at the Monte Carlo Country Club. Its history goes back to 1893 as the first tennis club to open in Monaco. The club expands its seating during events to accommodate thousands of extra spectators who don’t want to miss a single-serve, lob, or slice shot near the net. Even those in the tall grandstands still get a great view of all the action. However, if you are unable to attend, then watching online live tennis when the tournament is on might allow you to catch it on game day too.
Wimbledon is seen by many tennis players as the pinnacle of the sport. While it may not be the U.S. Open, it still holds greater meaning to players and audiences alike. Tickets are usually issued using a lottery-type system due to the enduring popularity of wanting a seat to the action. The attention to detail is something that many players remember. For instance, seeded players have special, separate facilities compared to non-seeded players. Also, some of the other factors that differentiate Wimbledon include the fact that practice courts are on-site, so unlike at the French Open, it’s not necessary to find another place to practice, losing valuable time going back and forth.
The Kitzbüheler tennis club is perched in the Austrian Alps. The 762-meter elevation above sea level affords a cooler 25-degrees Centigrade for tennis players as they battle it out. As part of the ATP Tour, the event is seen by around 6,000 spectators at Kitzbüheler, so plenty of locals and people who travel from far away get to enjoy the spectacle. Also, the unique picturesque beauty of the Alps allows visitors to spend longer in the area beside the tennis itself. So, they can plan a holiday around the tournament too.
Roy Emerson Stadium, Gstaad
The Roy Emerson Stadium in Gstaad is an interesting venue for tennis. Situated amongst mountains and hillsides with undulating views, it includes plenty of chalets and cabins that get booked up long in advance for this feature event. The stadium seats up to 6,000 excited spectators ready to enjoy exhilarating sets of tennis and then explore other parts of Switzerland when it’s all over. The tournament is set close to Wimbledon, and so it doesn’t always see every top-seeded player attending. Because of this, there tend to be some surprises where lesser-known players get noticed for standout performances.
Arthur Ashe, US Open
The US Open held at the Arthur Ashe Stadium has a higher capacity of over 23,000 spectators. Situated in Flushing Meadows, the tournament includes night games courtesy of the evening lighting and a sliding roof. The use of the sliding roof also prevents rainy nights from halting play. The 22 courts keep many entertained. It’s an expansive venue, so it does require time to find your way around if you’ve got tickets to attend.
The best tennis venue is relative to the type of tennis that you like to see. If it’s the highest seeded players and the most exciting matches, then Wimbledon or the US Open might be preferable. However, smaller tournaments that get less attention allow spectators to see up-and-coming players too.
Wimbledon still has the unbeatable combination of the majestic show courts where it’s like watching an IMAX movie, and the cosy outside courts, where it’s like being at your local club. This gives you the choice of spending huge amounts of money for a once in a lifetime treat, or a modest amount to see some amazing tennis up close. Unfortunately, even the most obscure courts like 9 and 14 are getting bigger, whereas they used to have just 1 row of seating all round so you could often get hit! But compared to RG (show courts good, but others patchy) and FM (show-courts so big you need binoculars), W is still, comfortably, the best.
Old Phillips Chatrier used to have real ‘knee room’ issues in some seats at the front, but had a charm, and the artworks in some of the FTF/presidential suites were equisite.
New Chartier when lit up in that yellow sort of ‘glow’ at dusk, is just gorgeous. As appropriately modern ‘French’ as the creeping greenery is on modern Wimby show courts.
The AE Club has made such remarkable use of its footprint, tunnels and all manner of things hidden underneath something really quite, beautiful. On a quieter non first week day, it is a stunning place to mosey around on a sunny day.
For mere mortals, Lew Hoads in Mijas, Spain, used to have a ‘colloseum’ show court, but alas it has been turned into padel courts now.
Some beautiful courts at club level around the world too, mindful of some venues in Hilton Head Island and Caribbean, but also places like the rear Riverside courts at Warwick Boat Club, England and the old Grass courts at Edgbaston Archery club in Birmingham, England.
Rome looks a bit special too.
Not a fan of the new Miami location, all the road noise from vehicle traffic, the awkward look of the court inside the big stadium. Key Biscayne had a charm, but, that’s finance politics and planning for you.
A fabulous sport with some fabulous venues at all levels and standards of play, worldwide.
Jonas looks like he has some great venues in Malta too…….
I hope to see many more!