If you’re like Anna Wintour, Roger Federer, or Serena Williams, you’ve been waiting with bated breath for the hottest tennis event of the year: the US Open. This August marks the start of America’s biggest tennis tournament. From August 26th through September 8th, tennis pros and sports fans alike will be gathering in Queens to see the best of the best duke it out for the U.S. Open Trophy.
Hard-core tennis fans can try their luck with purchasing tickets to the live event, otherwise, there are plenty of opportunities to satisfy your taste for tennis in the city. Here are some of our favorite ways to get into the tennis spirit:
Practice Your Backhand at Sutton East
Unless you’re a professional tennis player, it’s unlikely that you travel with an extra racket in your suitcase. But that shouldn’t stop you from playing a game or two while on vacation or traveling for work. The eight indoor red clay courts at Sutton East Tennis are the perfect place to practice your game. Rent a racket for just $10 directly from the shop and enjoy complimentary towels and convenient locker rooms. If you don’t have a partner to play with, take advantage of their weekly classes and adult programs.
Grab a Drink at SPIN
Spend the afternoon with tennis’ playful cousin, ping pong, at SPIN New York on 23rd street (between Madison and Park avenues), just a twenty-minute cab ride from The Wagner. Self-described as the original ping-pong social club, SPIN is a fun place to drink, play and socialize with other table tennis enthusiasts. Join the party on Friday nights where SPIN goers can compete in communal games, watch exhibition matches and take on SPIN pros for a chance at ping pong glory.
Visit the Tennis Racket Museum at the West Side Tennis Club
The private tennis club in Forest Hills has long been a part of tennis history. But in 2018, the club opened its historic doors to the public for the first time. With a pre-booked appointment, visitors can see the recently transformed tennis racquet museum on the second-floor of the club. Over twenty rackets from as early as the 1890’s form part of the museum’s collection, along with books, magazines and other memorabilia from the U.S. Open.
Watch the Action at the Central Park Tennis Center
Local tennis pros know how difficult it can be to secure an outdoor court for personal play, especially at the coveted Central Park Tennis Center courts. These 26 clay courts are located in the heart of Central Park and kept in exceptional conditions. Beginners can reserve group, private or semi-private classes, but regular players have to invest in a $200 permit to enjoy the courts on a frequent basis. If you’re unable to book a class or reserve a permit, it’s still worth stopping by the courts to see the players in action in the most idyllic tennis court in the city.