Tennis stadiums worth travelling for
The best travel destinations for tennis lovers.
Indian Wells Tennis Garden, California, USA
Nestled in the gorgeous Coachella Valley, the Indian Wells Tennis Garden is widely considered one of the most beautiful tennis locations in the world. Visit in March to catch some of the festivity of the BNP Paribas Open against a stunning natural backdrop of palm trees, blue skies and the Santa Rosa mountains. Wander past the practise courts and spot your favourite players up close, soak up the energy of the crowds, and watch as the world’s top players fight it out on the green hard courts. A state-of-the-art facility in the middle of a desert oasis, the Tennis Garden is also home to a number of other tournaments throughout the year, and during the week members and guests can access the courts for recreational play, private or group lessons, or a range of tennis programs, clinics and camps.
Courte Centrale at Monte Carlo Country Club, Roquebrune Cap Martin, France
Set on dramatic, rocky cliffs overlooking the sparkling Mediterranean, this unique tennis facility is home to the Monte Carlo Masters tournament, often considered ‘the jewel’ of the ATP calendar. The 21 manicured clay courts are laid out in a staircase of shelves facing the sea, with the Provence hills rising in the opposite direction. Enjoy a delicious feast in the terrace restaurants while you look out over the courts and keep an eye on the tennis.
Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena, Shanghai, China
Known as the Flower stadium, this cleverly-constructed arena is immediately recognisably by its retractable steel roof, made up of eight petal-shaped pieces that together resemble a blooming magnolia, Shanghai’s city flower. The roof, which takes eight minutes to open or close (eight being an auspicious number in Chinese culture), allows the stadium to host both indoor and outdoor tennis events without the sometimes-erratic Shanghai weather getting in the way. Home of the ATP Shanghai Masters tournament in October, Qizhong stadium seats 15,000 and is designed in a Colosseum shape to create a sense of unity between players and spectators.
Arthur Ashe Stadium, New York, USA
Many tennis fans have a love-hate relationship with the home of the US Open, but for its sheer mammoth size it’s a must on any tennis wish-list. Part of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre in Queens, the $254 million Arthur Ashe Stadium is by far the largest tennis-only sports stadium in the world. With crowds of up to 23,500 tennis fans, there’s nothing quite like the festivity of tournament days. Be a part of an incredible shared experience during the US Open and watch the world’s best players in their element, all with the iconic Manhattan skyline as your backdrop.
Roy Emerson Arena, Gstaad, Switzerland
In the wintery months, the charming village of Gstaad is all about skiing and snowboarding – but when the sun comes out and a sumptuous Swiss summer begins, crowds flock to Roy Emerson Arena, the centrepiece of the Swiss Open. The outdoor clay courts are surrounded by seating for up to 6,000 spectators, with ‘Skyboxes’ up the top that provide a fantastic view of the game – and the breathtaking mountain landscape. The village itself features a picturesque promenade of shops, art galleries, restaurants and boutiques, so there is plenty to keep your senses activated if you feel like taking a stroll between matches. The arena is named in honour of Roy Emerson, 12-time Grand Slam champion and winner of the 1969 Gstaad tournament.
Centre Court, All England Club, London
Of course, Wimbledon’s Centre Court will always be holy ground for tennis lovers. The hallowed grass court has staged some of the most memorable matches in tennis history, and there is a definite nostalgia in the traditions of the tournament, from the crisp white playing attire to the customary feast of fresh strawberries and cream. Built in 1922, the tennis stadium seats 15,000 fans on the grass beyond centre court.