Cheap Shot: Tennis on a Budget

Tennis has a rep for being a “country club sport,” but in fact, with about 30 million participants in the United States, tennis isn’t exclusive at all. Perhaps its reputation comes from the various costs associated with tennis including club memberships, equipment and clothing. But you don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy the sport. Win the bargain battle with these tips for tennis on a budget.


Beginners don’t need to worry as much about purchasing a high-quality racket. You can learn just fine with a cheap, aluminum racket, which you can buy new for about $15. Of course, as you start to become more serious about the game, you’ll want to get a graphite or titanium racket with a grip size, head size and weight that fits your style. You can still however, snag some top-notch rackets for one-third of the original price if you buy online during closeout sales. If you’re okay playing with a used racket, ask your instructor if he or she has any old models you could buy.



In addition to the price of racket strings, you’ll also have to pay someone to do the restringing. That means the more often your strings break, the more money it’s going to cost you. Save in the long run by purchasing durable polyester strings. Most brands are about the same price, but some to check out are: Dunlop Black Widow, Gamma Zo Black Ice, Genesis Black Magic, Wilson Enduro Pro and Prince Tour.



An expense you might not think about often is the cost of tennis balls. Unlike other sports in which the playing ball is fairly durable, tennis balls have a shelf life of about two weeks. One solution is to buy non-pressurized tennis balls because they lose air less quickly (and can even last for several years), however, you might find they feel a bit heavier and denser than pressurized tennis balls. You can also purchase practice balls or “x-out” balls which have slight color blemishes and are sold at a discounted price. The manufacturer can’t sell a tainted product but they are as good as new.



Don’t go to a brand-name retailer to buy clothes; you can find great bargains online at sites like Tennis Warehouse and Tennis Express. You also don’t have to buy “tennis clothes” to look and feel great on the court. Athletic collections at lower-price retailers like Target offer pieces for less than $20, including skorts for women and crew-neck shirts for men.

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Tennis is unlike many other sports in which you learn by joining a team at a young age. In order to master tennis, it’s basically essential that you take some private lessons. If you’re new to the tennis world, the going rate of private lessons can seem overwhelming, but there are several ways to save on the cost. Split the cost of lessons with a friend or two and still get plenty of one-on-one time with an instructor by opting for a semi-private lesson. And of course, with MyTennisLessons you’re able to compare the hourly rates for coaches in your area as well as save money over time by buying lessons in bulk.

Don’t let tennis’ reputation scare you away from participating in a lifetime sport. In this game, sometimes “cheap shots” are the best strategy.


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