While November may seem like the time of year tennis players put away their rackets for the winter, in Phoenix, Arizona, it’s just the opposite. On average, this city has 107 days per year in which the temperature high is 100°F or more, and most of these days fall between May and October. But for the next 10 days, Phoenix residents will welcome sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80s. It’s the perfect time of year for tennis players in Phoenix to find renewed energy and burn some calories on the tennis courts. So get fired up about playing tennis in Phoenix and learn why this city is a paragon among tennis communities.
Phoenix tennis players have a role model in Bethanie Mattek-Sands — the WTA player is a Minnesota native who now resides in The Valley with her husband, Justin, and dog, Ruger. She reached a career-high ranking of no. 30 in 2011, but is now ranked no. 175 after playing just one grand slam event and a handful of other tournaments in 2014. This January she lost to Maria Sharapova in the first round of the Australian Open, but she had wins throughout the season over top players including Genie Bouchard and Aga Radwanska. Her career achievements include 12 WTA doubles titles and winning the mixed doubles tournament of the Australian Open in 2012. Mattek-Sands is also known for her eccentric style on the court — so much so that SI.com dedicated an entire slideshow to her wardobe choices.
Located a few miles east of Phoenix, Arizona State University has developed a successful Division I women’s tennis program with the help of Shelia McInerey, who has coached the Sun Devils for the past 31 years. Her career achievements include coaching 42 All-Americans, leading her teams to 13 top-10 finishes and having the second most wins in the history of ASU athletics. She led her team to the the NCAA tournament 29 times, including 27 years consecutively, where she made it to the Sweet Sixteen 18 times and the quarterfinals eight times. Phoenix residents can watch the Sun Devils play at home beginning Jan. 17, when they face the University of California-Davis.
Goldwater Women’s Tennis Classic
For four years, The Phoenix Country Club hosted a women’s pro-circuit challenger tournament each November. The ITF event with prize money of $75,000, brought players like Sloane Stephens and Genie Bouchard to the city. Winners included Americans Varvara Lepchenko and Madison Keys.
This March, in nearby Surprise, Arizona, Mark Philippoussis, Anna Kournikova, Tracy Austin, Todd Martin, Michael Chang and Jim Courier played exhibition matches as part of a tournament series for tennis greats over the age of 30. If you never got the chance to see these incredible talents in their heyday, the PowerShares series will likely return to Phoenix next year.
The Kiwanis Tennis Center features 15 lighted courts and players can make reservations starting at $11 every one hour and 30 minutes. If you have a child interested in taking tennis lessons, check out Kiwanis Junior Tennis Academy Director Michael M.’s profile on MyTennisLessons. Last year, his programs offered tennis instruction to more than 600 players.
Nearby Scottsdale’s Resort & Athletic Club was voted one of the country’s 50 best tennis resorts by Tennis Magazine and Tennis Resorts Online. If you’d like to take lessons at this beautiful facility, former Wimbledon mixed doubles champion John Austin is offering lessons there through MyTennisLessons. Sign up with John today!
John also offers lessons at the 18-court facility at Scottsdale Ranch Park & Tennis Center that in 2002 was named one of eight outstanding tennis facilities by the USTA. The cost to play begins at $3 an hour for Scottsdale residents and $7 per hour for non-residents.
The Chandler Tennis Center has 15 lighted courts as well as locker rooms and wifi. Court fees begin at $2.50 per hour and 30 minutes for city residents and $4 for non-residents. MyTennisLessons instructor Barbi Y. is able to teach at this facility and loves teaching groups and children.
Think you’re ready to rise to the challenge and join the dozens of tennis players and pros on the courts of Phoenix? Meet the MyTennisLessons team in Phoenix and catch the tennis fever today!