It’s a Navy base, a surfer town, Shamu’s home and known for having one of the best climates year round. What tennis player wouldn’t want to reside in sunny San Diego, where salty sea breezes drift across the courts every day? California’s second largest city is tennis community home to the first woman to win four grand slams during a calendar year, a winning Mylan World Team Tennis lineup and dozens of public courts. Play local in this free and easy city with MyTennisLessons and our friendly coaches that teach on the Southern California coast.
For nearly 20 years the San Diego area was home to the Southern California Open, a WTA tournament played at the end of July. This year the tournament relocated to Tokyo, but that doesn’t erase the history of tennis greats who won titles in Carlsbad, among them Steffi Graf, Jennifer Capriati, Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport, Venus Williams, Justine Henin and Maria Sharapova.
In 2014, San Diego hosted the first round Davis Cup match between teams USA and Great Britain. Andy Murray defeated Sam Querrey on a temporary clay court built in downtown Petco Park, home to major league baseball’s San Diego Padres. It was the first time a Davis Cup match had been hosted in an open-air ballpark in the United States.
Nine-time grand slam champion Maureen Connolly learned to play tennis on the courts of San Diego, where she was dubbed “Little Mo” at age 11 by a sportswriter who said her groundstrokes had the same power as the guns on the USS Missouri, known as “Big Mo.” Connolly became the first woman to win a calendar grand slam, won 50 consecutive singles matches and was named “Female Athlete of the Year” three times by the Associated Press.
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After winning a singles championship playing for Crawford High School in San Diego, Brian Teacher went on to become an All-American at UCLA before capturing an Australian Open title in 1980. When his playing career ended, Teacher become a touring ATP and WTA coach, working with Andre Agassi, among others.
At the Valley View Casino Center, San Diegans can get an intimate view of doubles champions Bob and Mike Bryan, who play team tennis for the Aviators. Former WTA top 5 player Daniela Hantuchova also plays for the third-ranked World Team Tennis franchise. In addition, tennis fans in San Diego can watch Division I competition at nearby San Diego State University; University of California, San Diego and University of San Diego.
Among the many public courts in the San Diego area, a few to check out include the Balboa Tennis Club (25 hard courts, $6 per court), the Peninsula Tennis Club (7 hard courts, $5 per court) and the Barnes Tennis Center (25 hard courts and two clay courts, starting at $6 per hour). Sign up for lessons with one of MyTennisLessons’ pros at Balboa, Peninsula or Barnes (court fees do not apply).
There’s no shortage of tennis shops in San Diego. Ray’s Tennis is the city’s oldest tennis shop and one of the largest in the world. The back of the shop even has a small court to test products. Other San Diego shops include Just Tennis and The Tennis Company.
Ready to play local in San Diego? Meet our San Diego MyTennisLessons team and sign up for tennis lessons today!