It's pretty easy to fit a tennis court almost anywhere - for years, people have been squeezing them into any place with 2800 square feet to spare.
Sure, you've seen the temporary courts Roger Federer and others have played on for marketing stunts: On top of the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubal, on a floating court, or a half-grass half-clay court - but our favorites are standard tennis courts in exceptionally unique locations.
As the fall season winds down, we're sharing a few of our favorites:
There are many tennis courts on beaches in exotic locations, but few with as much posh as the courts on Necker Island. Necker, of course, is Sir Richard Branson’s private island resort - which he bought for a measly $180,000 at the age of 28.
Necker is home to the Necker Cup, a prestigious pro-am tournament that occurs on the island every year and brings together current and former pros.
It’s hard to beat the setting: the courts are right on the beach with a hint of a water view. A little distracting during play, perhaps, but at least the time to get to the beach after the match is minimized.
Infinite Tennis Court - Los Angeles
Private tennis cubs are one thing, but private courts on the grounds of your own villa are another. The recreational sports scene among LA's elite often plays out on these secluded courts. The private court of choice has to be the one behind James Goldstein's house - a house featured in "The Big Lebowski" - that features a tennis court reminiscing an infinity pool.
It looks like a cross-court winner might just land in downtown LA, so make sure you bring an extra can of balls.
Monte-Carlo Country Club
One of the premier stops on the ATP world tour is the Monte Carlo Masters tournament, which actually takes place in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France - just across the border from Monaco.
The tournament takes place just prior to the French Open, and contrast between the unmistakeable deep red clay of France and the blue waters of the Mediterranean is simply stunning.
Roy Emerson Arena - Gstaad
From a clay court on the beach to a clay court in the mountains. Gstaad hosts a mid-summer ATP tour tournament in the 5,000 seat arena in the middle of the Swiss alps.
Emerson, the court's namesake, won a combined 28 amateur Grand Slam titles in both singles and doubles (one of only five players to win multiple Slams in both disciplines) and won in Gstaad in 1969.
Stadium Grass Court at Desert Mountain, Scottsdale
Touted as the centerpiece of the facility, Desert Mountain's clubhouse overlooks a sunken grass court that has been called "the finest conditioned grass surface" that some pros had ever seen.
An advanced water heating system is buried under the court, ensuring ideal growing conditions for the grass are maintained at all times - handy when your grass court is in the middle of the desert. We love the natural bleachers and surrounding cactus, too.
Astor Private Court - Rhinebeck, NY
John Jacob Astor IV's Astor Courts building, which he had constructed in 1902, is a sportsman's dream. Specifically designed as a sporting pavilion, the building housed the first residential indoor pool, two squash courts, a bowling alley, and a shooting range. An outdoor grass tennis court can be found on the grounds as well, but the crown jewel of the facility has to be the indoor tennis court.
A gigantic skylight supported by a vault-and-truss system allows natural light to shine on the red clay, making it feel like you're playing tennis in the most elegant of field houses.
La Cavalerie - Paris
Paris’ rich tennis history needs no introduction, and the city has an amazing collection of tennis spaces in odd and beautiful locations, beautifully outlined in this excellent NY Times piece. None are more delightful than La Cavalerie, an English hunting lodge style club located (conveniently) above an Aston Martin dealership.
The court is a sight to behold: 1,400 pieces of wood were fashioned to create a honeycomb style wall/ceiling arching over the playing surface. A glass ceiling allows natural light to accompany the interior lights of the court.
Plus, after your match is over you can walk out on the patio and take in this view:
Rooftop Tennis Court - Holiday Inn Atrium, Singapore
It’s hard to believe that perhaps the best view of the Singapore skyline is on the roof of a Holiday Inn. On a tennis court. But it might just be true.
The court itself is rather unremarkable, but it’s nearly impossible to beat the view.
All Iowa Lawn Tennis Club
A beautiful grass court surrounded by a white fence in the middle of a cornfield? Sign us up. The All Iowa Lawn Tennis Club is a slice of Wimbledon dropped squarely in middle America.
It's like a real-life tennis version of "Field of Dreams," and it's been called "glorious" by this tremendous article from Grantland in 2013.