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The Everything Guide to Tennis

Pristine public courts (and how to get on them), clinics for the kids, picking a racquet, and the shopping list of essential gear.

The Parks Department has poured $8 million into new and renovated tennis facilities since 2006, and it will be laying out $4 million more over the next year—a big chunk of which goes toward rebuilding sixteen Bronx courts displaced by the new Yankee Stadium. Those open in 2009; right now, there are roughly 550 public courts, including this perfectly groomed clay one at Riverside Park, near West 96th Street. The necessary seasonal pass, good through November, is $100; single-play passes are $7. Get either at the Arsenal in Central Park (830 Fifth Ave., nr. 64th St.; 212-360-8131) or renew last year’s pass at For more places to perfect your jump smash, click ahead.

The Boot-Camp Getaway
No matter your skill level, two butt-busting days will get you tennis ready by Monday morning.
This Court Is Now in Session
The six best courts in the city, keyed to the tennis personality they most closely resemble.
Where to Put the Ice Packs
An orthopedic surgeon breaks down the city’s most popular surfaces.
When the Racquet’s Bigger Than You Are
Classes, clinics, and hit-arounds for kids.
Racquets for Rookies
Two local racquetologists recommend racquets based on age and gender.
More Stuff You Should Buy
Essential tennis gear.
Tennis Yentas
Finding a playing partner on the Web is akin to dating online.