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 Urban Strategist

Tennis Lessons
Five places to find your sweet spot and embrace your inner Agassi.

BY T SAHARA MEER

Sets in the City: A roomy backcourt sets Crosstown Tennis apart.

It's that time of year when many New Yorkers catch a mean case of U.S. Open fever. Symptoms include an unprecedented familiarity with the 7 train and an overwhelming urge to slice, smash and spin. If you've been afflicted, you're not alone. According to the USTA, the number of people taking tennis lessons across the country almost doubles after the Open. Are you ready to perfect that kick second serve to the ad court? Join the crowd.


Riverside Park Tennis Courts
Newly refurbished and nestled along the Hudson River, Riverside's courts provide a picturesque spot to practice your backhand. The ten clay courts are open from April through November. No permit needed for lessons.
Private Lessons: $48/hour, $27/half-hour
Semi-private (2 people): $50/hour
Riverside Drive at 96th St.
212-978-0277


Crosstown Tennis at Fifth Avenue
Size gives Crosstown an advantage over other indoor tennis clubs. All four courts have backcourts of championship proportions -- so you won't find yourself slamming into the bubble trying to return a deep shot.
Private Lessons: $85/hour
Semi-private (2 people): $90/hour
Group Lessons: Four, one-hour weekly sessions (weekends only), $110
14 West 31st St.
212-947-5780

Manhattan Plaza Racquet Club
A "2001 Best of New York" winner, Manhattan Plaza is packed with amenities, including a sauna and a posh viewing lounge. To use the sauna, you'll need to join the club, but to take lessons with one of its pros, you can avoid coughing up the $900 membership fee.
Private Lessons: With a former touring pro $70/hour (plus $30 court fee); other instructors, $35/hour (plus court fee)
Tennis Clinics: Hour-and-a-half group sessions, $35
Group Lessons: Four weekly sessions, $180
450 West 43rd St.
212-594-0554


Midtown Tennis Club
When it opened its doors in 1966, Midtown was the first indoor public facility in the city and offered Forest Hills contenders such as Billie Jean King and Arthur Ashe a place to practice. Today the club boasts eight indoor/outdoor courts and several options for instruction.
Private Lessons: Peak hours, $95/hour; off-peak hours, $79/hour and $50/half-hour
Tennis College: Four one-hour lessons, beginner to advanced, $90
Adult Tennis Camp: Four two-hour clinics, intermediate to advanced, $200
Stroke of the Week: One hour of drills and exercises focusing on a particular stroke, $15
341 Eighth Avenue at 27th St.
212-989-8572

Roosevelt Island Racquet Club
Located right next to the tram, Roosevelt has eleven full-size courts and a great view of Manhattan. All club facilities, including an exercise room and a mid-court lounge, are available to non-members at no additional charge.
Private Lessons: Peak hours, $111/hour; off-peak, $88/hour
Group Lessons: Four, weekly hour-and-a-half sessions, $202 in peak hours, $172 off-peak
Drop-In Instruction & Play: One hour of drills and one hour of play, $44 for one session, $385 for a twelve-session package

281 Main St., Roosevelt Island
212-935-0250

Check out New York City's Department of Parks and Recreation for a list of public courts.

 
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