Game, Set, Minneapolis
If you’re a tennis fan like me, then you probably spent part of your Fourth of July weekend following Wimbledon and watching the women’s and men’s finals. I have never played tennis competitively (except for a short stint in middle school when I lost nearly every game), but I still like to play recreationally every now and then, especially after becoming inspired by the talent at Grand Slam events. I like to braid my hair back like world No. 2 player Victoria Azarenka, throw on my Lacoste athletic shirt and pretend like I’ve got an entire crowd watching every hit.
If you’re visiting the Twin Cities and feel inspired by the athletes at Wimbledon, there are many places for a friendly—or intense—tennis match.
For indoor courts, the University of Minnesota Baseline Tennis Center has 10 indoor and 12 outdoor courts open to the public for a fee. For a convenient indoor location, the Reed Sweatt Family Tennis Center is just minutes from downtown, Uptown and the Lyn-Lake neighborhood of Minneapolis. It is one of the cheapest places to play, with only a $5 guest fee for unregistered players. And don’t worry if you didn’t bring a racquet—you can rent one for free by leaving keys or a driver’s license at the front desk.
With Minneapolis’ leading park system, there’s no doubt that the parks here are one of the best places to practice your backhand winner. You can find courts at many of Minneapolis’ more than 180 parks, but if you play at Loring Park, located near the Sculpture Garden, you can go see the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture before playing on one of their four tennis courts. Just one mile down Kenwood Parkway from the Sculpture Garden is Kenwood Park, equipped with six tennis courts, 32.7 acres of land and beautiful views of Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles.
It’s hard to play if you don’t have the right gear. Unlike many typical sporting goods stores, Tennis on Selby takes on the feel of the surrounding boutiques of St. Paul's popular Selby and Snelling area. It carries top-rated racquet lines including Babolat, Wilson, Prince and Head. Along with shoes and apparel, they offer traditional stringing services and racquet customization.