Welcome to Florida Week! As the tours head southeast for the Miami Open, TENNIS.com and Baseline will feature all things Sunshine State. You’ll learn about the personalities, stories, teams and venues that have made Florida one of the tennis capitals of the world. We’ll also be reporting from the Miami Open in Key Biscayne.

As you’ll learn this week, when it comes to tennis, Florida isn’t just a state—it’s a state of mind.

On that note, here's a look at five Florida tennis meccas, with five more to come on Wednesday:


All eyes in the tennis world are on one city this week: Miami. The Miami Open is one of the premier tournaments on both tour calendars, and takes place on beautiful Key Biscayne.

Crandon Park, the home of the Miami Open since 1987, is accessible to players throughout the year who wish to play on the same courts as the best athletes in the world. According to the Miami Dade website, you can rent one of the 26 courts for $3-$4 an hour. The 13,800-seat stadium, which was built in the 1990s, is also open to the public.

But don’t think that the only high-level tennis at the facility has been the professionals. The Orange Bowl, one of the world’s premier junior tournaments, was held at the Crandon Park facility from 1999 until 2010.


Let’s be honest, most people who go to Orlando are looking forward to meeting Mickey Mouse and fly through Harry Potter World.

But less than a 30-minute-drive down the road sites the new “Home of American Tennis,” the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, which opened in January.

"What excites me is, it is a place everyone in tennis can come to, whether you're a college player or a recreational player, whether you are a player with disabilities,"18-time Grand Slam championChris Evert said.

The Campus features 100 courts, professional tournaments, college matches, high school competition and regular scheduling of all forms of tennis, all the time.


But to be fair, tennis existed in Orlando before the USTA came to town. The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex even hosted a college tennis event that was televised on ESPN3.

In the 1970s, a former Army paratrooper named Nick Bolletieri arrived at a resort he was considering teaching tennis. It was not near New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago or even Miami. In fact, the city was barely known at all, even to the then-47-year-old himself.

“Longboat Key, Bradenton, Sarasota? I had barely heard of any of these places,” Bolletieri wrote in his autobiography, Changing the Game, almost 40 years later.

These days, when someone mentions tennis in Florida, the plethora of academies attempting to create the sports’ next stars comes to mind, with Bradenton at the forefront. Bolletieri founded the IMG Academy, also known as the Nick Bolletieri Tennis Academy, and it has produced some of the greatest players in tennis history.


From Andre Agassi and Monica Seles to Maria Sharapova and Kei Nishikori, Bolletieri and his staff have molded greatness in Bradenton. The academy touts 115 Division I commitments since 2012, and today students have over 50 courts of different surfaces to train on, as well as state of the art fitness centers and more.

St. Petersburg


Walk around St. Petersburg and you might wonder why this city is on a tennis-related list. The city boasts beautiful beaches, a vibrant nightlife and plenty of water activities.

Inland, in one of Florida’s concrete mazes lies the corporate headquarters of the WTA Tour, which has been based in St. Petersburg for years.

“Making a move to new offices on City Center’s 11th floor gives the WTA added space and functionality, with the office’s close proximity to the Tampa International Airport, and is a great financial decision,” WTA Chief Administrative Officer Matt Cenedella said in a press release. “The combination of location, amenities, space and pricing sealed our decision to relocate to City Center.”

While a majority of WTA players know St. Petersburg for the tour-level tournament in Russia, this Florida city remains an important one in the tennis world.

Imagine heading out to your local tennis club one day to hit some balls next to Serena and Venus Williams. The sisters resided together in the BallenIsles Country Club community for more than 15 years.

There was a major shakeup in the neighborhood in recent years, though when Serena and Venus decided to move into separate homes, in close proximity to one another.

But the Williams sisters certainly left their mark in Palm Beach Gardens. According to Forbes the BallenIsles Country Club built a tennis court specifically for them.


According to Variety, Venus spent $4.125 million on a home in nearby Jupiter, close to other athletes such as Michael Jordan and Ernie Els.

Serena shelled out $2.5 million for another home in Palm Beach Gardens in 2015. Game, set and match, Palm Beach Gardens.