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Old 05-21-2020, 09:46 AM
 
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Hoping there are some avid tennis players on this forum who can help me...

I just received a job offer from a company in the St. Louis area, not too far from Washington University’s main campus. It’s nice to have a job offer in this economy, very grateful, but moving is a big decision.

My question has to do with tennis in St. Louis. I love to play and am interested in whether St. Louis has an active tennis scene: leagues, clubs, tournaments, etc. Are there USTA leagues there, or does St. Louis have its own league? I greatly prefer USTA; where I currently live, there is a city-managed league that is organized by the local indoor clubs and I absolutely hate it. There’s no summer league and the leveling of players makes absolutely no sense. I know that USTA ratings are far from perfect, but at least when I watch a match, I can usually tell what the players’ ratings are.

Are the outdoor courts primarily clay or hard courts? Is it easy to get on a league team? Are the courts indoors our out? Finally, any recommendations on clubs with good instructors and clinics/activities?

Thanks so much for your assistance
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Old 05-21-2020, 09:56 AM
 
Location: STL area
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I have an aunt and uncle who are really into tennis, but I'm not that familiar myself. I keep trying to talk my 9 year old into trying because he loves to hit balls in the driveway with my husband and our country club has a good kids program, but he would rather play lacrosse

Anyway...I found a few things for you in case there isn't a tennis person around. At least a start. There are a few private tennis clubs (not country clubs). The Dwight Davis center is in Forest Park though, right by Wash U.

https://www.usta.com/en/home/about-u...int-louis.html
https://www.dwightdavistennis.com/
https://www.ccrctennis.com/
https://www.frontenactennis.com/
https://www.tennisstlouis.com/Stlouis-Tennis-Clubs
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Old 05-22-2020, 10:06 PM
 
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Most of the outdoor courts are hardcourt. Most of the indoor clubs are most active from Labor Day to Memorial Day (That's the period that you need to reserve permanent court time for.) Most indoor clubs have several USTA teams based on USTA rankings. Most USTA matches are on Sunday afternoons during that Memorial Day to Labor Day timeframe (That's when courts are available). I played on USTA teams here for about 12 years. Now I just do permanent court time playing in an indoor club during that timeframe that you need to reserve and playing outside with the same people in the summer (some communities allow residents to reserve court time during the summer at some of the larger city facilities). And we also know where lots of community tennis courts are that aren't used heavily that we play on Saturday mornings when the weather is nice.

I don't know if they still have this going, but way back when, when I moved to St. Louis a tennis store (Racketman) that is still in existence that sponsored a tennis challenge latter.

There are lots of indoor tennis clubs. When I moved to town, (it was many years ago September timeframe), I called clubs, gave them my USTA ranking, and asked if they had any leagues or permanent court time groups that I might fit into. One of the pros called me back the next day about a group of exactly my ranking that was looking for someone in order to fill up two courts. They had me come out for a trial and then asked me to join. I joined the USTA team in that same club too, and then my USTA captain asked me if I'd like to join her singles tennis group and I did that also, so in no time I had three/four tennis days a week (two permanent court time and USTA practice plus matches).

What's your USTA ranking? I'm not sure about this summer due to COVID 19, but many of the larger outdoor tennis centers have regular leagues and clinics. The higher your ranking, though, the less likely they will have general leagues and clinics that will work for you, and you may need to go thru a pro at one of the clubs.

Tennis is a wonderful way to meet new people in a new city and St. Louis has a big tennis scene. It was great for me when I first moved here and is wonderful for me now too.

I usually don't do many weekend tournaments, etc. but they have a ton of these (again all is based on USTA level). You can find at least one almost every weekend in the area. (A dear friend of mine's husband died tragically in a car accident and weekends were the hardest for her. She's so into tennis and I played doubles regularly in some tournaments the summer after his death with her every other weekend to help keep her busy and help her get thru that.)

Last edited by Kathy884; 05-22-2020 at 10:32 PM..
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Old 05-22-2020, 10:15 PM
 
177 posts, read 148,231 times
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Oh and here's another fun fact. St. Louis has the only public grass tennis courts in the United States. Those are at the beautiful Tower Grove Park (Victorian Park in the city). There's a big tennis tradition here.

The club I currently play at is Vetta Sport, 12320 Old Tesson Rd. St. Louis 314-842-3111.

Congrads on the job offer. St. Louis County is currently in a phase I reopening (COVID 19), and I for one am so ready to get back on the tennis courts (sports facilities are still closed and most of the public tennis courts are locked up). I expect that will change very soon.

Last edited by Kathy884; 05-22-2020 at 10:28 PM..
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Old 05-23-2020, 12:19 AM
 
376 posts, read 703,524 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathy884 View Post
Most of the outdoor courts are hardcourt. Most of the indoor clubs are most active from Labor Day to Memorial Day (That's the period that you need to reserve permanent court time for.) Most indoor clubs have several USTA teams based on USTA rankings. Most USTA matches are on Sunday afternoons during that Memorial Day to Labor Day timeframe (That's when courts are available). I played on USTA teams here for about 12 years. Now I just do permanent court time playing in an indoor club during that timeframe that you need to reserve and playing outside with the same people in the summer (some communities allow residents to reserve court time during the summer at some of the larger city facilities). And we also know where lots of community tennis courts are that aren't used heavily that we play on Saturday mornings when the weather is nice.

I don't know if they still have this going, but way back when, when I moved to St. Louis a tennis store (Racketman) that is still in existence that sponsored a tennis challenge latter.

There are lots of indoor tennis clubs. When I moved to town, (it was many years ago September timeframe), I called clubs, gave them my USTA ranking, and asked if they had any leagues or permanent court time groups that I might fit into. One of the pros called me back the next day about a group of exactly my ranking that was looking for someone in order to fill up two courts. They had me come out for a trial and then asked me to join. I joined the USTA team in that same club too, and then my USTA captain asked me if I'd like to join her singles tennis group and I did that also, so in no time I had three/four tennis days a week (two permanent court time and USTA practice plus matches).

What's your USTA ranking? I'm not sure about this summer due to COVID 19, but many of the larger outdoor tennis centers have regular leagues and clinics. The higher your ranking, though, the less likely they will have general leagues and clinics that will work for you, and you may need to go thru a pro at one of the clubs.

Tennis is a wonderful way to meet new people in a new city and St. Louis has a big tennis scene. It was great for me when I first moved here and is wonderful for me now too.

I usually don't do many weekend tournaments, etc. but they have a ton of these (again all is based on USTA level). You can find at least one almost every weekend in the area. (A dear friend of mine's husband died tragically in a car accident and weekends were the hardest for her. She's so into tennis and I played doubles regularly in some tournaments the summer after his death with her every other weekend to help keep her busy and help her get thru that.)

I’m glad to hear that St. Louis does USTA and not its own league. I’m a USTA 4.0. I play women’s doubles; I’m not a singles player. I’m not a superstar 4.0; I bumped up in December 2018 and because I was on a weak, newly formed team with lots of 3.5’s playing up, my partner and I were often on line 1 so my record isn’t good. And now I’m living in a city with a local non-USTA league and I think I’ve regressed. Of course, I haven’t picked up a racquet since March so I’ll probably play like a 3.0 by the time I get on the court again

Hopefully I can meet some players of similar ability and get on a weekend team. I probably won’t get to play much league since I’m not a star 4.0 but it would be nice to practice with a team and just play some informal fun matches. When I lived in Texas, there were a lot of progressive leagues/round robins where you could play with each person on the court for a set, and the person who won the most sets move up and the lowest-scorer moved down a court. It would be great to find opportunities like that, as well as the occasional evening or weekend clinic. I imagine my new job will keep me busy but I’d like to play at least 3X per week.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 05-23-2020, 09:15 AM
 
177 posts, read 148,231 times
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That's a great level for St. Louis tennis. I haven't played USTA for a long time, but when I was playing that, I found the depth of the St. Louis teams to be fantastic for all the teams we would play. Number 1, 2, or 3 doubles were very even in ability on any of the teams, so matches were almost always competitive.

I moved to St. Louis from Denver. The USTA teams in Denver that were 4.0 had no depth, and it was crazy as I was playing either number 2 doubles or number 2 singles all season, as I wasn't the best person on my team (We would play each other for position and I had quite a few teammates who were stronger than me), but ended up having a 15-0 record for the season, and the USTA computer algorithm at the time moved me to be a 4.5 which was ridiculous (I would get crucified at that level). I moved to St. Louis, though, and what I did moving was go to a rating clinic and just have pros watch me play and rank me, and they gave me a 3.6 ranking. That meant I got to play on 4.0 teams which worked great.

The one women's double league I used to play in at Vetta Sports had a format similar to what you described too where you would move up or down based how you did. Each week you would play eight games with each person on your court.

If you move to St. Louis this summer, talk to the pro at one of the big outdoor tennis centers and they should be able to get you in some games immediately. There are various clinics and cardio tennis sessions too that you can sign up for. I'm sure the folks I play with are all older than you, but if you are looking for some tennis feel free to PM me, I can give you my cell phone number, and we'll have you sub in our group. We play doubles Wednesday evenings at 7 and Saturday morning at 8 when the weather is mild and at 7:30 as summer progresses and it's hotter. We're probably about 20 minutes away from Washington University.
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Old 05-25-2020, 07:38 AM
 
177 posts, read 148,231 times
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Great tennis news for me. All in my group are comfortable playing tennis, and we will be playing tennis starting this Wednesday 5/27/2020. St. Louis is slowly reopening. Even our popular zoo put out plans for re-opening (reservation system to keep number of people lower for social distancing.)
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Old 06-10-2020, 02:33 PM
 
376 posts, read 703,524 times
Reputation: 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathy884 View Post
That's a great level for St. Louis tennis. I haven't played USTA for a long time, but when I was playing that, I found the depth of the St. Louis teams to be fantastic for all the teams we would play. Number 1, 2, or 3 doubles were very even in ability on any of the teams, so matches were almost always competitive.

I moved to St. Louis from Denver. The USTA teams in Denver that were 4.0 had no depth, and it was crazy as I was playing either number 2 doubles or number 2 singles all season, as I wasn't the best person on my team (We would play each other for position and I had quite a few teammates who were stronger than me), but ended up having a 15-0 record for the season, and the USTA computer algorithm at the time moved me to be a 4.5 which was ridiculous (I would get crucified at that level). I moved to St. Louis, though, and what I did moving was go to a rating clinic and just have pros watch me play and rank me, and they gave me a 3.6 ranking. That meant I got to play on 4.0 teams which worked great.

The one women's double league I used to play in at Vetta Sports had a format similar to what you described too where you would move up or down based how you did. Each week you would play eight games with each person on your court.

If you move to St. Louis this summer, talk to the pro at one of the big outdoor tennis centers and they should be able to get you in some games immediately. There are various clinics and cardio tennis sessions too that you can sign up for. I'm sure the folks I play with are all older than you, but if you are looking for some tennis feel free to PM me, I can give you my cell phone number, and we'll have you sub in our group. We play doubles Wednesday evenings at 7 and Saturday morning at 8 when the weather is mild and at 7:30 as summer progresses and it's hotter. We're probably about 20 minutes away from Washington University.
Thanks so much for the offer!

I’m busy getting ready for the move, and as I have time I read about the different tennis clubs in the area. There are a couple of them that look interesting and have a lot of activities, but before I reach out to them I need to figure out how far they are from my new job and future residence (still figuring that one out).

The clubs in my area have started opening but there’s not much tennis action in the summer and I’m still a little concerned about playing indoors right now anyway. I love playing outdoors, so hopefully before I have to play indoors I will get a chance to play or practice outdoors this summer. Since I haven’t picked up a racquet in three months, I hope I can get into some clinics before a USTA season starts or no team will want me!
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Old 06-10-2020, 05:32 PM
 
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Kim Steinmetz is a legend tennis player/pro in St. Louis if you're interested in lessons, etc. She is at the Missouri Athletic Club.
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Old 07-07-2020, 10:59 PM
 
376 posts, read 703,524 times
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I have left messages with four of the largest tennis clubs in the area and have received no responses. Very odd and disappointing. I don’t have time to visit all of them in person and would have liked some info via phone or email to help prioritize clubs before visiting them. Yet it appears none want my business. How hard is it to call or email a prospective customer??? A very different experience from the last two cities I lived in.
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