Although New York can make a case, Florida is the center of the tennis universe in the United States. If anyone has ever listened closely to any Grand Slam tournament, it's probably easier to mention the tennis pros that don't train or live in Florida.
In central Florida, there are a few resorts and academies that are known for hosting and producing some of the game's biggest stars. These places also offer some great, immersive tennis camps for all ages that will improve your game and inspire you to progress to the next level. Most of them are housed at world-class resorts that offer a lot of other entertainment options for both the tennis player and their family, including fantastic pools, golf courses, and proximity to theme parks and attractions.
The many surfaces of the Saddlebrook resort — Photo courtesy of Saddlebrook
Just northeast of Tampa, in Wesley Chapel, is the Saddlebrook resort. The facility includes 45 tennis courts, including all four grand slam surfaces, and has produced the likes of Mardy Fish, John Isner, James Blake, and the Bryan brothers in doubles. The instructional program was started by the great Australian pro, Harry Hopman, and features five hours per day of instruction, video lessons, lunch and use of the other considerable facilities in the resort. The schedules are flexible to the needs of the guests, but the student-to-instructor ratio is never more than 4:1.
In Bradenton, just 45 minutes south of Tampa, lies the IMG Academy Bollettieri, perhaps the best-known tennis school in the world for youngsters. What many people don't realize is that they also offer adult camps for three and five days. Nick Bollettieri has taught over ten top-10 players over the years, including Maria Sharapova and Jelena Jankovic. He and his staff will spend six hours a day with you on the courts, maximizing your tennis potential. Their approach is so holistic that they even provide meals based on the nutritional needs of championship tennis players.
The legendary Nick Bollettieri — Photo courtesy of IMG Bollettieri
Serious tennis players in Orlando head to the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress resort to play on the same courts that once hosted the likes of Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi, Boris Becker and Martina Navratilova. Located near Walt Disney World, Grand Cypress offers a great opportunity for adults to work with noted tennis pros while the kids play in the parks. Who knows? You might even play a match on their stadium court during your camp. The camps are customizable to your comfort, ranging from private instruction to small groups.