How Much Does It Cost To Play Tennis?

How Much Does It Cost To Play Tennis

Tennis is a sport that, in the past, was traditionally played by the aristocracy. Even today, tennis is still a sport enjoyed by the wealthy, though it can also be played by almost anyone. Nonetheless, equipment, lessons, and tournament fees can be expensive, especially for athletes who play tennis competitively. Have you ever wondered exactly how much it costs to play tennis? 

Whether you have never played and are considering hitting the courts for the first time, or you are a casual player hoping to get competitive, this article will break down all the costs of playing tennis, including equipment, lessons, and membership fees.

Tennis equipment can come with a high price tag, especially if you select the highest-end gear that is at the top of brands’ ranges and endorsed by tennis professionals. However, it is important to keep in mind that if you simply want to get active and hit some balls, and if you don’t absolutely need the best gear or the most luxurious courts, many costs can be minimized, and some even reduced to absolutely free

Remember that if you are passionate about playing tennis, there is a way to do it within your budget, especially if you can be flexible and a little creative.


Equipment

tennis equipment

Tennis equipment is the only unavoidable initial cost for a beginner; however, even these costs can be mitigated with some savvy shopping. The main pieces of gear needed to play tennis are a racquet, balls, shoes, and clothing. A tennis bag is also suggested, but is not necessary in some cases. 

A decent tennis racquet costs around $100. If you are on a budget, entry-level models can be found at discount stores for under $20. The most high-end and range-topping racquets cost around $300 each. 

A three-ball can of tennis balls costs around two or three dollars. Over time, tennis balls wear out, so most competitive players prefer a fresh can for every match. Depending on how often you play, plan to budget between $20 and $50 for balls per month.

Any type of sneaker can be worn to play tennis, but most advanced players prefer to wear shoes specially designed for the sport. Also, most clubs require non-marking soles, which are found on tennis-specific shoes. A good pair of tennis shoes cost around $70, with prices ranging between $50 and $170. 

Tennis clothes can be expensive, with a complete outfit starting around $100 and going up from there. However, any comfortable athletic clothing can be worn to play tennis, so don’t feel the need to spend too much at first. 

Most players like to carry their gear in a tennis bag, especially as it makes transporting racquets easier. Quality tennis bags can be found for anywhere between $50 and $225.

Although you can easily spend a lot, a basic set of tennis equipment, including a bag, can be found for around $200, especially if you look for bargains and sales. 

Lessons

tennis lessons

Tennis lessons can be a great way to ramp up your skills and get immediate feedback from a qualified professional. However, the cost of lessons can add up quickly, so make sure they are right for your game and your budget. 

Hiring an amateur tennis coach for individual lessons costs between $40 and $100 per hour. Coaches charge around $100 per hour to teach group lessons, which can lower costs for each individual. 

Top-level tennis coaches charge between $150 and $300 per hour for lessons. Keep in mind that if your coach teaches at a tennis association or club, you will also have to pay the membership for that club to be able to receive lessons on its courts. 

Competitive and Professional Costs

While some public courts are free, most tennis courts cost between $10 and $40 per hour to rent, with the average hourly court rental fee in America around $15 per hour

You may wish to join a tennis club or association, as they offer locker rooms and other facilities in addition to the courts themselves. Of course, clubs with more amenities are more expensive. As a result, membership at a more basic club costs a few hundred dollars a year, with luxury clubs charging several thousand yearly

Finally, if you want to play in sanctioned matches and tournaments, you will need to get a United States Tennis Association (USTA) membership. The membership also qualifies players for national ratings and rankings and offers discounts and preferred tickets to events. An adult USTA membership costs $44 per year, so it is well worth it if you want to compete. Players under 19 are eligible for a membership at no cost.

While tennis can be affordable for casual players, top professionals spend handsomely simply to practice their craft. Combining the price of coaching, food, travel, training, and other associated costs, a top-ranked player spends between $175,000 and $2 million per year.