Along with Spain, France, and Argentina, the United States has produced one of the largest numbers of top tennis players in the world. Not only known for developing young American players, the United States is known to be a hub for foreign players who are looking for a place where they can improve and which have amazing facilities.
Besides having some of the best coaches in the world, the best tennis academies in the USA are known for having great facilities with several courts and great gyms. In addition, several of them are located in California and Florida, which means that there are usually no rainy days (since it’s usually sunny for the majority of the year).
When I was 14, I had the opportunity to spend a few months at the IMG Academy in Florida, and it was an experience like I had never had before. With so many other players, I felt like I was just another face in the crowd. And yet, I had access to facilities and technologies I had never seen before – mental training, recovery centers, and different surface courts. Looking back, I believe my short time at a top tennis academy in the US definitely shaped me as a tennis player.
Yet, with so many different good tennis academies in the US, it can be quite challenging to choose the best one. Maybe you are looking for a place where you can have a great pre-season, or maybe you are looking for a place where your kid can develop as a player and a person. Regardless, it can be difficult to find all the information you need in one place, and that is the issue we’re trying to fix in this article. Below, you will find details about the best tennis academies in the USA, and you will be able to decide which one is the best choice for you.
#10 – Austin Tennis Academy
Austin Tennis Academy is probably the most famous tennis academy in the state of Texas. It is located in Austin, and it has 14 tennis courts (12 hard and 2 red clay), a large gym, and classrooms. ATA does not have any on-site dorms, which is slightly different from the other large academies.
ATA offers different programs depending on your level of commitment: the Junior Academy (which is by invitation only) and the Academy (which anyone can get in). The cost for a full year at the Academy program is about $14,500 – significantly cheaper than most other academies.
Austin Tennis Academy Sample Daily Schedule
#9 – Weil Tennis Academy
One of the best tennis academies in California, Weil Tennis Academy is the destination of many young tennis players across the world. It offers great facilities that include 22 courts, a pool, Jacuzzi, a nice gym, restaurants, dorms, and classrooms.
Weil Tennis Academy focuses on assisting players to get into the best universities in the United States. Weil’s website mentions that the academy has the #1 rated college placement program in the world. Students have graduated and gone to the best schools in the US, including Stanford and UCLA.
The cost for a full-year of tennis, school, and boarding is about $48,550.00 per year.
Weil Tennis Academy Sample Daily Schedule
#8 – Gorin Tennis Academy
With several locations across California, Gorin Tennis Academy is certainly one of the best academies in the United States. Founded by coach Vitaly Gorin, the academy’s first and main location is in Granite Bay, California. Coach Gorin has coached several top players, including Nikoloz Basilashvilli, Dimitry Tursunov, and Yaroslava Shvedova (all top 30 in the world).
With only 7 courts, the academy is much smaller than some of the other top 10. With that, you can expect to get more individualized attention from coaches. You have the option to choose boarding or non-boarding programs, depending on your needs. For full-time boarding, you should expect to pay about $33,175 per year.
Gorin Sample Daily Schedule
#7 – John McEnroe Tennis Academy
The only top 10 representative from New York, the John McEnroe Tennis Academy does not fall short from all the others. Located inside a $19 million dollar sports complex, the academy counts with 20 tennis courts, and 15 of those are indoors. You can see how great the facilities are in the short video below.
The academy was inaugurated in 2009, so it is much younger than the other ones in this list. As the name indicates, the academy is directed by John McEnroe, one of the greatest American tennis legends. The most famous alumn from the academy is Noah Rubin, the winner of the 2014 Wimbledon Juniors Championship.
The pricing at John McEnroe works a little differently than the other academies, following an a la carte model. You can select how many days of the week you’re looking for, and if you want add-ons like transportation or private lessons. If you’re looking for a 5-day a week, 2-hour-per-day of tennis, you’re looking at a cost of $28,300 for the 34 weeks (without any add-ons).
#6 – Evert Tennis Academy
Evert Tennis Academy was founded by Chrissie, Jimmy, and John Evert in 1996, and has become one of the major destinations for players all over the world. The academy is located in Boca Raton, FL, and it offers different options for players (boarding vs non-boarding), so you can decide which package is the best fit for you. According to their website, 100% of players who graduated from Evert Academy and pursued a college scholarship were able to receive some extent of financial aid.
There are 23 tennis courts at the Evert Tennis Academy’s main campus (12 hard and 11 clay), and there are additional secondary venues nearby that contain several more courts. While the facilities are not as extravagant as the ones at IMG, they also include a nice gym and a dorm for players who are under 18 years old. The price at Evert Academy is significantly smaller than at IMG, ranging from $30,000 to $48,000 per year depending on which package you select.
Some of the famous alumni from Evert Academy include Andy Roddick, Dustin Brown, Madison Keys, and Lauren Davis.
#5 – Van Der Meer Tennis Academy
South Carolina’s Van Der Meer Tennis Academy is one of the most famous tennis academies in the U.S. The primary facility offers 14 hard courts, with 4 of them being indoors. Five minutes away, another facility offers 13 clay courts, 4 hard outdoor courts, and 3 indoor courts. Players and students can also stay at the dorms, enjoy the pool, and take advantage of the beach nearby – which is pretty awesome.
Van Der Meers has seen over 500 of its graduates to go on to receive athletic scholarships in college. The academy is under the guidance of coaches Dennis and Pat Van Der Meer, who together have coached numerous successful players, including Billie Jean King, Margaret Court, John Isner, and Alison Riske.
The cost of a full year at Van Der Meer ranges from $23,050 to $38,800 depending on whether players choose boarding or non-boarding.
Van Der Meer Tennis Academy Sample Daily Schedule
#4 – Saviano Tennis Academy
Another one of the top tennis academies in the US is located in Plantation, Florida. The academy is managed by head coach Nick Saviano, who has been a respected coach for over 40 years. He has coached several successful players, including Sloane Stephens and Eugene Bouchard.
The Saviano Tennis Academy is located at the Frank Veltri Tennis Center, where the junior Orange Bowl happens every year. There are 26 har-tru courts and 2 hard courts. The coaching at the academy involves mental, tactical, technical and physical training. Below you can watch a short video of coach Nick Saviano.
The program size at Saviano Tennis Academy is limited, so only a certain number of players is accepted. The player-to-coach ratio is 4:1. The cost for a full-time player is about $23,700 per year.
Saviano Tennis Academy Sample Daily Schedule
#3 – Academia Sanchez-Casal
The Sanchez-Casal tennis academy is also located in Florida, in the city of Naples. It has great facilities, including 38 tennis courts, an Olympic pool, a gym, a restaurant, and even dorms for players. The academy was founded in 1998 by the two tennis legends Emilio Sanchez Vicario and Sergio Casal (both were former #1 in the world in doubles).
The training at Sanchez-Casal is differentiated from other academies, as it focuses on several areas – technical, tactical, physical, and mental. Players can study at the academy all the way from 6th to 12th grade. Players can receive a bit more attention than at other academies since the norm is to have only 2 players per court.
The standard at Sanchez-Casal is to spend 30 hours a week in the classroom, 10 to 17 hours a week on the court, 4 hours a week doing fitness, 1 hour a week of mental training, and a minimum of 2 tournaments per month.
#2 – Saddlebrook Tennis Academy
Saddlebrook Tennis Academy is located in Tampa, Florida, and it counts with 45 tennis courts, including courts with the same surfaces of all 4 Grand Slams. It is certainly one of the best tennis facilities in the country, with pools, spas, and golf courses as well. Saddlebrook offers options of both boarding and non-boarding packages, as well as summer camps.
Saddlebrook, along with IMG, has one of the most impressive list of alumni: Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, John Isner, James Blake, Martina Hingis, Belinda Bencic, Justine Henin, Caroline Wozniacki, Bryan Brothers, Alexander Zverev, and Jack Sock. I’d say that list speaks for itself.
The cost for a full year at Saddlebrook is $42,060 for non-boarding players and $60,665 for full-time boarding. You can see a little bit more of Saddlebrook in the video below.
Saddlebrook Sample Daily Schedule
#1 – IMG Academy
The IMG Academy is one of the most famous tennis academies in the world, as it is the home of one of the most famous coaches of all time – Nick Bollettieri. IMG was founded over 40 years ago, and it is located in Bradenton, Florida. The facilities at IMG are as good as it gets, as there are currently 55 tennis courts of different surfaces (34 hard, 17 clay, and 4 indoor), a great gym, an indoor turf facility, and classrooms designed specifically for match analysis. You can have a better picture of the facilities by watching the short video below.
I’ve had the opportunity to practice at IMG when I was younger, and I can say it was a great experience. You will have the chance to play and practice with players who have all sorts of different personalities, games, and strategies. This by itself will be a valuable experience, since many of us come from smaller academies and only have a handful of people to practice with.
In addition, you get access to the great facilities and, very frequently, are able to watch some of the best tennis players in the world practicing. When I was there, I was able to watch Maria Sharapova, Kei Nishikori, Tommy Haas, and Ivo Karlovic practicing, which – for a 14-year-old boy – was an out-of-this-world experience.
While there are several benefits of practicing at the IMG Academy, it is important to know that you will get out what you put in. Since it is such a large academy with so many players, it can be easy to become just a “number”. If you don’t put in the work, you will soon start falling behind and will not take advantage of this great opportunity. You will be given the tools to succeed, so it’s up to you to use them!
IMG has a history of success, having had 16 past #1 ranked players in the world practicing there. It has helped numerous players to guarantee scholarships in college or to become better junior players.
Comparison Table – Top 10 Best Tennis Academies in the USA
|Academy||Location||Tennis Courts||Famous Alumni||Price (per year)|
|#10 – Austin Tennis Academy||Austin, TX||14 (12 hard, 2 red clay)||Successful college players||$14,500|
|#9 – Weil Tennis Academy||Ojai, CA||22 (18 hard, 4 clay)||Grigor Dimitrov & Vera Zvonareva||$48,550|
|#8 – Gorin Tennis Academy||Granite Bay, CA||7||Nikoloz Basilashvilli, Dimitry Tursunov, Yaroslava Shvedova||$21,300 to $33,175|
|#7 – John McEnroe Tennis Academy||New York, NY||20 (10 hard, 10 clay, with 15 of those indoors)||Noah Rubin||$28,300|
|#6 – Evert Tennis Academy||Boca Raton, FL||23 (12 hard, 11 clay)||Andy Roddick, Dustin Brown, Madison Keys, & Lauren Davis.||$30,000 to $48,000|
|#5 – Van Der Meer Tennis Academy||Hilton Head Island, SC||37 (13 clay, 7 indoors, 17 hard)||John Isner & Alison Riske||$23,050 to $38,800|
|#4 – Saviano Tennis Academy||Plantation, FL||28 (26 har-tru, 2 hard)||Eugene Bouchard & Sloane Stephens||$23,700|
|#3 – Academia Sanchez-Casal||Naples, FL||38||Andy Murray, Grigor Dimitrov, Stevlana Kuznetsova, Johana Konta||?|
|#2 – Saddlebrook Tennis Academy||Tampa, FL||45||Pete Sampras, John Isner, Jim Courier, Martina Hingis, Alexander Zverev||$42,060 to $60,665|
|#1 – IMG Academy||Bradenton, FL||55 (34 hard, 17 clay, 4 indoors)||Sharapova, Nishikori, Agassi, Serena & Venus||$61,900 to $81,900|
While we have tried to rank them as accurately as possible, each academy has different strengths and weaknesses. You may be looking for more individualized attention or for access to great facilities. You need to choose the academy that will fit your needs the best, and hopefully, this list was able to paint a pretty good picture of the differences between each academy.