Welcome to the USTA National Campus
by Colette Lewis
, 10 January 2017
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While in Florida last month for the big junior tennis tournaments, I took a few hours to tour the USTA's vast new 64-acre National Campus in Lake Nona. With the 100-court facility opening to the public last week and its first tournament complete, the USTA is hoping to build momentum for the sport in this country, from grass roots to the top of the professional tours. The Home of American Tennis was not entirely complete when I visited before Christmas, and with the USTA Florida sectional offices and the USPTA headquarters still in the early stages of construction, much more will be added in the coming months. The Lake Nona area, just south of the Orlando airport, has an abundance of housing developments and medical facilities, but few of the tourist-related amenities associated with Orlando, so until those materialize, the campus will have a secluded feel.
The scale of the project is difficult to grasp even when visiting in person, but here are 18 photos to provide a glimpse into what is available at the public facility.
Located next to the parking lot, the Welcome Center serves as a focal point for visitors.
Rather than hidden away in a back room, the racquet technicians are prominently featured in the lobby of the Welcome Center. They were busy working on racquets of the many American pros doing pre-season training there
Two of those pros, Christina McHale and Irina Falconi, were practicing with Luisa Chirico and Jennifer Brady the day I visited
The second floor of the Welcome Center provides office space for the facility's staff and the USTA's Community Tennis division
The pro shop in the Welcome Center is operated by Fromuth Tennis
The adidas Performance Center serves as the headquarters for USTA Player Development, with offices, training rooms, a strength and conditioning center and 20 courts, including eight DecoTurf courts, the surface of the US Open
Rebound Ace is the surface for the six indoor courts adjacent to the adidas Performance Center
Six courts of red Italian clay are also part of the Player Development section of the facility. The lodge, not pictured, can host up to 40 players invited to participate in camps and training sessions at the facility
16 courts - eight 36-foot and eight 60-foot - make up the Nemours Family Zone, a place for beginners of all ages to learn the game
This is one of two championship courts, with permanent seating for 500 spectators. The other has a Har-Tru surface
These are some of the 32 Har-Tru Hydro-Courts in the Team USA area of the facility, with water-filling stations and restroom pavilions. The USTA Boys 12s Clay Courts will be held on these courts in July.
In addition to the Har-Tru courts, there are 20 Plexicushion hard courts in the Team USA area of the facility. The USTA boys and girls 16s and 18s Winter Nationals will be held here in December of 2017.
The second level of the tournament administration building is an ideal spot to watch many matches at once
On the lower level, the tournament desk staff will check in players, call matches and take scores. A separate officials room, with lockers, is also on the court level.
32 courts are Playsight SmartCourts, which will provide court analytics and live streaming
The collegiate tennis area, home to the University of Central Florida men's and women's teams, features 12 courts with second-level seating for 1200 fans
Over 300 college dual matches are scheduled for 2017, including several USTA College Match Days. The Alabama and Michigan men play the first Match Day at the facility on Saturday January 21st. A rematch of the 2016 NCAA women's final between the Stanford and Oklahoma State is scheduled for Friday, February 17
All 100 courts are lighted. The first USTA Pro Circuit event will be a $25,000 women's tournament on the Har-Tru courts, scheduled for next week.
As you might expect, there are big plans for the new center for 2017. Here is the list of events currently on the schedule:
Editors Note: All photos are copyright and courtesy of ZooTennis.com.
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About Colette Lewis
has covered topflight U.S. and international junior
events as a freelance journalist for over a decade.
Her work has appeared in Tennis
magazine, the Tennis
magazine and the US Open program, and she
provides monthly content for USTA Florida. Lewis is active on
and she writes a weekly column right here at TennisRecruiting.net.
She was named
Junior Tennis Champion
for 2016 by Tennis Industry Magazine.
Lewis, based out of Kalamazoo, Michigan, has seen every National
Championship final played since 1977, and her work on the
tournament's ustaboys.com website
led her to establish
where she comments on junior and college tennis daily.