With Wimbledon done and dusted for another year, it’s given me the opportunity to have a look at some of the smaller tournaments on the calendar. Watching highlights of last week’s Swedish Open in Båstad and the Hall of Fame Championships in Newport gives you an appreciation for some of the smaller but more picturesque venues on the professional calendar. I thought it would be a good opportunity to list my top 10 most spectacular professional venues.
10. Devonshire Park, Eastbourne – Aegon International
Located by the sea and in the heart of Eastbourne, East Sussex. Devonshire Park plays host to the Aegon International in the lead up to Wimbledon each year.
9. Indian Wells Tennis Garden, California – BNP Paribas Open
Set in the heart of the Coachella Valley, Indian Wells boasts some of the best facilities on the tour and attracts all the big names each year. Plays host to the BNP Paribas Open.
8. ITC Stella Maris, Umag – Croatia Open
Set on the Adriatic Sea. A great facility with picturesque ocean views.
7. Newport, Rhode Island – Hall of Fame Tennis Championships
Located in Newport, Rhode Island, the International Tennis Hall of Fame hosts the Hall of Fame Championships immediately after Wimbledon. The club was established in 1880 and has a classic lawn tennis club feel to it.
6. Geneve Tennis Club – Geneva Open
Located next to Parc de la Grange and within a stone’s throw of Lake Geneva. Lush greenery and a country club feel make this a very picturesque venue.
5. Båstad – Swedish Open
This venue boasts not only a beautiful backdrop in the North Sea, but also very long daylight hours and scenic sunsets when the tournament is held in July each year.
4. Foro Italico, Rome – Internazionali BNL d’Italia
Sitting next to Monte Mario, this venue has a colosseum type feel to it. Monte Mario makes for a great backdrop.
3. Jockey Club Brasileiro, Rio de Janeiro – Rio Open
The Jockey Club Brasileiro is located near the beach district of Leblon and sits under the spectacular rolling mountains of Rio de Janeiro. Christ the Redeemer can be seen from the stands.
2. Roy Emerson Arena, Gstaad – Swiss Open
Roy Emerson Arena sits at the foot of the Bernese alps. Spectacular rolling hills and lush greenery make for a stunning backdrop.
1. Monte Carlo Country Club – Monte Carlo Masters
Sitting right on the Mediterranean and at the foot of Mont Agel, the Monte Carlo Country Club is in my mind is the most picturesque venue on the calendar. A very popular tournament with the players as a Masters Series lead-up to the French Open.