*This post originally appeared on danielcaskey.net.
It takes time and dedication to become a skilled tennis player. Every professional player has benefited from a coach or mentor who helped them develop their skills. While some players learn from family members, the majority of professional tennis players have attended some sort of tennis camp in their youth. If you are curious to what makes a particular tennis academy stand out, keep reading. Below is a list of some of the world’s top tennis academies.
IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy
IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy may be the most famous tennis academy in the world. Tennis stars such as Serena Williams and Venus Williams and Andre Agassi have attended the academy in the past. The tennis academy, located in Bradenton, Florida, is just one part of the IMG Academy which functions as a boarding school and offers training in a number of sports. Nick Bollettieri founded the school in 1978. Bollettieri supposedly let Agassi attend the school for free after Agassi’s father said he couldn’t afford the tuition. Bollettieri realized that Agassi had a lot of talent and wanted to assist in his development.
Sanchez-Casal Tennis Academy
The Sanchez-Casal Tennis Academy was founded by Emilio Sanchez Vicario and Sergio Casal in 1998. The academy’s main location is in Barcelona, Spain, but there also locations in Florida and China. While enrolled in the academy, students get to experience Spanish drills—a popular technique that was developed at the academy. Andy Murray, the No. 1 tennis player in the world, trained at the Sanchez-Casal Tennis Academy when he was 15 years old. During his professional career, Emilio Sanchez Vicario won a silver medal in the 1988 Olympics. He also won multiple Grand Slam titles. Students who attend his academy can rest assured that they will receive quality tennis training.
Spartak Tennis Club
If training in Spain or Barcelona under the shining sun doesn’t sound appealing, you can always attend the Spartak Tennis Club in Moscow, Russia. Due to Russia’s intense weather, the outside courts are only open for four months. During the rest of the year, students train indoors. All joking aside, Spartak Tennis Club has produced a number of world-class tennis players such as Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Anna Kournikova. Since the academy has a reputation for training champions, it’s very difficult to gain admittance.
Pilic Tennis Academy
The Pilic Tennis Academy, located in Munich, Germany, isn’t as well known as the three above academies, but its success can’t be ignored. Nikola Pilic runs the academy. As a coach, he won three times at the Davis Cup, and in 1973 he made it to the last round of the French Open as a player. Novak Djokovic and Michael Stich attended the Pilic Tennis Academy. Students are guaranteed to receive world-class training when they attend the academy.