European Summer Tennis: Sunshine & Smiles
June 29 to July 21 (22 Days)
New York > Blanes, Spain (Barcelona) > TBD > Amsterdam, Netherlands > New York
Summer tennis in Europe is all about good vibes, and that’s what the Sunshine and Smiles trip will bring. It was designed to give our players a taste of what makes tennis in Europe so special—and different from back home! We start by flying to Barcelona and heading up the coast of Catalunya to a seaside town we’ll call home for the week. Our host, an old friend of Ben’s, is excited to welcome our group for daily practices, a RFET (Spainsh Tennis Federation) tournament, and friendly matches with local players.
His expertise of the local tennis scene allows us to set up plenty of opportunities not just to train, but to play and compete with locals that will be excited to compete with our group as part of their own summer tennis. The official tournament run by the Spanish Tennis Federation will be similar to USTA events in that it will count for World Tennis Number, the new rating system backed by the International Tennis Federation. The club is also across the street from the beach, allowing us plenty of flexibility to spend our days bouncing between the courts, the Mediterranean, and the seaside restaurants serving up Paella, Patatas Bravas, and plenty of other Spanish favorites. Later in the week, our host club will arrange an evening barbeque for us and other players at the tournament, a perfect opportunity for our players to practice their Spanish and get to connect with locals off the court. We’ll cap off the week with a day trip to Barcelona to see the Las Ramblas, Sagrada Familia, La Boqueria, and the unique architecture of the city.
From there, we are excited to head to Geneva, Switzerland for a tournament organized through the Swiss Tennis Federation and our contact there, who happens to be an old doubles partner of Roger Federer. Geneva is one of the most livable cities in the world, has a comfortable climate, and is located in the foothills of the Alps, only a short drive from some of the most stunning mountainous scenery in the world. This week will also provide our players a great chance to practice their French, as Geneva is predominantly a Francophone city and is located directly on the border with France.
Our final week will be spent in the city of Amsterdam, competing in the Festina Open at one of the city’s top tennis clubs. The tournament is located right in the heart of the city at the Vondelpark, with beautiful red clay courts nestled into the heart of one of Europe’s most vibrant cities. We’ll be able to get around using Amsterdam’s excellent system of trams when we need to, and expect our week in Amsterdam to be one of the easiest weeks for transportation. We’ll also have the chance for the most quintessential Dutch experience, as we will have the option—for those interested—to bike to the tennis club for our practices and matches like locals do. During our time in Amsterdam, we’ll of course find time to sightsee, touring the canals, Dam Square, and some of the iconic museums like the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum, which are both incredible places to wander whether you are an art buff or don’t typically think of yourself as a “museum person.”
For players looking for an even more immersive experience, there is the possibility of staying with a host family from the tennis club in Amsterdam. For those interested, let Ben know after applying for more information.