Saint Lucia has more to offer than stunning beaches, fine restaurants and reggae. Sport on the island is popular with locals and visitors alike, and tennis enthusiasts from around the world are finding reasons to visit with their tennis racquets in hand. With adjustments made for climate and court access, a quick knock around the court can be an entertaining and energizing way to spend a few hours.
By Angela Narth
Where to Play
Whether hoping for a singles or doubles match, players at all levels will find several options. Services at most resorts include equipment rental, lighted courts and lessons at hourly rates. Check with individual facilities for details.
What to Bring
As elsewhere, rental racquets are typically not the highest quality, nor in the best of condition. Avid tennis players may want to bring their own. But travelling with your racquet can bring a few surprises, so be prepared. Typically between 27 and 29 inches in length, tennis racquets have historically been relegated to airline checked baggage but many airlines now accept tennis racquets as carry-on. To avoid in-transit problems, double-check with each carrier on your itinerary.
If there is space in your luggage, pop in a can of balls. Most local facilities do not provide free balls, and for-sale quantities are limited.
All tennis playing surfaces in Saint Lucia are hard court, and non-marking court shoes are mandatory. Tennis clothing is pretty standard the world over, and none of the local facilities require all-white apparel.
Who to Watch
Junior Tennis is alive and well in Saint Lucia, thanks to the St. Lucia Tennis Association and a world-class facility, the St. Lucia National Tennis Centre. Located in Beausejour, near the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, it boasts 5 certified coaches, and 6 well-maintained hard courts, all lighted for night play.
Tournaments abound in Saint Lucia, host to a minimum of 4 major tournaments this year alone: The Independence Tennis Tournament, The Easter Tournament, the Coca ITF Junior Tennis Tournament, and the Schools Tournament. It is no surprise to discover that Saint Lucia’s junior tennis players are among the region’s most exciting to watch.
Keep in mind the ‘tropical danger zone’ from 11 am – 2 pm when strenuous outdoor activity could easily lead to dehydration or sunstroke. Wear a hat, carry plenty of water, and consider scheduling your matches for the evening or early morning.
TT Tennis Trivia
Visitors from northern climates may be surprised to notice that tennis balls appear to bounce higher here than at home. It isn’t your imagination. The pressure of the gas inside a tennis ball determines how high the ball will bounce. When temperature increases, the gas molecules expand and pressure inside the ball is increased, causing the ball to bounce higher. It’s simple science, and it could make your game even more exciting!