As you drive into the entrance of the College Park Aviation Museum and the College Park Airport, you’ll see a bunch of green buildings on your right hand side. It’s the home of the College Park Tennis Club.
The facility has 32 tennis courts (the most in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area) including 15 indoor hard and green clay courts and 17 outdoor, hard, and red and green clay (the only red clay courts in the mid-Atlantic region. There’s also a fitness complex with a speed and agility center, yoga studio, pro shop (Fila, Technifibre, and Wilson apparel and equipment), wood-paneled locker rooms with shower and sauna, and personal trainers on site. The CPTC was one of the recipients of the 2013 USTA Outstanding Facility of the Year. The club is home for the University of Maryland Women’s team for training sessions and their home matches.
It’s also the home of the JTCC (Junior Tennis Championship Center) where tomorrow’s stars are learning the basics and finer points of the game. Do they use a two-handed or one-handed backhand? What about lobbing and slicing and the finesse of a drop shot? Classes start for children 10 and under, then progress to 11 and over. The mission of JTCC’s Outreach Program is to introduce tennis to underserved youth from 5-11 in Prince George’s County and Washington, D.C. Since it began the program in 2009, they’ve had programs at 30 sites and reached more than 4,000 youths.
It takes a little doing, but ….if you know a member of the College Park Tennis Club, you can play some tennis with a guest pass of $15 plus court time. In case you don’t know a member, you can take a private or group lesson. If you’re going to be in the area frequently, you sign up for a year-long membership. Or, you can check the schedule to watch matches and tournaments.
Who knows what U.S. Open champion-to-be you’ll see on the courts. Who might you see? How about the next Frances Tiafoe (his dad was head of maintenance at the CPTC) who is the fourth-youngest player ranked in the Top 50 by the Association of Tennis Professionals. When Tiafoe won the 2018 Delray Beach Open, he became the youngest American titlist on the ATP Tour since Andy Roddick in 2002. Tennis pro Denis Kudla is another student from JTCC.
The CPTC is across the street from the College Park Metro stop on the Green line.
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