For tennis players, the elements are not only capable of spoiling an outdoor match or practice session entirely, they can also be taxing to the body in the long-term, especially for those trying to put in the court time required to attain greatness. That reality was behind the creation of Hampton Indoor Tennis Center, which—unlike most sunbaked, wind-lashed, and rain-beaten tennis complexs—offers players a respite from the weather with four indoor courts. Underneath low-glare lights, players trade ground strokes and volleys atop blue-and-green courts that provide a medium-speed bounce and are identical in composition to the hard-court surface of the Indian Wells courts where the BNP Paribas Open is played. Tennis balls pop crisply against racket strings as trainers teach youngsters on a miniature court with dimensions suited to the de-pressurized balls that foster proper stroke development in undersized racquet-wielders.
USPTA-certified tennis instructor Otis Vu draws upon a decorated career, during which he says he played singles and doubles at Oklahoma Wesleyan University and once beat Michael Chang in a doubles set. He uses this background to forge formidable players, emphasizing proper footwork, conditioning, and not accidentally shouting one’s social security number while serving. He and his staff preside over a wide range of adult lessons, including clinics in which players learn alongside others of the same skill level and one-hour cardio tennis sessions, which feature a series of high-energy drills. The Center’s junior tennis program helps youngsters meet on-court goals of all kinds, from those simply looking to play recreationally to those hoping to grow into an elite competitor.