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We are in a pretty dead period concerning the professional tennis tour right now. As I write this, we are approaching the Christmas/New Year break. No tournaments are held at the highest level at this time. But here’s the thing – professional tennis players don’t exactly kick back and do nothing. In fact, they take the off-season as a period to work on their game and try to find that next level. But where do they do this? After all, the Northern Hemisphere is now in the depths of winter.
As it happens, I have a bit of insight on this topic. And I’d like to share these insights with you below.
Major off-season practice locations
You’ve probably guessed it – the Northern Hemisphere in many parts isn’t the best place for off-season practice. However, there are certain locations that still work as a nice base for ‘winter’ practice. With that said, let’s discuss some prime locations right now:
If you look at the residence for many top-level players, you will often see Monte Carlo pop up. Now, since many players such as Novak Djokovic and Grigor Dimitrov live there, they can practice at home without needing to travel. Since Monte Carlo is nestled on the Mediterranean sea, it escapes pretty much all of the nasty winter that Northern locations have.
Of course, Florida never really gets overly cold. But it’s not just the weather that draws players in during the off-season. It’s the presence of top-level academies that also bring players in. And to name a few, players can choose from places such as the Rick Macci Academy, Saddlebrook, and the IMG Academy. Of course, you’ve also got the holy grail of academies in Florida – the Nick Bollettieri Academy.
Dubai is permanently blessed with hot weather. Of course, this makes it an appealing location to go and train during the off-season. Players such as Roger Federer have been known to venture out to Dubai during November/December ahead of the Australian swing. There are some pretty epic facilities out there too I must admit. And anywhere you get a nice blend of awesome facilities combined with good weather, you are sure to see professional players.
The Bahamas might be best known as a tourist hot spot, but I can assure you that several players head there for the winter. Since the Bahamas is based South of Florida, you are pretty much guaranteed good weather in this location. The Bahamas is usually pretty hot and humid too, all-year-round, which means that the conditions are somewhat similar to what players might get in Australia in January.
Last but not least, we have California. As you probably already know, California is another US state that doesn’t really suffer from a painful winter. That’s why many players head out West and enjoy the spoils of California during the winter months. The Tennis Power Academy is a pretty awesome location here that professional players have used as a base for many years too.