Head of Residential Agency
With the French Open in a few weeks followed by Wimbledon in July, we look at how you can make the most of the tennis season, whether you’re a sports fan or not.
We’re well into the tennis season, but with three of the Grand Slam tournaments still to go, there’s plenty of time to catch up on the action as well as sharpening your own skills with a racquet. And even if you’re not a sports fan, you can still embrace tennis season and earn a bit of cash by opening your home up to fans.
Rent out your home
Wimbledon offers an annual unique short-let potential. If you’re not a tennis fan or want to escape the Wimbledon madness, you could rent out your home for the two weeks of the tournament, go on an early summer holiday and still make a profit.
Homes in Wimbledon Village are most in demand from players, journalists and tournament sponsors, and a three-bedroom home could earn up to £4,000 for a two-week let. Homes in the surrounding areas of Southfields and Wimbledon Park are also popular with fans as long as they’re within a reasonable walking distance of the tournament.
You don’t even have to rent your whole house. If you’ve got a nice spare bedroom, you can rent it out via Airbnb for the whole two-week period or just a couple of nights.
Build your own tennis court
A tennis court can be a great asset, particularly if you or your children are keen players. They’re long-lasting, require less maintenance than swimming pools and make your property more attractive to buyers.
Here are a few things to consider if you’re looking to erect a tennis court on your property:
• You usually won’t need planning permission for the court itself, but you will for the surrounding fence if it exceeds 6ft in height. If you live in a listed building, it’s worth seeking specialist advice as you may need listed building consent.
• Think about what surface you want to play on. Artificial grass and Tarmac are low-maintenance and great all-weather options.
• Consider the aspect and positioning of your court. If you play mostly in the evenings, then opt for a north-south orientation if possible so one player doesn’t get blinded by the sun. Situate your court in an open area that isn’t shaded by trees to reduce the build-up of moss.
If you want to skip the hassle of building your own, there are plenty of tennis-ready properties available, such as this Buckinghamshire home nestled in the Chilterns which comes with an all-weather, flood-lit tennis court for year-round playing. Or Lakeside Manor which has an all-weather tennis court adjacent to its very own leisure centre.
Although a private tennis court is perfect for country houses, it’s not practical for every home, and many people prefer the social aspect of communal tennis facilities or a local tennis club.
If you’re a regular player or prefer to practise alone, then a property with communal courts gives you privacy when playing without having to worry about the upkeep. The communal gardens at Cadogan Place are some of the finest in London and include tennis courts and dog-friendly areas.
If you or your children are serious about tennis then you may want to opt for a home near a private tennis club. This six-bedroom family house has a beautiful private garden and is less than ten minutes’ walk from Holland Park Tennis Club, an exclusive club seeped in history. Or if you prefer a wider choice of sports, this immaculate four-bedroom house in Fulham is a stone’s throw from the famous Hurlingham Club and a ten-minute drive to the Roehampton Club, which offers 30 tennis courts along with an 18-hole golf course, and heated indoor and outdoor pools.
The best ways to keep on top of the action this tennis season
Want to watch live tennis but haven’t got your tickets yet? It may not be too late. Here’s how you can get tickets for the rest of this year’s Grand Slam tournaments:
• French Open (27 May – 10 June): tickets are only available in advance, but there’s a resale service on the Roland–Garros website where you may get lucky.
• Wimbledon (2–15 July): Wimbledon is one of the few major sporting events where you can buy premium tickets on the day of play. You’ll have to queue, but some say that’s part of the experience! Or you can purchase one of the official hospitality packages from Keith Prowse or Sportsworld.
• US Open (27 August – 11 September): tickets go on sale to the general public on 11 June. Find out more on the US Open website.