10 great places to indulge your love for tennis

In 1881, Newport hosted the first U.S. National Lawn Tennis Championships, which ultimately became the U.S. Open. "The event now held here each summer (the Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championship, starting July 6) is the last remaining professional tennis tournament played on grass in North America," Collins says. "The annual Hall of Fame induction ceremonies take place during the final weekend, adding quite a bonus for the fans." Near the grounds, several of the lavish "Newport Cottage" mansions are open for public tours. 866-914-3263; tennisfame.com

All England ClubWimbledon

Since the first "Championships" were held here in 1877, Wimbledon has grown from its roots as a garden-party gathering into a Grand Slam tournament with a following of millions around the world. "Yet, Wimbledon has managed to retain both its charm and its unique traditions," Collins says. "Ivy and flowers still cover the grounds, strawberries and cream are still offered, and the matches are still played on 'God's own sod' — grass." One welcome change: When the 14-day tournament begins this year on June 22, the famed Centre Court will sport a new retractable roof. wimbledon.org

Connecticut Tennis Center at YaleNew Haven, Conn.

Billed as "New England's Ultimate Tennis Experience," the Pilot Pen Tennis Championships is held on the historic and beautiful campus of Yale University Aug. 21-29. The "Ivy League Casual" atmosphere is appealing to fans and players alike. "This tournament has an intimate feel that lets fans see the tennis action up close," Collins says. "Within walking distance of campus is downtown New Haven, which offers a host of shops, art galleries and exquisite restaurants." 888-997-4568; pilotpentennis.com

USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis CenterNew York City

The year's fourth and final Grand Slam, the U.S. Open is a distinctively American tennis event. "Sitting in Arthur Ashe Stadium — which holds 23,000 — is a bit like going to a ballgame at Yankee Stadium," Collins says. "The crowds are always loud and boisterous." The smaller outside courts give tennis fans a chance to see the players up close in the early rounds of play, which start Aug. 31 this year. "The grounds here are spacious, with musical entertainment and a host of other diversions." 866-673-6849, usopen.org

Melbourne ParkMelbourne, Australia

Won this year by Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams, the annual Australian Open is the calendar year's first Grand Slam tournament. "It's nicknamed the 'Happy Slam' by the pros, and for good reason," Collins says. "The tournament is held during Australia's midsummer, many people are on vacation, and the atmosphere is friendly, relaxed and party-like." The stadium's retractable roof protects players and fans against what can be blistering hot temperatures. The fun starts next year on Jan. 18. australianopen.com

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