A new tennis club opening in Long Island City will teach both children and parents the fundamentals of the sport on the first tennis facility to feature customized glass courts with LED marking lines.
Court 16, located at 13-06 Queens Plaza South, will be the second tennis club opened by Anthony Evrard, who also owns a club in Brooklyn.
Evrard, a Belgian native, began playing tennis when he was 5 years old. The country has a strong tennis, soccer and track and field culture and Evrard competed and traveled extensively in the junior tennis circuit until he was 16. During that time, he also visited America for competitions and decided he wanted to come to the country for college.
“I came for the first time when I was 15 or 16 to play a tournament in Florida,” he said. “I really fell in love with American culture, especially in the late 90s [when] tennis in America was extremely popular.”
Evrard then played Division 1 tennis at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, California, on a full scholarship. Now, he wants to share his love of tennis with Queens families.
Classes at the 13,500-square-foot facility are offered for children 2 1/2 years through 11 years old and teenager tennis will cater to 12- through 15-year-olds. Though the programs are catered to children, Evrard said he wants to include parents on their children’s tennis journeys. Adults with little or no experience can join Court 16’s adult classes or can sign up for Adult Tennis Fitness, which features one hour of “high-intensity, tennis-based drills and exercises.”
“The core offering is for children but what we’ve noticed is a lot of parents wanted to get into the game,” he said. “We’re creating a community around tennis. The motivation is this idea of creating amazing gatherings around tennis [and] a second home for families.”
At Court 16, parents and children will be able to take classes at the same time in an effort to “get parents motivated and excited about learning at the same time as their children.”
The club will offer private lessons and group lessons, mini tournaments, movie nights, a summer camp and also offers pickle ball, especially for companies in the area who want to host corporate events. Evrard opened his second club in Long Island City to create opportunities for health-conscious families who chose to call the city home instead suburbia, he added.
In addition to its focus on families, Evrard said the company is also focused on innovation.
“One of the things were always looking at when we build is what type of innovations can we bring to the table so it can enhance the curriculum we have,” he added.
Court 16 is the first tennis club in the country to feature customized glass courts that use LED lights for marking lines. This court configuration took about three years to create and was done to cater to different age groups.
The company imported two tons of glass from Europe to create the five courts. When the 3-year-olds play, the court measures 30 feet. When the 6-year-olds play, the court is adjusted to span 36 feet and for those 10 years and older, the court will measure 60 feet.
The surface will also help reduce the risk of injury and is the “safest surface for children’s fast growing joints,” according to a press release.
The space will also host events throughout the year and families can purchase tennis gear at Court 16’s retail shop.
“The tennis brand that we’ve created and developed is a very creative endeavor,” he said. “The programming is really at the core of what we offer for members — speaker series, partnering with people to bring well-known athletes like [tennis player] Jack Sock. Programming is very essential in the membership offering.”
Court 16 will be open for the next two weeks for trials and tours and will officially open for the season on Feb. 26.
To sign up for classes, visit the club’s website.