Whether you’re playing or spectating, nothing signals summer like a tennis ball soaring high into the sky, then flying from racquet to racquet rhythmically across a sun-baked court. As Paris heats up ahead of the French Open—the second of four grand slams in 2017—Luxury Defined highlights the most desirable properties with tennis courts, and when to watch some of the world's finest athletes as part of Tennis Channel's tournament coverage. All in celebration of the great game. If you haven’t managed to get tickets to any of the big matches, Tennis Channel will air daily preview and highlight shows as well as encore programming of the matches.
Situated near Lake Jem and Mount Dora, the 152-acre Shirley Shores estate is a short flight from Delray Beach, where the Delray Beach Open will take place in February 2018. Tennis Channel will broadcast coverage of the open, the world's only combined ATP World Tour/ATP Champions Tour event. Often referred to as one of the "fifth slams," it has been voted by players as the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament of the year six times.
In addition to a tennis court, this property boasts stables and a course for horse racing. Cool down in the pool after a session on court or in the saddle, then dine al fresco beneath the trees. With an elaborate courtyard entrance and interiors featuring gilded Corinthian columns and decorative ironwork, the three-bedroom property is a home with timeless appeal.
With a guest cottage said to have been the writing den for Nobel laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Eugene O’Neill, the historic Bellevue Estate at Grape Bay Beach, built around 1871, is sure to inspire your game, too. Set amid 5.5 acres of land, the tastefully decorated eight-bedroom property is situated in one of Bermuda's most elegant residential enclaves. It offers views of Hamilton Harbour and manicured lawns that roll toward the pool and tennis court, as well as the South Shore of the island. Owners will also enjoy private access to the secluded Grape Bay Beach.
From pounding the court to paddling in the sea, the six-bedroom Stargazer Villa offers the ultimate in beachfront luxury, with private steps down to its own half-mile strip of sandy shoreline. Situated on a limestone cliff within the Blue Mountain area—the mountain’s peak is the highest point on Providenciales—the estate offers views across the island and of the surrounding turquoise waters.
Work up a sweat on the professionally finished, floodlit tennis court or in the sauna before taking a dip in a choice of two swimming pools and a hot tub. The unique property even has its own secret grotto with a waterfall, a tranquil pond stocked with turtles, and an observatory—the only one in the Turks and Caicos Islands—making it the ideal wildlife-gazing spot. Inside, enjoy the games area, home theater, gym, Pilates room, and professional dance studio (if you can take your eyes off the enchanting flora and fauna).
For those looking to hone their skills in the Balearics, this 22-bedroom modernist villa offers some of the most spectacular vistas in Ibiza. Built into a rugged, palm-fringed cliff edge, the contemporary home is split across three levels and features terraces, porches, and glazed façades that make the most of the breathtaking scenery. Gazing out over the horizon from the stepped garden, it’s nearly impossible to see where the infinity pool merges into the azure ocean. Relax in the various outdoor sun loungers and chill-out areas, or practice your tennis volley on the villa’s court.
Leave your opponents in a cloud of red dust, just like the champions of the French Open. In addition to an illuminated clay tennis court, the opulent Desert Rose Palace offers indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a hammam, a spa, a gym, a yoga studio, and a health center—a true haven for well-being.
"The weather in Marrakech is perfect for a healthy and athletic life,” says Marc Leon, Partner at Kensington Luxury Properties, the exclusive affiliate for Christie’s International Real Estate in Morocco. “It hardly ever rains, and the sun shines about 300 days a year.”
Combining modern luxury with rich Moroccan heritage, this magnificent 23.5-acre Moorish palace is built to royal specifications, and the tennis court is a small version of the Roland-Garros court in Paris. “It enjoys the shade of an olive grove during the day and is under the lights at night, so it’s perfect for outdoor matches and late-night soirees,” Leon says.
Take further inspiration from the players at The Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakech—the only ATP World Tour stop on the African continent. The next tournament is set for April 2018, with Tennis Channel returning to provide coverage.
For a game of tennis without distractions, look to the Jewel of Flathead Lake. Set in over 4 acres of secluded grounds and surrounded by the glistening waters of Flathead Lake, this peaceful seven-bedroom woodland retreat will allow you to focus entirely on your game.
“This breathtaking waterfront property rivals the world’s most elite lakefront views,” says Sean Averill, owner of PureWest Real Estate, the exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in Montana. “The sprawling estate, including your own private island, combines the best of year-round lake and mountain living: boating, swimming, tennis, and outdoor entertaining during the summer season. During the winter months, enjoy skiing at the nearby Blacktail Mountain, then cozy up to the fireplace or soak in the outdoor hot tub with friends.”
“This property is ideal for someone who loves the countryside and quietness,” says Maria Vamvatsikou of Ploumis Sotiropoulos Real Estate, the exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in Athens, Greece. “But it’s also close to the airport, so it suits a jet-setter, too.”
Featuring architecture reminiscent of Provence in the south of France, this elegant ten-bedroom stone structure, standing proudly on a hill outside Athens, is a Mediterranean dream. The grounds feature pristine topiaries, stone paths inviting you to explore the gardens, tranquil water fountains, sculptures, and its own private church—in addition to a tennis court, outdoor pool, and stable. So, while the global stars of tennis sweat it out in the Roland-Garros Stadium in Paris, you can enjoy your own, more leisurely version of the French Open.
Hailed as the "Versailles of America," Darlington is a 50,000-square-foot, 58-room palace. A true architectural treasure, it is listed with both the National Register of Historic Places and the New Jersey Register of Historic Places. Built in 1907 by esteemed architect James Brite, the mansion was recently restored to the highest of modern standards while retaining its one-of-a-kind original features.
These include a 1906 Aeolian player pipe organ, thought to be the only one in the US; a library showcasing a painted ceiling by muralist James Wall Finn; and an abundance of elaborate, decorative woodwork, hand-carved by the same skilled craftsmen who worked on the Italian Parliament. Other highlights include a beauty salon and cigar room, a wine tasting room, and a theater. Of course, the tennis court goes without saying.