Did you know that the game of tennis originally started out being played with the hands?
When people started playing a game called “Jeu de Paume” in northern France in the 12th century, nobody expected that it would evolve into a game played in stadiums that can hold thousands of people.
Today, tennis is played in amazing arenas and we have compiled a list of some of the largest tennis stadiums in the world.
Yes, in some of these, tennis balls appear as minuscule objects going back and forth, that’s for sure!
Please note: This list doesn’t include multi-purpose arenas but only stadiums solely used for tennis games.
1. Arthur Ashe Stadium – New York City
- Capacity: 23,771
- Main tournament: US Open
It’s the location of one of the Grand Slams, the US Open, and was named after the first winner of the current tournament, Arthur Ashe (1943-1993), who won it in 1968.
A retractable roof was added to the imposing stadium in the year 2016 to avoid delays because of the weather, a trend with most large tennis arenas around the world.
2. Indian Wells Tennis Garden – Indian Wells
- Capacity: 16,102
- Main tournament: Indian Wells Masters
Indian Wells Tennis Garden is the second-largest tennis stadium in the world and is significantly smaller than its bigger brother in New York. This doesn’t mean, however, that it’s less imposing.
It’s the main stadium of the tennis complex in Indian Wells, Riverside County, California, which features 29 tennis courts in total.
This magnificent tennis stadium is also the venue of the tournament with the same name which is now also known as the “BNP Paribas Open.”
3. Court Philippe Chatrier – Paris
- Capacity: 15,225
- Main tournament: French Open
The Court Philippe Chatrier is the main stadium of the complex known as the “Stade Roland Garros,” the venue of one of the major Grand Slams, the French Open.
The stadium was originally built in the year 1928 but was completely demolished in 2018 to make way for a modernized version of this tennis temple.
The newly erected stadium features much steeper terraces as well as a retractable roof. The stadium was completed in 2019 and ready for the tournament that year.
4. National Tennis Stadium – Beijing
- Capacity: 15,000
- Main tournament: China Open
The National Tennis Stadium is the common name of the main court of the tennis center at the Olympic Park in Beijing that was built for the Summer Olympics of 2008.
The main stadium of the complex is known as the “Diamond Court” and is one of the multiple tennis arenas that are distinctively shaped like a lotus flower.
After serving its original purpose as the main venue of the tennis tournament during the 2008 Summer Olympics it became the venue of the biggest tennis tournament in the country, the China Open.
5. Optics Valley International Tennis Center – Wuhan
- Capacity: 15,000
- Main tournament: Wuhan Open
One of the most astounding tennis stadiums in the world is known as the Optics Valley International Tennis Center, located in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province, China.
It’s the venue of the Wuhan Open, a tennis tournament that only exists since 2014, which means the stadium was only completed that year as well.
The stadium is remarkable in the sense that it is only adjoined by a smaller 5,000-seat court and 6 much smaller outdoor courts. This really emphasizes the monumental scale of the main arena.
6. Wimbledon Centre Court – London
- Capacity: 14,979
- Main tournament: Wimbledon
Even though the Centre Court at Wimbledon is only the 6th-largest tennis stadium in the world in terms of capacity, it’s considered to be the most famous tennis court in the world.
That’s because it’s the main venue of the most prestigious and oldest tennis tournament in the world, simply known as “Wimbledon.”
The stadium was equipped with a retractable roof in 2009. This means that games at the “All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club” in southwest London can be played during rain and at night as well.
7. Rod Laver Arena – Melbourne
- Capacity: 14,820
- Main tournament: Australian Open
The first Grand Slam tournament of the tennis calendar is held down under in the second-most populous city in Australia, Melbourne.
This tournament is known as the Australian Open and the main venue is the magnificent Rod Laver Arena and has been since its completion in the year 1988.
The original name of the stadium was “National Tennis Centre at Flinders Park,” followed by simple “Centre Court,” until it was renamed Rod Laver Arena in 2000 in honor of the greatest Australian tennis player of all time, Rod Laver (born 1938).
8. Louis Armstrong Stadium – New York City
- Capacity: 14,000
- Main tournament: US Open
An incredibly fascinating tennis stadium in this list is the Louis Armstrong Stadium, mainly because it’s located right next to the Arthur Ashe Stadium at Flushing Meadows, New York City.
This means that it’s also one of the main venues of the US Open held at this tennis complex. The stadium is a replacement of the original 1978-stadium that was located here and completed for the US Open in 2018.
The stadium wasn’t named after a famous tennis star but after jazz musician Louis Armstrong (1901-1971) (yes, the guy who sang “What a Wonderful World”). That’s because he lived just nearby until he passed away in 1971.
9. Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena – Shanghai
- Capacity: 13,800
- Main tournament: Shanghai Masters
The Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena is often simply referred to as the Qizhing Stadium and is arguably one of the most beautiful tennis arenas in the world.
The reason we say that is because of its astounding roof that can be retracted in a spiraling manner. It features 8 petal-shaped pieces which can be opened and closed in just 8 minutes, an incredible sight.
Even though it was originally constructed for the ATP World Tour Finals, of which it was the venue between 2005 and 2008, it is now mainly used as the main venue of the Shanghai Masters.
10. Am Rothenbaum – Hamburg
- Capacity: 13,200
- Main tournament: German Open
Am Rothenbaum is the name of the tennis complex that features the main venue of the German Open Tennis Championships and has been since its completion in the year 1999.
The name of the stadium is remarkable because it was named after the Rothenbaum area in the German city of Hamburg, even though it’s located in the city’s Harvestehude district just nearby.
Apart from being one of the biggest tennis stadiums in the world, it’s also the largest tennis arena in Germany.