There is a quite big interest for playing tennis in Rio. It has mostly been a sport for the rich but there are quite few community projects nowadays that teaches poorer kids this game. If you want to play you have to have a racket and some balls, this is not for rent anywhere that I know of. To buy this you can go to the shopping mall Riosul in Botafogo, there are a few stores there that have equipment. So where can you play?
Tennis in Rio For Free
It is actually possible to play for free at the open air concrete courts that belongs to the city. You can’t book a time and you might have to wait, but hey, it’s for free! I will give a short description of the different free courts of interest:
Lagoa 1 Close to the channel that separates Ipanema from Leblon just on the Leblon side there are two courts. They put up nets here every day without rain and as long as there are no lessons they are available to the public. Best times to try are weekdays from 1 PM until 5 PM, other times might prove difficult. The courts are a bit uneven but the size is right.
Lagoa 2 If you walk around the lake from Leblon towards Jardim Botânico and you keep your eyes open you will find a tennis court (it´s close to the helicopter pad). This one does not have a net and the size is not right, the bounce is perfect though. It’s almost always available with some exceptions on weekends. Me and my friends bought a net and played several times a week for a while, it’s a bit tricky to put it up but with a bit of ingenuity it’s no problem. If you are here for a few months it could be a good idea. The best thing with this one is the setting, playing tennis in Rio right under the Christ Statue is really cool.
Lagoa 3 This is the right size but the court is in a horrible state. You need a net and here it´s really tricky to get it up.
Flamengo Right size, no nets. Also a bit risky because of thieves that could fancy a new racket…
If you click here you will get to a Google Map where I have marked out all the courts above.
The most reliable way to play tennis in Rio de Janeiro is at a club. This is a list with a few options for you, most of them accept non-members playing for a higher fee, call to confirm this! This is just a selection:
Academia Pontal Fitness Tênis Av. Ailton Henrique da Costa 233, Recreio map, tel 3411-6400 or 3411-6402. Clay.
Table Tennis in Rio
Table tennis is not so popular here but I found this list of places to practice it. Just click the link FTMERJ – Table Tennis