What if you could arrange a game of tennis with a top player as easily as you can a date? Well, one British company is promising to provide a sort of Tinder for tennis when it launches a new app next month.
All Court Tennis Club will allow its users to hone their game by hitting with a professional or semi-pro player in London, Paris and New York. For players, some of whom play on the Challenger Tour, it is a way to supplement their income with clients who share their love of the game.
“The business exists to serve tennis enthusiasts – we’re a global lifestyle membership club,” said Rose Webb, head of marketing strategy at the All Court Tennis Club. “What we don’t have is physical courts, we’re the antithesis of that.
“We’re launching an app in June. Until now our members have been using us for our concierge but we’re launching our app in London, New York and Paris and that will be a full membership proposition where members will be able to book pro hitters to come and play with them.
“They’ll also have access to exclusive content. We’re building that portfolio and that’s growing.”
For just under £20 a month, All Court Tennis Club promises to bring the simplicity of swiping right to booking a tennis session with a top-quality player. Fees are of course extra and are entirely at the hitter’s discretion; Barry Fulcher, a London-based former pro has conducted group sessions in the past at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton.
While the stars of the men’s and women’s game make millions in endorsements to top up their prize money, outside of the top 100 it can be a struggle to cover costs. Aside from the financial benefit, the pros also get access to playing partners who are more serious than the casual fan.
Holly Hutchinson, an All Court Tennis Club hitter and one of Britain’s top 25 female tennis players, said: “I can list hourly hitting sessions from anywhere in the world through the All Court Tennis Club app, and you can set your own hourly rate too.
“Any touring player will know that the cost of travel, training, coaching, physio and everything else really adds up, so joining the club to earn some extra cash has been a huge help to me financially.
“If you’re wondering where you will host your hitting sessions, both hitters and members have the option to book courts, so the flexibility is there.”
Players cannot always commit to full time jobs and the likes of OpenSponsorship, an influencer agency, aid with fee support and ensuring that the talent have all they need.
All Court Tennis Club already offers a sort of concierge service for globetrotting tennis fans, and its newest offering is the latest example of bridge building between professional sport and amateur sport.
The platform hopes to roll out the hitting service in 20 destinations within five years but from next month Londoners won’t have to go to Wimbledon to get a fix of elite tennis.