Is Tennis Expensive? (All Costs For Tennis Fully Explained)

Many people believe that tennis is an expensive sport, reserved only for the wealthy. With my experience in the sport, I want to give you a clear idea of how expensive tennis is and what costs you can expect when starting out.

Tennis is an expensive sport. This is due to costs for rackets, shoes, balls, strings, clothing, and court fees. If you want to start with basic equipment, you’ll spend $243. For average equipment, plus tennis lessons for a year, you’ll pay $2080. Private lessons and tournaments can increase costs.

As you can see, tennis costs can add up quite a bit. So read this article carefully to get a clear idea of how much money you need to play tennis.

Is Tennis an Expensive Sport?

Tennis has always had a reputation of being strictly for the rich. Only in the last few decades has this reputation started to become more nuanced.

Tennis is still an expensive sport, as there are many things you have to pay for.

Tennis equipment like shoes, clothing, balls, and rackets is essential. You also have to pay court fees and entry fees for tournaments and competitions.

This makes tennis an expensive sport overall, and this will probably stay true for the foreseeable future.

There are simply many things a tennis player has to pay for all by themself. Tennis is an individual sport, so you can’t split the costs of renting a court or entry fees with a whole team.

However, you can make tennis as expensive as you want.

If you want a nice durable racket made by a respected brand, you will pay more than buying a racket from a less known brand.

If you become a tennis club member, costs for a court often get replaced by the yearly contribution.

Contribution is a larger sum of money than renting a court. Still, if you want to play tennis regularly, the added up costs of renting a court might exceed your contribution.

Based on how seriously you take tennis and how often you want to play, you can make tennis either really expensive or pretty affordable.

How Expensive is Tennis?

As mentioned above, there are several kinds of costs a tennis player has.

The equipment takes up a big part of the budget, but there are other things a tennis player needs to pay for.

When you’re a professional tennis player, you have to pay for things like hotels and tickets for your team. Amateur players do not have these costs.

However, amateurs have to pay dues to their tennis club, they may have to pay to rent courts, and they also have to pay for lessons.

Altogether, you need quite the budget. But how expensive is tennis equipment? Or what does an average tennis lesson cost?

Read on to find out.

Is tennis equipment expensive?

Tennis gear

Tennis equipment is available in all forms and shapes.

There is equipment made for people who have less to spend, while there is also plenty of equipment for people willing to splurge.

In the end, it is up to you how much you want to spend. You may want to invest in a good racket and hold back on designer tennis clothing, or maybe shoes are your main priority.

How often you play tennis can also be a factor that helps you decide how much you want to spend and how much you need.

If you play regularly, you might need more clothes than someone who only plays once a week.

Are tennis rackets expensive?

There are all kinds of different types of tennis rackets available. So the cost of a tennis racket can also vary greatly.

The best-known brands of tennis rackets are Babolat, Wilson, Head, Yonex, and Dunlop.

They can differ in size, weight, length, focus, and quality. This means there is a significant price range for tennis rackets as well.

If you don’t take tennis very seriously and only want to play tennis a few times a year, you might opt for a cheap racket. You can get a tennis racket for as little as $50 (€44).

Suppose you want to play tennis often and are determined to become a great player. In that case, you might want to invest in a tennis racket of better quality.

For an expensive tennis racket, you pay between $220 and $280 (€193 to €246). In that case, you have an excellent racket, which professionals also use.

If you look at the average price of a good quality tennis racket, you will end up with a price between $150 and $220 (€132 to €193).

Keep in mind that you will often have to pay for strings as well, so try not to splurge all of your budgets on just the frame.

Since the tennis racket will be a significant part of your budget, it is important to make sure that the racket is a good fit for you.

For example, you could get a demo racket to find out if it suits your playing style.

In summary, you can see below the average prices of tennis rackets by price range of the well-known brands:

Price range:Average price:
Cheap:$50 to $120 (€44 to €105)
Average:$150 to $200 (€132 to €176)
Expensive:$220 to $280 (€193 to €246)

Are tennis shoes expensive?

Like tennis rackets, tennis shoes are available in many different forms. Several brands sell them, and the fit of these shoes can vary.

Some are relatively tight, while others might have a deeper sole. Quality is a variable that changes, and the more durable shoes will have a higher price tag.

On average, tennis shoes costs $70 (€61). If you want one of the most durable shoes from a well-known brand, you can pay up to $170 (€149).

If you prefer one of the cheaper options, you can get tennis shoes for about $50 (€44).

If you are just starting or know that you will only be playing on one specific surface, one pair of shoes will do. But if you will play on multiple surfaces, keep in mind that you will have additional costs for different shoes.

While there are multi-surface shoes, it is often better to buy shoes for specific surfaces.

If you don’t have tennis shoes but do have basketball shoes, you can find out if your basketball shoes can be used for tennis.

However, this is only a temporary solution, to find out if you like tennis as a sport.

Is tennis clothing expensive?

For clothing, you might even have the most options on this list. You can wear tops, shirts, skirts, dresses, leggings, shorts, and so on.

Specially made clothing for tennis is more expensive than general-purpose sportswear. So it very much depends on what kind of clothing you want to wear.

For example, you can buy a standard sports shirt or a special Wimbledon edition of Roger Federer’s shirt. Obviously, there will be quite a price difference between these shirts.

You can find sports shirts for $20 (€17), but on average, you shouldn’t be surprised to pay around $50 (€44) for one item of tennis clothing. Especially if you want an outfit, you have seen your favorite professional player wear.

If you are on a budget, try waiting until the clothes are on sale. This will save you a lot of money.

Are tennis balls expensive?

There are many different types of tennis balls, in various quality ranges.

In general, tennis balls are not very expensive. However, you do need to buy a lot of balls over time.

The more expensive balls are more durable, but there are cheap options as well. If you play tennis regularly, you will need to buy new balls pretty often.

In professional matches, the balls get changed every seven to nine games. When you play at an amateur level, this is not necessary.

You can easily play a whole match with one can, and two or three matches should also be doable.

The average price of a can of tennis balls is about $3 (€2,60), holding three to four balls.

Suppose you have children who want to start playing tennis, for example. In that case, red or orange balls could be beneficial as these are slower than regular balls.

These balls are a little more expensive than regular balls but still very affordable.

Are tennis lessons expensive?

Tennis teacher at work

Tennis lessons can vary in price. Several factors influence the price, such as the group size and the coach’s level.

Lessons in a group of eight people with a trainer who just got their license are significantly cheaper than private lessons with a trainer who has an excellent reputation.

There are also differences in tennis schools and trainers who work independently.

On average, you will pay about $40 (€35) for a tennis lesson that lasts one hour, but once again, you can make it as cheap or expensive as you would like.

How much do group tennis lessons cost?

Of course, it matters where the tennis lessons are given, with how many people and who offers the lessons, so the prices of tennis lessons may vary.

Tennis lessons on a public court with a coach that only has basic qualifications can be as little as $10 (€8,80) an hour for a group lesson, whereas group lessons at a country club are double that amount.

How much do private tennis lessons cost?

For private lessons, you are the only person paying for the trainer’s hourly rate, costs of materials, and the court.

This means it will be more expensive for you than splitting the costs with group members.

A private lesson on a public court with a coach that only has basic qualifications costs $20 to $25 (€17 to €22) on average. Private tennis lessons with a more certified tennis coach at a country club are $50 to $80 (€44 to €70) dollars per hour.

So, is tennis expensive to learn?

Tennis does not have to be expensive to learn. Suppose you are satisfied with a less qualified coach, a less fancy location, and a bigger group. In that case, tennis lessons are not that expensive.

However, if you want private lessons and prefer a coach that has more qualifications, you will need a bigger budget.

(Click here to find out if tennis lessons are worth it)

Other expenses

As mentioned before, tennis players have many expenses. Even if you are just an amateur player, your tennis racket will need new strings regularly.

The strings cost money, as well as having them put in your racket. If you need a new grip or want extra protection over your grip, this costs money as well.

Tennis bags:

You also need a way to transport your tennis racket and other stuff you might want to bring to a match or tennis lesson.

Therefore you need a tennis bag, which is a good thing to invest in as it should be durable in all types of weather.

You can get tennis bags for $50 (€44), but there are also expensive bags that cost $200 (€176).

A $50 (€44) bag is fine if you are just starting. If you want to carry more rackets, you should look at more expensive bags.

Court fees:

If you want to play tennis, you will need a place to play tennis at. Therefore you will probably need to rent a tennis court.

If you are a tennis club member, they will often let you play on their courts for free. If you are not a member, you need to pay.

Some courts are better than others, and location also influences the price.

If you are okay with a less good court, you can find them for about $10 (€8,80) an hour, but if you want to play on a good tennis court, you might need to pay $40 (€35) an hour.

Accessories:

Besides the essential tennis equipment, some accessories can make playing tennis easier, more convenient, or fun.

Examples of these helpful accessories are caps, sweatbands, and ball holders.

These don’t have to be expensive, but it is something to keep in mind when deciding what you want to spend money on.

Entry fees:

If you want to play official tennis matches, this is usually not free. If you wish to participate in a competition, you will have to pay a competition fee to your tennis club.

Suppose you want to participate in a tournament. In that case, you will have to pay an entry fee to the tournament’s organization.

This is so they can cover the costs they had to make to set up the event.

How Much Does it Cost to Play Tennis?

How much it costs to play tennis depends on how much you are willing to spend and which sacrifices you are willing to make.

If you are about to start playing tennis, you need several things.

A tennis racket is the most important; this is about $150 (€132) on average.

You also need tennis shoes, preferably ones suitable for multiple surfaces, so you don’t have to buy several pairs at once. This is $70 (€61) on average.

Tennis clothes are something you can save money on. Instead of buying the newest Nike or Adidas clothes, a simple sports legging and a basic sports t-shirt will do.

Tennis balls are not expensive either. The money you save on clothes and balls can be used for a tennis bag, which you should be able to get for about $50 (€44).

Tennis lessons are $40 (€35) on average, for one hour only. If you want lessons every week for a year, this will cost you $2080 (€1832).

For strings, you will pay $15 to $20 (€13 to €17), not including placing those strings.

If you play tennis once or twice a week, lessons excluded, you will probably need at least one can of tennis balls per month. This will be around $36 to $72 (€31 to €63) per year.

So, how much does it cost to play tennis?

If you want to start playing tennis with just the basics and without tennis lessons, you will spend about $243 (€214). For this, you will have a cheap racket ($80 / €70), basic shoes ($70 / €61), cheap balls ($3 / €2,60), a basic tennis bag ($50 / €44), and cheap clothing ($40 / €35).

(Remember, this is the actual base price to start playing tennis. This price does not include strings, tennis lessons, and court fees)

If you want to start playing tennis with average tennis equipment and tennis lessons for a year, you will spend about $2500 (€2200). For this, you will have a racket ($150 / €132), shoes ($100 / €88), balls ($5 / €4,40), a tennis bag ($90 / €79), strings ($15 / €13), clothing ($60 / €52), and group tennis lessons ($2080 / €1832).

(Remember, this is the average price to start playing tennis, with group lessons for a year. This price does not include court fees)

These prices do not include any additional accessories, nor does it include the replacement of faulty equipment.

Is Tennis For The Rich?

Although this definitely used to be the image of tennis in the past, nowadays tennis is not just for rich people anymore. However, it does remain an expensive sport.

On average, you pay $2080 (€1832) a year for just tennis lessons if you take lessons once a week. If you want to become a good tennis player, you should take more lessons and invest in good materials.

This means that the prospect of becoming a professional tennis player is only open to people who invest a lot of money and time in tennis.

Playing tennis for fun is affordable for a much bigger crowd.

Besides that, tennis is not the only sport that costs money. For example, you pay about $40 (€35) a month if you want a gym membership.

This means you can get tennis shoes, a tennis racket, a tennis bag and quite some balls for the same amount of money as you would pay for a yearly gym subscription.

Even private soccer lessons are comparable in price with private tennis lessons.

So while tennis may be expensive, you will need a certain amount of money for pretty much any sport.

You can buy expensive equipment recommended by the best tennis players in the world. Still, you could also stop at Target and get a tennis racket for $25 (€22).

In the end, it hugely depends on your own expectations of the sport.

If you want the best coach, be part of an exclusive country club, and play on only the best-maintained courts, you will need to be among the richer people.

But if you are perfectly fine with a less fancy court and cheap equipment, tennis is certainly an accessible sport for you!

Conclusion

Tennis has a reputation for being a sport for the rich, and that reputation is not entirely unjustified.

If you want good equipment, good courts and maybe even private lessons you will need quite the budget.

But if you are willing to settle for less fancy equipment and maybe group lessons instead, tennis doesn’t have to be very expensive.

Ultimately, it’s up to the sacrifices you are or are not willing to make.

Brian Henderson

I am what you might call a true tennis fanatic. When I am not on the tennis court teaching or playing myself, I am probably writing an informative article about tennis. My goal is to get as many people as possible excited and informed about tennis.
Published: 
February 14, 2022
Published: February 14, 2022