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Use Your Racquet: Top Racquet Sports in Beijing

By Rebecca Valli , eChinacities.com Add your comment Newsletter

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On January 29th, many in Beijing found themselves waiting in trepidation. Asia's first ever Grand Slam singles finalist was about to enter the tennis court, and she was Chinese. Beautiful Wuhan- born Li Na did not win the match, but her humble smile to photographers after she received the silver plate surely won the hearts of millions of fellow countrymen. Thanks to Li Na, China gained the perfect poster face to promote tennis in the whole country. Will it stick, and win the competition against more traditional Chinese racquet sports? Posterity will judge. In the meantime, get yourself ready for your racket sport of choice.   

Tennis:

Use Your Racquet: Top Racquet Sports in Beijing
Photo: juooo.com

1) Tennis123.com
No matter how much government investment is going to follow Li Na's achievements, Beijing already has plenty of venues to indulge in the most famous racquet sport of all. The website www.tennis123.com is the pulse of Beijing amateur tennis scene. Established by hard-core tennis fan Wang Jun, tennis123 counts over 2000 members in Beijing. The club organizes tournaments in different venues around the city every Friday and Saturday evening, from 10pm till exhaustion. 

2) NSTC's tennis club 国家体育总局训练局
Opposite to the south-eastern corner of Temple of Heaven, the NSTC (aka National Sport Training Center) has two main locations, with five tennis courts each. Apart from the individual games, the management organizes classes and a free tournament at the end of the year.  

West courts branchView In Map
Add: 50 Tiantan Donglu, Chongwen District, Beijing
地址:北京市崇文区天坛恫路50号 (西院)
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 10:00- 22:00; Sat, 08:00 - 20:00; Sun 09:00 – 21:00
Price: 150-300 RMB per hour
Contact: 010 87183240, 67152532

East courts branchView In Map
Add: 2 Tiyuguan Lu, Chongwen District, Beijing
地址:北京市崇文区体育馆路2号 (东院)
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 10:00- 22:00; Sat, 08:00 - 20:00; Sun 09:00 – 21:00
Price: 150-300 RMB per hour
Tel: 010 87183401, 87183402

3) China World Hotel Tennis Center 中国大饭店网球中心View In Map
Located in the heart of the city's business district, the China World Hotel is definitely Beijing's most perfumed hotel. Enjoy the pianist's performance in the opulent lobby before heading to one of the three tennis courts on the second floor. The atmosphere on the court is intimate and luxurious, a good match with the rest of the venue. 

Add: 1 Jianguomenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District, Beijing
地址:北京市朝阳区建国门外大街1号
Opening hours: 07:00-23:00
Price: Members, 130-230 RMB per hour; Non-Members 320-480 RMB per hour
Tel: 010 65052266, ext 6121

Squash:

Use Your Racquet: Top Racquet Sports in Beijing
Photo: surbiton.org

Professional squash clubs worldwide have unsuccessfully tried to push the sport into Olympic grounds for over a decade. Olympic inclusion would mean a world of difference for the China Squash Association, established in 1999. More media attention would pull more money from the all powerful China Sports Administration, with more public venues in the city to cheaply sweat behind the ball. As it is now, most of the 150+ squash courts in Beijing are part of high-end residential and commercial complexes.

1) East Lake Club 东湖俱乐部View In Map
Located in the Dongzhimen embassy area, the club also offers outdoor tennis courts, a swimming pool, and plenty of table tennis and pool practice space. To reach the squash courts you will have to walk to the back of the building, go down the staircase and finally enter what looks like an underground dungeon. You can tailor your membership to your needs. There are different tariffs depending on the length of the card (minimum 1100 RMB one month, maximum13000 RMB two years). Price also varies between singles, couples and families.

Add: No.35 Dongzhimenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District, Beijing
地址:北京市朝阳区东直门外大街35号
Opening hours: 07:00 - 21:00
Price: Members 40 RMB per hour; Non-Members 100 RMB per hour
Tel: 010 84511588

2) Kempinski Hotel Pulse Health Club 北京凯宾斯基饭店俱乐部View In Map
Located on the north side of the hotel complex, the three squash courts are part of the Kempinski underground gym area. If you want to use other facilities it will cost you 200 RMB per person per day. Membership is 1,050 a month, 7,500 a year. 

Add: 50 Liangmaqiao Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
地址:北京市朝阳区亮马桥路50号
Opening hours: 06:00-22:00
Price: Members free; Non- Members 85 RMB for 45 minutes
Tel: 010 64653388, ext. 4198

Badminton:

Use Your Racquet: Top Racquet Sports in Beijing
Photo: topnews.in

It does not take a long time winding down the city's street to figure that Badminton is high on the list of Chinese national obsession. People of all ages monopolize walkways, squares and compounds mindless of the occasional foreigner taking pictures of the show. When the weather is warm, that is. During Beijing's cold winters badminton can be played in many indoor stadiums.

1) Shichahai 什刹海体育学校View In Map
Established in 1958, part of the school's complex is at the time of writing undergoing renovations. It is one of Beijing's most renowned cradles for Olympic talents. Visit the website for a quick look at the school's alumni who won big time in international competitions. Badminton is the feather in its cap.  You can be trained by the best students of the school (150-200 RMB an hour), and decide to spend the night at the end of the intense practice to be fresh like a rose in the morning, and start again (300 RMB double room, 588 RMB two floors apartment for four people.)

Add: 57 Dianmen Xidajie, Xicheng District, Beijing
地址:北京市西城区地安门西大街57号
Opening hours: 06:00-24:00
Price: 30-60 RMB per hour
Tel: 010 66185853

2) Beijing International Badminton ClubView In Map
The club meets every Wednesdays and Sundays at the Side Park in Wangjing. The entrance of the badminton center is opposite to the Rosedale Hotel, just outside the Fourth Ring Road. Most club members are foreigners, and their level is intermediate and advanced. Expenses for court rental and shuttle fees are shared.

Add: Side Park, 6 Fangyuan Xilu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
地址:北京市朝阳区芳园西路6号四得公园
Opening hours: Wed, 19:00-22:00; Sun, 10:00-12:00
Price: Annual fee 150 RMB; 40 RMB each session.  
Tel: johnsk_ho@hotmail.com

Table Tennis:

Use Your Racquet: Top Racquet Sports in Beijing
Photo: rtdesign.ca

Together with Badminton, Ping Pong is everywhere in Beijing. Every residential community, every park, and every "exercise corner" in the city is likely to have a few tables. Excellent players often come with the package, so the best advice would be to look around your neighbourhood and brave the competition with the locals.

1) Shichahai 什刹海体育学校View In Map
Beijing's 2008 Olympic gold medal Zhang Yining was trained at the school. Visit the place at any hour or the day, and you will invariably see students trying to be the next multi-medal hero of Chinese most established sport. Some of them also teach for 150-200 RMB an hour.

Add: 57 Dianmen Xidajie, Xicheng District, Beijing
地址:北京市西城区地安门西大街57号
Opening hours: 06:00-24:00
Price: 20-30 RMB per hour
Tel: 010 83286748, 83229500

2) Chaoyang park 朝阳公园View In Map
If you'd rather find a serendipitous trainer, mix with the experienced crowd in Chaoyang Park. Initiate a match, and when your opponent will see how poorly you play, he might feel pity for you and teach you a couple of moves. 

Add:  21 Chaoyang Gongyuan Nanlu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
地址:北京市朝阳区朝阳公园南路21号
Price: 5 RMB to enter the park
Opening hours: Daily, 06.30-21:00 

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Keywords: Racquet sports Beijing badminton Beijing tennis courts Beijing racquet sport teams Beijing

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