The USTA National Campus is celebrating its one-year anniversary in January. Jan. 2, to be exact, marks the 365th day of operation for the groundbreaking facility that has established Lake Nona as a premier sports destination.
As the anchor of Lake Nona’s Sports & Performance District, the USTA National Campus has made a splash this year, gaining the attention of the tennis community in Orlando and beyond. With 100 courts spread across its 64-acre site, the USTA National Campus is one of the largest tennis facilities in the world, and the USTA has worked tirelessly to utilize the resources at its disposal in Lake Nona.
From local programming, both youth and adult, to junior tournaments, collegiate tennis, USTA League, wheelchair tennis and everything in between, not to mention the new home of USTA Player Development, the USTA National Campus’ success this year has exceeded every tennis fan’s wildest imaginations.
The lifeblood of the USTA National Campus is the programming that is available to local residents on a daily basis. With after-school and weekend youth programming, and daily adult sessions, in addition to youth and adult camps, hundreds of Central Florida tennis players are utilizing the courts under the direction of the USTA National Campus professional staff.
The campus has played host to more than 100 events this year, ranging from elite junior tournaments, to Junior Team Tennis, to USTA Pro Circuit events and USTA League play, to collegiate conference tournaments and community engagement events, truly cementing itself as one of the preeminent tennis venues in the world.
The USTA Pro Circuit is returning in 2018 with a women’s tournament in January and another in March that will showcase professional tennis on the Lake Nona courts. The USTA Pro Circuit serves as the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals from across the globe.
Throughout the fall, the USTA National Campus served as one of the hosts of the USTA League National Championships. USTA League, the world’s largest recreational tennis league with more than 915,000 participants annually, crowned dozens of champions over five different weekends in Lake Nona – and is set to do so again in 2018.
Also returning in 2018 is College MatchDay, one of the USTA’s primary platforms to showcase college tennis, featuring a slate of eight matches on six dates that will showcase some of the nation’s top college tennis programs. Six College MatchDay events in 2017 drew more than 5,300 fans, with 1,700-plus turning out for a match between Florida and Florida State men. The 2018 schedule kicks off with a rematch between the Gators and Seminoles, this time featuring both the men’s and women’s teams, on Feb. 3.
One of the most impactful components of the USTA National Campus is USTA Player Development, which relocated its headquarters to Lake Nona from Boca Raton when the facility opened in January. The USTA National Campus now serves as the home base for the Team USA coaching, training and medical staff. Hundreds of American professionals and juniors have trained at the USTA National Campus this year, with a number of pros permanently relocating to Orlando to train in Lake Nona year-round.
Included in that list is Madison Keys, who reached the 2017 US Open women’s singles final and who is currently ranked in the Top 20 in the world. She is joined by Top 100 players CiCi Bellis and Jennifer Brady on the women’s side, as well as Frances Tiafoe on the men’s side. All four are considered among the game’s rising stars.
Heading into year No. 2, the USTA National Campus is primed to build on its inaugural-year success by bringing tennis of all levels to the courts in Lake Nona.