Serve and Volley
Though tennis and badminton are not of Russian origin, most Russians have taken a likening for these games. Not everybody understands the rules, but that doesn’t stop people playing on any green lawn or an open space. The number of professional courts for these activities still leaves much to be desired in Moscow. But that shouldn’t stop the keen amateur player.
Text Elena Krivovyaz
An undiscovered resource of sports grounds is to be found in your local Russian school. Almost every Moscow school has a gym which can be turned into a tennis court, volley-ball, and football pitch. Badminton courts are rarer, because the game is not considered to be a serious sport, but nevertheless if you talk to the PT teacher or even the doorman in your local school and can come along in the evenings when the school kids aren’t there, almost anything can be arranged. Having a Russian friend who can do the talking for you, if you don’t speak Russian can help a lot. Charges range from between 200 and 900 roubles an hour.
Some fitness clubs have special tennis and badminton courts (see the list below). So if schools aren’t your thing, you can join a tennis community in a fitness club. Renting rackets and balls is possible, but it’s more reasonable to use your own. Floor coverings are more professional than in your local school. Some of the clubs have both indoor and outdoor tennis courts, which are usually cheaper than indoor courts. Fitness clubs can provide a trainer to help you to improve your skill, at additional costs.
Rent a tennis court at a sports club around Moscow, such as Megasfera doesn’t depend so much on how many people are playing, but on what day it is, and whether it’s a week-day or not. So if you have three others to join you, you pay four times less per person. During the evenings and weekends, the price is considerably higher. You have to book a court in advance – most clubs only have two or three tennis courts and they are booked very quickly. Big sport complexes like Luzhniki have up to six courts, both indoor and outdoor, with badminton courts as well.
It’s up to you what to put on for a game, but mind your shoes when you visit indoor courts. In Luzhniki and many other sporting clubs you are not allowed to wear shoes with black rubber soles. You should warn your friends about this problem, too.
A selection of places & prices
Megasfera (tennis center): (495) 221-06-93
Indoor courts only. 1,400r per hour (9am- 6pm during the week), 1,700r (9am-10pm, weekends). Early morning is cheaper: 1,000r (7am-9am, any day).
Six persons or more – pay 2,100r per court (about 350 r per each person)
Renting a racket – 200r, a ball – 200r
Trainer – 1,500r per hour.
Tennis Center On Mosfilmovskaya, (495) 589-50-99
Indoor courts with special professional cover
1,600r per hour (daytime), 1,800r (evenings)
If you bring five persons more and take a monthly program, you get a discount.
Trainer – 1,500r
Luzhniki Tennis Center, (495)637-02-59, (495)780-08-08
m. Sportivnaya, Ulitsa Luzhniki, 24
Indoor and outdoor courts
Day-time during the week: 2,250r per hour (four persons max.), evening-time 2,600r per hour
Weekdays: 2,400r anytime.
If you subscribe for 2 months or more, you get 5-10% discount
Junasport (fitness club), (495) 981-00-71
m. Voikovskaya, Petrovsko-Razumovskaya
Indoor courts with a special professional cover.
Indoor courts: 1,300r (7am-10am), 1,500r (evenings), 1,100r (10pm-12pm), 1,500r (weekdays).
Outdoor courts: 400-700 rubles
Trainer – 1,000 rubles.
Potapovsky Sport Club, 8 (910) 444 0903
m. Chistiye Prudy
1,500 rubles per 2 hours, 1,200 rubles for a single court per 2 hours
No black soles Badminton Club Iskra: (499) 248 5014, 8 (916) 520 7854
m. Botanichesky Sad
4 courts with professional rubber cover, shower and cloak-room
Sport Palace Luzhniki, Malaya Sportivnaya Arena: 8 (916) 444 0903
One of the best professional courts in Moscow
1,800 rubles per 2 hours
No black soles