Tennis in the Ligurian Riviera: Among Champions and Italy’s Oldest Clubs

Ancient clubs, sports culture, and mild climate: that's why many champions come to play tennis in the Ligurian Riviera.

Tennis seeks elegance, solid traditions, fresh air, and optimal weather conditions: the western Ligurian Riviera fully meets this profile. It's no coincidence that Liguria boasts the oldest tennis clubs in Italy. Perhaps that's why many champions come to Liguria to train: from Fabio Fognini to Gianluca Mager and Alessandro Giannessi, Italian racket stars, to Jannik Sinner and many professionals who, incognito, arrive among the palm trees and beaches of the province of Imperia to train and escape the spotlight of Monte Carlo.

Bordighera Tennis Club

Bordighera Tennis Club is the oldest tennis club in Italy. It was founded in 1878 under the name Bordighera Lawn Tennis Club, in friendly competition with the English Committee chaired by the Bishop of London and Gibraltar. Winner of historic matches against clubs in Monte Carlo and France, it was well-known abroad, hosting players like Tilden, Lacoste, De Morpurgo, De Stefani, and Vido on its courts in the years before the Second World War. There, thanks to collaboration with the furniture company Nada & Billour, a particular type of wooden racket famous worldwide was born, leading to the creation of the S.I.R.T. (Italian Tennis Racket Society), which remained on the market until the late 1980s. Many modern tennis stars have passed through here: from Adriano Panatta to Corrado Barazzutti to Paolo Bertolucci, and more recently Jannik Sinner, Iryna Sabalenka, Andreas Seppi, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Maria Sharapova, and Gregor Dimitrov.

The Tennis Club Sanremo 1897

The Tennis Club Sanremo 1897, born in 1897 through the initiative of the English colony staying on the Riviera under the name "Tennis and Bridge Club," is one of the oldest tennis clubs in Italy. The highlight of the club is the organization of the "Piertomaso Tessitore" Tournament, established in 1991 as an Open tournament and since 2002 part of the ATP Challenger circuit. It has been won, among others, in April 2005, by Novak Djokovic, who is now ranked number 1 in the ATP world rankings.

The Tennis Club Ventimiglia

The Tennis Club Ventimiglia was established by around twenty enthusiasts on July 14, 1947, a significant date for neighboring France, being the anniversary of July 14, 1789, the storming of the Bastille and a prelude to the French Revolution. Located in the Peglia area, it has 4 clay courts, 1 synthetic grass court, and a very welcoming clubhouse, a "small temple" of tennis.
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Tennis Club Ospedaletti

The Tennis Club Ospedaletti was founded in 1962 with the A.I.M.A.T. Championships, which also saw the participation of former Davis Cup players. Over the following years, its activity grew, confirming itself as one of the most important clubs in the Ligurian Riviera, thanks to the influx of holidaymakers and tourists who found perfect weather conditions for playing tennis at Pian D’Aschè in Ospedaletti.

The Circolo Amatori Tennis Armesi di Arma di Taggia

The Circolo Amatori Tennis Armesi di Arma di Taggia, with its clay courts and new synthetic grass court by the sea, was established in 1964. It became well-known in the 1960s for attracting famous personalities from industry and entertainment who vacationed in Arma di Taggia, while its courts also appear in some stories by Tommaso Landolfi. However, the club is primarily known for nurturing the tennis career of Fabio Fognini, a professional tennis player who became the first Italian, after Adriano Panatta and Corrado Barazzutti, to rank among the top 20 players in the world for two consecutive seasons.

Tennis club Solaro Sanremo

Established in 1977, the Tennis Club Solaro Sanremo has left its mark on the history of tennis in Italy and Liguria. It has hosted many ATP tournaments and, in 1982, the Davis Cup matches between Italy and South Korea, featuring Barazzuti and Panatta, and later the European Under-14 Championships in 1996. Still today, with several clay and synthetic grass courts on the hills of Sanremo, it hosts a thriving tennis school and a season of tournaments and matches across various categories.

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