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Where to Play: Public Courts

 Sydney International Tennis Centre 
The modern tennis complex built for the 2000 Olympic Games now serves as a first-rate public sports facility, and as the venue for the annual Medibank International tournament that precedes the Australian Open in January. The SITC offers 16 lighted courts, including two clay courts and 14 courts surfaced with Rebound Ace cushioned acrylic, all set on a north-south orientation to protect players from the glare of the rising and setting sun. Lessons are available, along with a pro shop, cafe and other amenities. The facility is located at the Sydney Olympic Park in the city's western suburbs, accessible by rail, bus or ferry (via bus connections from the Olympic Park Ferry Wharf). Court time may be booked in advance by phone at a cost of AU$20 per hour weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., or AU$24 per hour weekdays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Information: Sydney International Tennis Centre, + 61-02 -9763-0777
 Parklands Sports Centre, Moore Park 
Eleven lighted courts with changing rooms and a refreshment kiosk are available at this facility in Moore Park, a large public recreation area southeast of Sydney's central business district. The nine synthetic grass courts and two hard courts are open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Friday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The hourly rate is AU$16.50 before 5 p.m., or AU$24 after 5 p.m. Contact the kiosk for court bookings or to arrange private instruction.
Information: Parklands Sports Centre, Moore Park, +61-2-9662-7033
Cooper Park, a large suburban green space a few miles east of downtown Sydney, offers eight side-by-side synthetic grass courts with changing rooms, a pro shop and light refreshments available. No membership is required at this relaxed and friendly public facility, and professional instruction may be arranged any day but Sunday. The courts are open Monday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fridays from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., and weekends from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. (8 p.m. in summer). Court time may be reserved by phone up to two weeks in advance, with hourly rates ranging from AU$23 to AU$28.
Information: Cooper Park Tennis Centre, +61-2-9389-9259
Although this all-weather synthetic grass tennis court near Darling Harbour and the Sydney Observatory is managed for the city parks department by the pricey Observatory Hotel across the road, you don't have to be a hotel guest to play here. The court is open to the public every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., with an hourly fee of AU$25. Reserve in advance by calling the hotel concierge.
Information: Kent Street Tennis Court, Millers Point, +61-2-9256-2222
Membership is not required for access to the four synthetic grass courts at this well-maintained facility located in a municipal park in the Surry Hills district just south of Sydney's main railway station. The courts are open to the public daily from 9 a.m. to midnight, with advance bookings possible by phone or online. Prepaid hourly rates for online bookings range from AU$14 to AU$22 (add AU$4 per hour if you reserve by phone). Private instruction and group lessons are available, and there is a pro shop adjacent to the courts.
Information: Jensen's Tennis Centre, Prince Alfred Park, +61-2-9698-9451
More Municipal Courts
For listings of other municipal courts managed by the city parks department, go to www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/Residents/TennisCourts.