About Real Tennis
A Dream Come True
The creation of a 2-court Real Tennis centre is the achievement of the Club’s owner, Mike Carter, who was introduced to the game when he was at university. Since then, he has had a passion for the game, and felt it should be enjoyed and celebrated by more people. He was determined, at some point in his life, to build a court (or two!) … and at Prested he found his spot. The centre opened in 1999.
The Prested Courts
The game is played on an indoor court with a central net. The game was originally played in the cloisters of monasteries, a courtyard with sloping surrounding walls – and this space is replicated in modern Real Tennis courts.
The courts are fully insulated, with under-floor heating, and one of the courts features a glass “grille” wall, ensuring excellent and exciting viewing for a large audience. There is only one other court with this feature in the world. We also have a viewing gallery above the side penthouses, and the traditional viewing area, known as the “dedans”.
Ricardo Smith started working at Prested Hall as a junior trainee professional at the age of 17. He trained hard under the tutelage of the then head pro Ivan Ronaldson and rapidly improved his handicap to 9 within one year, winning a national award for most improving player in the UK. He has a huge enthusiasm for training young talent through the club, and coached Claire Vigrass who is now one of the greatest ladies players the sport has ever seen.
Ged is our senior professional and has won both singles and doubles at world under 24 level and is an ex-world doubles championship semi-finalist. He has been a professional for 25 years, starting at Cambridge before working at Queens for 20 years and joining Prested in Autumn 2014
Visitors can enjoy watching them practise together – ring the Real Tennis department to find out when you can catch them on court or playing a National League match.
Tennis-only members can go for a swim after playing. Real Tennis membership is £20/month for adults and £9/month for juniors.
Full Club members can also enjoy the gym, 20m pool and sauna, and the Astro lawn tennis courts.
A Game for All Ages
Real Tennis is not only the world’s oldest racket game, it is also the most fascinating and satisfying, for young and old alike.
Rob Fahey, at 45, has won his 12th World Title, meaning he has been champion for over 20 years! In how many highly physical sports could this happen?
At the other extreme, Prested protégée Claire Vigrass, was the Ladies’ World Champion at the age of only 20. Uniquely, Real Tennis, because it is also a game of experience, tactics and thinking rapidly on your feet. You’re never too old for this game!
All players are allotted a handicap which enables them to play against any other player. Their starting score is determined by the handicap difference between the two (or four) players.
Tournaments and Master Classes
Real Tennis members at Prested enjoy various national tournaments – both as individuals and with club teams, and enjoy Prested in-house tournaments.
Residential Real Tennis Breaks
We welcome groups from other clubs for mid-week residential breaks at Prested Hall, where they can enjoy court time at the Club, and, if they wish, take advantage of some extra coaching from Ricardo or Ged.
If they come with non-playing partners, there is lots for them to enjoy at Prested – at The Health Club, Spa, or just enjoying a relaxing country break.
There are courts in Australia, the USA, France – 46 in the world. The other two-court centres are in London, New York, Melbourne and Cambridge.
Real Tennis News Worldwide
For the latest country-and world-wide Real Tennis news please visit www.realtennisonline.com
. These sites contain news and message boards and also contain the international web-based handicapping calculator and registry – essential viewing for all players. In order to log-on as a full user you need to be vouched for by your club, so let us know if you are a member and want to become recognised. The professionals also have their own http://www.IRTPA.com.
Please note Prested operates a no smoking policy throughout its premises.
Lessons with our Pros
£30/hour with Ricardo (Head pro)
£25/hour with Ged (Senior pro)