This is one of the most centrally located tennis courts in San Francisco. Chinese Playground has one court. It’s in the middle of China Town and fairly close to Financial District, North Beach, Russian Hill. The only disadvantage is that it’s a bit of a climb to get to it, from pretty much anyway, except maybe via Broadway.
The court itself is in fine condition. Good net. Great, even surface. And nice view of the city and the Transamerica Pyramid. There’s a kids playground below. And that’s also where the entrance to the court is, as the door from Hang Ah Alley on the main level is locked for some reason.
It’s in the middle of a few old brick buildings. That gives it a unique acoustic popping sound every time you hit the ball. Pretty special. Like the US Open, but without the microphones on the courts.
And for extra fun, your serve may be interrupted by the occasional proud stroll of a pigeon. Right through the court. They seem undisturbed by tennis balls. Or maybe attracted to them.
It’s also right next to a few Chinese Dim Sum restaurants, hole in the wall style. They inevitably send a few spectators who seem genuinely fascinated by the people hitting the ball. They can smoke cigarettes and watch the tennis players for a while. Maybe hence the sign No Smoking. You don’t see one of those too often on tennis courts.
There’s also a wooden umpire stand. Maybe they had serious tournaments here at one point.
Overall, I’d recommend playing at this court, for a special San Francisco experience. It’s one of the courts that gets assigned by default to a lot of players who sign up on the site – tennisround.com – without specifying a ZIP Code or address. Curiously, though, every time I’ve been there, it’s been available.