Local tennis players face obstacles including, but not limited to, humidity, crowds, dilapidated courts and high fees. Francis Park eliminates all but the humidity with its eight well-manicured free courts, at least a couple of which are usually available. They ain't fancy. They lack lights, so you can't play after dark, and the occasional ball slips through the rusty fences. But the St. Louis Hills surroundings are charming; sycamore and crab-apple trees, a baseball diamond, a bandstand and a kiddie playground surround the courts, and a changing room is conveniently close. The park really comes alive after dinner when the heat subsides, the cicadas launch into song, and young parents and their babies come out to play. It's enough to inspire another set.