Royal Melbourne Tennis Club

Royal Melbourne Tennis Club

History of RMTC

tthe Royal Melbourne Tennis Club was opened in 1882 by Lord Normanby, located in Exhibition Street in the centre of Melbourne.  The Club consisted of a tennis court and club rooms, and later squash courts and a swimming pool were added.

During the 1970s, the Committee sold the Exhibition Street site and boldly purchased the Richmond site in 1974, which included several houses in Richmond Hill, allowing for a bigger Club and expansion plans.  The new building boasted two real tennis courts, two squash courts, a car park, a private garden, and swimming pool and beautiful surrounds that some call ‘the hidden oasis’.

The Royal Melbourne Tennis Club building and grounds were designed by Melbourne architect Daryl Jackson, built in 1974.

The new Club site was opened in 1975 by Lord Aberdare, President of the Tennis & Rackets Association.


Today, the Club has a relaxed feel with people popping in for social occasions, tennis, lunch on Wednesday and Friday, and the many evening Pennant events. We run a full calendar of events with something for players of all standards.  The schedule is full nearly every weekend.

We’re Celebrating!


At Sherwood Street, Richmond, 1974 – 2019


The Club is centrally located on Richmond Hill, 10  minutes from Melbourne CBD and includes:

  • 2  real tennis courts
  • Squash court
  • Gym
  • Swimming pool
  • Secluded garden and BBQ area
  • Dining area for lunch (Thu & Fri) and self catering kitchen
  • Club room overlooking court with honour bar
  • On-site accommodation for club head professional
  • Private Car Park for members in Strode Place


Buses run along Punt road, conveniently stopping nearby on Punt Road/Rowena Parade. The train stops in Richmond, and is conveniently a 10 min walk to the Club. The club has a private car park for members to use when playing.

Catch a #75 or #48 trams from the city along Wellington Parade (#75 from Flinders St, #48 from Collins St) to the first stop on Richmond Hill opposite Epworth Hospital.  Less than 10 minutes from the city centre.

Premier Events

Our premier regular event is the Boomerang Cup, established over 20 years ago.  In January 2014  we hosted the Australian Open (Men’s and Ladies) and in May we hosted the World Championship.  We saw the great champion, Rob Fahey retain the title for the 13th time; this time against challenger Camden Riviere.

We have also been fortunate to host the Women’s World Championship over the years.  The 2011 event attracted the best players in the world, and cemented Claire Vigrass as Champion, with her first World Championship victory.

Our Members

Why would you be interested in joining?  

The RMTC is a friendly club, with playing members ranging from 11 to 80+

We offer a range of activities including:

  • School holiday junior programmes
  • Young members evenings and tennis events (under 35 years old)
  • Lessons with the best professional team in the world, including world no.2 Kate Leeming
  • Ladies events, tennis tournaments and  social nights, e.g pizza nights, which are fun and affordable with entertainment/music
  • Opportunity to represent the RMTC in international events and tours

Our Professionals

Our team of Professionals make the members time at the Club a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

It is said that being a member of RMTC is like having a personal assistant to help organise your tennis. That’s because the professionals help arrange games for you with players of a similar standard. They try to get to know when you like to play and help get you on court. It’s a wonderful service they provide to the members.

Our professional team are also busy hand making our 14 sets of 56 tennis balls, stringing racquets, taking lessons and clinics, marking competition matches and organising tournaments. There is also a range of tennis apparel available to purchase from the Pro-shop.

We are blessed to have a very experienced Pro team, headed by Frank Filippelli & Jonathan Howell and includes Chris Chapman, Kate Leeming and John Woods-Casey. They have worked in many Clubs throughout the world, ranked highly as players and know their craft well. Their contribution is greatly appreciated by the members.

Real Tennis

Real Tennis

rreal tennis is the original racquet sport from which the modern game of lawn tennis, or tennis, is descended. Real tennis is still played by enthusiasts on 47 existing courts in Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States and France.

Real Tennis has its origins in Europe during the Middle Ages. Though tennis is traditionally thought of as the game of kings, early records show that it was widely played among the French clergy. It is thought the monastic style buildings lent themselves to games played within the quadrangles and games that utilised the walls. The balls were first made from the monks’ discarded robes. Among the English kings Henry VII, Henry VIII, Charles I and Charles II and James II are all known to have played, with Henry VIII being responsible for the Royal court, which still exists at Hampton Court Palace.

The Real Tennis World Championship is the longest running continuous world championship of any sport. Australian Robert Fahey, a former RMTC professional, is the current world champion. Rob successfully defended his title in May 2014 at the RMTC against Camden Riviere.  Our game has since 2001 also conducted the World Tennis Doubles Championship, which our club has also been fortunate to host in 2014.

We are also fortunate to have hosted the womens world championship in 2011, where Claire Vigrass won her first championship. Claire is the current women’s world champion (2015) and continues to raise the bar, regularly competing against men and a true ambassador for women’s tennis.

Keep in touch
18 Sherwood Street Richmond 3121
Call us: +61 (3) 9429 9788 – Email us: ♦

Drop us a line

T: +61 (3) 9429 9788

A: 18 Sherwood Street
      Victoria 3121


Head Professional – Frank Filippelli
Deputy Head Professional – Jonathan Howell

Professional – Chris Chapman
Professional – Kate Leeming
Professional – John Woods-Casey

Strength & Conditioning

M: 0408 663 623

By Appointment only Mon/Wed/Fri

Contact: Honni Rooney


T: +61 (3) 9429 9009

F: +61 (3) 9428 3280


Contact: Helen Pritchard (Mon-Thurs)

Club Dining

T: +61 (3) 9429 9788

A: 18 Sherwood Street
      Victoria 3121

Contact: Pro shop for bookings (Wed & Fri)


President – Greg Cornish
Vice President – Richard Simpson
Honorary Secretary – Kathryn Arndt
Treasurer – Rudi Michelson

Tennis –Vince Scopelliti
Social – Jo See Tan
Membership – Jonathan Buckley
Building, house and grounds – Wally Cockram

Committee Member: Owen Guest

RMTC COVID-19 Rules and Guidelines

Revised 1 December 2020


  1. The Club will operate slightly restricted opening times.
  2. A register of everyone coming into the Club must be kept.
  3. Tennis courts, squash court, gym and swimming pool will be open with restrictions.
  4. Lunches will be provided on Thursdays and Fridays by Liza
  5. Members may bring their immediate family (partner and children) and/or two other guests to the Club. Our priority is to members so no visitors are permitted.
  6. Masks must be worn indoors except when at exercise or seated
  7. Masks are not required outdoors unless physical distancing is not possible
  8. No member should come to the Club if they have a temperature, feel unwell, exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, is awaiting a COVID test result or should be self-isolating.

Please observe COVID-safe measures such as physical distancing, wearing a mask and the use of hand sanitizer or handwashing. We all want our Club to remain open and for members to be reassured about safely spending time at the Club.


Club opening times

  • Monday to Thursday from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm; Friday from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm; Saturday from 6:30 am to 7:00 pm and Sunday from 7:30 am to 7:00 pm.
  • The Club will operate these slightly restricted hours to ensure we can provide effective oversight by staff of operational and health and safety requirements.

General guidelines

  • We must maintain a register of anyone coming into the Club. Please ensure you are registered either via RT Booking, the squash or gym booking sheets or on the general attendance booking register near the Pro Shop
  • All members and staff attending the Club should abide by the COVID-19 health and safety requirements and any requirements listed on signs at the Club
  • No member should come to the Club if they have a temperature, feel unwell, exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, are awaiting a COVID test result or should be self-isolating
  • Members and staff should observe physical distancing (at least 1.5 m) at all times and should not be offended if another member or a staff member asks them to stand further away

Clubhouse guidelines

  • Be careful and observant of others when arriving at and leaving the Club and in areas such as the entry foyer, the Dedans or the gallery walkways
  • The bar is open but we ask that only one person at a time goes behind the bar
  • No personal catering is available or food preparation is permitted
  • The gym is open for up to 4 people at the same time – book times at the Pro Shop. 
  • The squash court is open – book times at the Pro Shop.

Real Tennis guidelines

  • Bookings may be made with the Pros and on-line
  • Annual bookings have resumed
  • Pennant/other tournaments – Pro Shop will communicate commencement dates
  • Use hand sanitiser to disinfect hands before and after play
  • As a courtesy to other players and to minimise court changeover congestion, please allow the players on court time to exit the gallery walkway
  • At change of ends, observe physical distancing requirements and no exchange of balls (collect balls when out)
  • Protective glasses will be kept at the Pro Shop and cleaned between uses
  • A maximum of 2 people are permitted in the Dedansrequirements and no exchange of balls (collect balls when out)
  • Protective glasses will be kept at the Pro Shop and cleaned between uses
  • A maximum of 2 people are permitted in the Dedans
  • Standard court and cancellation fees will apply

The Committee thanks all members for their ongoing support and for following the guidelines.

Zoom Fitness Session

A brand new innovation is coming from the RMTC in your time of need. We will be running two tennis-based strength and fitness classes each week to get you ready for when the Club is able to open again. With the latest timeline announcements it could be a little while before we can get on the court again so we’ve got plenty of time to prepare. 

Given that we’ve now only been open for 2.5 weeks since late March it is also a great opportunity to get together and catch up with all your tennis mates you may not have seen in that time. There will be time before and after each class to have a chat as a group.

  • What:
    • Zoom Strength and Fitness Classes
  • When:
    • Thursdays (intermediate HITT class) @ 5:30pm
    • Fridays (entry level class) @ 11:30am
  • Where:
    • Your living room, back yard, the local park, anywhere you feel comfortable. Bear in mind you’ll need at least enough space to lie on the floor
  • How:

The entry level class will be a very low impact session consisting a stretching warm up followed by a set of controlled exercises. The intermediate class will tackle a more dynamic set of exercises designed to get the blood flowing faster. Both classes are open to everyone, please join in whichever one you feel suits you better. If you’re not sure which sounds more like you, or just miss us that much, try both!

We all know what an amazing social club the RMTC is and it’s you, our members, who make it so special. We’d love to catch up with as many of you as we can so get the band together and hang out with us for your best lunch of the week.


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Major Tournaments

Upcoming Tournaments in 2019

  • World Doubles Championship | Hobart | Jan 2 – 6
  • Australian Men’s & Women’s Open Singles & Doubles | Melbourne | Jan 8 – 15
  • Roo Trophy | Melbourne | Jan 12 – 19
  • Ladies World Championship| Ballarat | Jan 20 – 26


Upcoming Tournaments in 2020

The Roo Trophy 2021

at the Royal Melbourne Tennis Club

9 – 16 January 2021

Online entries now open!

Please click on the button below to submit your entry form online.  Alternatively you may download an entry form here to email to the Roo organisers.

Entries close at midday on 17 December 2020 or once places are filled.

Email enquiries:

What is the Roo Trophy?

Handicap Singles & Doubles

The Singles event will be run in a knock-out format, with repechage. The Doubles event will be in a graded round-robin format, followed by knock-out. (Note: Singles format may change depending on entry numbers.)

Playing sessions will include morning, daytime and evening. Those who are working at this time of the year are encouraged to play and indicate their time preference in the section below or advise the tournament organisers (see below) of availability restrictions. We will try to do our best to accommodate preferences. Players who enter the Doubles without a partner will be paired, if possible, with a player of similar ability.

The Roo Trophy will be played in conjunction with the inaugural Melbourne Open Men’s and Women’s Singles and Doubles so will be able to watch and enjoy world class tennis. There will be an informal opening function at the Club on Sunday 10 January from 6.00pm to coincide with the Melbourne Open Doubles finals. The Roo Trophy dinner will be held at the Club on Saturday evening 16 January. All players receive a Roo Trophy 2021 shirt as part of entry.

NOTE: Entries close at midday on 17 December 2020 or once places are filled. Complete your entry online or entries may be left at the Pro Shop or emailed to

2020 Real Tennis World Championship Eliminator

To be held at the Royal Melbourne Tennis Club 28 & 30 January 2020

Chris Chapman v. Ben Taylor-Matthews

Best-of-9 Set Match

Our own Chris Chapman will challenge again for the World Championship of Real Tennis, and he will start his challenge right here at the RMTC.  The match against Ben Taylor-Matthews will take place over two days, Tuesday 28th and Thursday 30th January with play beginning at 6PM each day.  This is the first time since 2014 that RMTC has hosted a match of this magnitude.  Many already know that world championship matches are not to be missed and for those who are newer to the Club … THIS IS NOT TO BE MISSED!

The Eliminator will be a ticketed event.  Pricing details can be found below.  To book your tickets please contact Owen Guest or sign up in the Club:


Ticket prices as follows (AUD):

Side Galleries$100
Mezzanine seats$100
Upper Gallery seats$40
Standing Room$20

Support RMTC, support Chris Chapman, book your tickets now and watch the best tennis we’ve seen in AUS since the 2014 WC!

Remember, it is a 2-day event, so you need tickets for each day.

Seats are limited so book your spot early.

Australian Open 2020

Entry forms will be available very soon.

Boomerang Cup 2020

Registrations now now open!

The Royal Melbourne Tennis Club is pleased to advise that our new Boomerang 2020 Online Registration is now available for all players wishing to play in the 2020 Boomerang Cup tournament.

To register please click on the link below:

To assist you we have also prepared a user guide, click here for access.

Advance Notice

We invite all real tennis players and clubs throughout the world to submit teams to play in the 2020 Boomerang Cup.

This is the premier world amateur handicap doubles teams event played every two years.

As was the case in 2018, for the 2020 Boomerang Cup we are keen to see as many clubs as possible represented from France, UK, USA, Netherlands and Australia.

It is a great time to soak up the hospitality in vibrant Melbourne during summer, play some great tennis and have a break from the northern winter.

There are plenty of other wonderful sporting events on around the Boomerang Cup to help make your trip a memorable one:

  • Australia v New Zealand Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG): 26 – 30 December
  • Australia v New Zealand Sydney Test at Sydney Cricket Ground: 3 – 7 January
  • Australian Real Tennis Open at RMTC:  7 – 14 January
  • Australian Tennis Open at Melbourne Park: 20 January – 2 February

Also there will be the T20 cricket but dates are not out yet.  It is going to be a sports fest in Australia next summer. Now is the time to start planning and organise your boomerang team, lock in the dates, book flights, and so on.

Official entry forms are due out in June 2019.

Email enquiries:

Vince Scopelliti & Greg Cornish




Members’ Handbook

The Members’ Handbook provides information to guide members on the operations, conventions, rules and regulations of the Club. 

Click here to download a copy of the Handbook.

Annual General Meeting


The Royal Melbourne Tennis Club currently has no employment opportunities available.

Real Tennis is the original racquet sport from which the modern game of tennis is derived.  The sport is played on 43 courts in Australia, UK, USA and France.  In Australia, there are courts in Hobart, Ballarat and The Royal Melbourne Tennis Club (RMTC) in Richmond.

The RMTC has two courts and over 500 members.  We have an active membership and play seven days a week.

The RMTC has a strong tradition of producing top class Real Tennis Professionals.  Many of the ‘Pros’ that have worked at the Club are now working in the USA and UK as Head Professionals.  We are committed to improving and strengthening our professional team and if further opportunities arise they will be published here.




Camden Riviere defeated Chris Chapman in the Australian Open Men's Singles 2015

Camden Riviere defeated Chris Chapman in the Australian Open Men’s Singles 2015

Our Facilities
Finals Day 2013
Making Balls
The Club