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 – 2014


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 (Wed & 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 the #75 and #48 Trams from the city along Flinders 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 Paul Tabley, Kate Leeming and Nick Howell. 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 2010 at the RMTC for the tenth time since first winning it in 1994. Rob has gone on to retain the World Champion title since, with his win against Steve Virgona at Queen’s Club London in 2012.  Our game has since 2001 also conducted the World Tennis Doubles Championship.  This event was held at the RMTC in February 2011; Rob Fahey and Steve Virgona successfully defended their title for the fourth time, defeating Julian Snow (a winner of the inaugural event) and Ben Matthews.

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 and continues to raise the bar, regularly competing against men and a true ambassador for women’s tennis..

This year, we are delighted to host the Men’s World Championship in May 2014.

Major Tournaments

Major Tournaments for 2014

Our next major events here at RMTC will  be held in January 2015.

The Australian Open is to be played from Tuesday 13th to Tuesday 20th January 2015.

At the same time, we will be hosting the Roo Trophy 2015 from Saturday 17th- Saturday 24th January.

The Roo Trophy is one week of handicap doubles played in pairs (pools and then knock out) plus a Singles main draw and repercharge event, so plenty of tennis for all. We will do our best to match you up with someone, or enter with your partner. You can also choose to work and play in the after hours draw if you let us know before we do the draw and we will do our best to work around your work commitments. There will be an informal function at the club to welcome players on the Monday 19 January at 6.00PM, to coincide with the singles final of the 2015 Australian Open and the cost will be $60 per head.

The online registration for the Roo is available here.

Functions for January include:

  • Pro Am fundraiser
  • Monday 19th January – Australian Open Singles Final and Roo Trophy Cocktail Party
  • Tuesday 20th January – Australian Open Doubles Final
  • Saturday 24th January – Roo Trophy final dinner at the RMTC

This is a great time to visit Melbourne with our Real tennis carnival and also see some world class lawn tennis at Rod Laver, with the Australian Open from 19th January to 1st February.

Stay tuned for news on the Pro Am event which will be also held in January.

The club’s premier amateur event, the Boomerang Cup was held in January 2014.  The RMTC Chasers were victorious over the Hatfield Hedonists in the narrowest of victories.   The event normally occurs every two years.

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 – Kate Leeming
Professional – Paul Tabley
Professional - Nick Howell

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: Barbara Craig (Wed & Fri)

President – Jonathon Hamer
Vice President – Robert Kininmonth
Secretary – Richard Simpson
Treasurer – Rudi Michelson

Tennis - Alistair Curley
Social – Julie Baker
Membership – Michael Wooldridge
Temporary Membership – Phillip Barker





rmtcwebsite3 011 Courts
TennisWebsiteShots 015 Our Facilities
DSC01937 Gold and silver racquet winners Finals Day 2013
DSC_5824 About
DSC_5803 Making Balls
DSC_5828 The Club