RMTC Pro Shop

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

The professionals will help arrange games for you with players of a similar standard and also give lessons for members. The professionals try to get to know when a member likes to play so they can help and encourage members to get on court. It’s a wonderful service provided to RMTC members.

On any given day, our professional team are also busy hand making some of the 3000 tennis balls used at the club each year, stringing rackets, providing lessons and clinics, marking competition matches and organising tournaments. The Pro Shop also can provide everything needed to play including rackets, footwear and a range of RMTC tennis apparel.

Lessons & Coaching

Lessons with a Pro are a very helpful way to improve your game. Players of all levels find they benefit from the lesson coaching provided by the Club professionals. New members are entitled to three free lessons with one of the Pros within the first six months of joining. Additional lessons can be booked at the listed rate.

Lessons may be arranged with the Pro Shop.

Also look out for tailored lesson programs and structured group coaching programs that are available throughout the year - a great way to focus on developing skills suitable to improve your level.

Meet the Pros

Pro Shop Frank Filippelli 2

Frank Filippelli

Head Professional

Frank has been involved with RMTC since the age of 12. He is a former top-ranked player including having won the 1995 Australian Open Singles title and competed in a World Championship Eliminator. After spending three years as Head Professional at the Burroughs Club in London, he returned to the RMTC in 2005 as Head Professional. Frank’s friendly disposition and ready willingness to assist Members is unrivalled.

Aust. Open Singles Winner 1995
Aust. Open Singles Finalist 1997, 1998
French Open Singles Finalist 1993, 1997

Pro Shop Jonners Howell

Jonathan Howell (‘Jonners’)

Deputy Head Professional

Jonathan has been Head Professional at Moreton Morrell, Bordeaux and The Oratory before joining the team at RMTC in 2008. He is a former World No. 5 top ranked player, a finalist in the 1987 US OPEN Singles, and winner of many Open Doubles titles. He is an integral part of our professional team and his warm and welcoming nature ensure that all Members enjoy their time at the Club.

US Open Singles Finalist 1997
French Open Doubles Winner 1990, 1991
Aust. Open Doubles Winner 1989
Victorian Open Doubles Winner 2013
British Open Singles Winner (U24) 1982

Pro Shop Chris Chapman 2

Chris Chapman

Touring Professional

Chris started his professional tennis career at RMTC in 2007, and returned after nine years at the Royal Tennis Court at Hampton Court Palace. He is currently the World No. 3 and has won the 2020 Australian Open and 2018 French Open, and was twice finalist in the British and Australian Opens. Chris has a strong understanding of the technical nature of the game and is highly sought-after for coaching and lessons.

Aust. Open Singles Winner 2020
French Open Singles Winner 2018
Aust. Open Singles Finalist 2015, 2018
British Open Singles Finalist 2016, 2018
Current World Ranking (as at Oct 2020) 3rd

Pro Shop Kate Leeming

Kate Leeming

Professional

Kate is our adventurer, par excellence. Not only has Kate been a former World No. 2 and won five singles and six doubles Australian Open Women’s titles, she is also the first person to cycle west to east across Africa (22,000km from Senegal to Somalia), the first person to cycle Namibia's entire coastline (the Skeleton Coast), the first woman to cycle across Russia and has completed a 25,000km cycling expedition through Australia. Kate’s calm and reliable nature and group coaching skills make her an asset to the professional team.

Australian Open Womens Champion
Ladies World Championships Doubles Finalist 1995. 1997, 2003, 2007, 2019
Current World Ranking (as at Sep 2020) 3rd

Pro John Woods Casey

John Woods-Casey

Assistant Professional

John joined the Pro Shop in 2015, having been captivated by the game while playing squash for RMTC the previous year. He is currently working towards improving his game with the goal of entering and being competitive at major tournaments. John works tirelessly to engage and enthuse the younger members in the Club and is always available to assist all Members on and off court.

Current World Ranking (as at Oct 2020) 17th

Rackets

Real tennis rackets are required by the laws of the game to be made "almost entirely of wood.”

All (or nearly all) of the world's real tennis rackets are now made by two companies:

  • Grays of Cambridge and
  • Gold Leaf Athletics

Grays (UK, est. 1855), has a small factory, just outside of Cambridge, where a small team of skilled craftsmen have loyally produced real tennis rackets for many decades. They are made from Willow staves and loops of Ash.

Gold Leaf Athletics (US, est. 2015) may be quite new, but they continue a long tradition of US racket manufacturing, making all their rackets by hand in Bowie, Maryland, just east of Washington, DC. They use aerospace-grade adhesive (their founder is an aerospace engineer) to bond rock maple as the racket's outer layer along with white ash, black walnut and basswood.

Both manufacturers strengthen their rackets further (that is made more rigid) by adding layers of extremely strong laminate using leatheroid vulcanised fibre. Some players believe that it is graphite, but it is in fact made from paper (which is made from wood and therefore complies with the rules regarding rackets).

Clothing & Shoes

Clothing for real tennis must be "predominantly white". In practice, members often leave coloured tops on during warmup on a cold day. While many play in collared shirts, plenty of people just wear T-shirts. As long as you stick to the "predominantly white" rule, it's really up to you.

Most importantly, make sure that you wear non-marking shoes. If unsure, speak to one of the Professionals.

Balls

RMTC Ball Making

Compared to lawn tennis balls, Real tennis balls are relatively hard, and bounce fast and low.

The method of making balls is largely unchanged for the last few hundred years. On any given day, our professional team are busy hand making some of the 3000 tennis balls used at the club each year.

Each ball contains a core wrapped around with some four meters of cotton tape in half-inch widths. This tape is tightly wound into a ball and is then moulded on a special bench into a spherical shape. When moulded, the ball is then tied with twine, again on an attachment fitted to the special bench, the process being repeated three times before a ball tightly bound with only triangles of cotton tape showing through the binding is ready for covering. The covering, which is sourced from one factory in the UK, is made of wool cloth which is hand sewn on to the core with thin thread.

Due to the heavy use that balls are put through, each ball will have to be re-covered about once a fortnight. The core, however, only wears out after many years.

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