The Royal Melbourne Tennis Club
134 Years
25 January 2017 Weekly News
Head Professional: Frank Filippelli (
Editor: John Woods-Casey

  • 16-29               World Masters                                                 ARTA


  • 3                      First Friday of the month
  • 7                      D-Grade Pennant (h’cap 60+)                                                 Pros
  • 9                      B-Grade Pennant (h’cap 27-36)                                              Pros
  • 9                     Mixed Morning Summer Pennant                                             Pros
  • 11                    60 Years & Under Handicap Doubles                                      Youth Cttee
  • 12                    Young Members (u35) Summer Pennant                                Pros


Last week the Club said farewell to the Australian Open & Roo Trophy events, then welcomed the first round of the Masters – the over 50 & 55’s playing for the singles and doubles crowns. This was well contested with visitors from all Australian Clubs as well as those from the UK, France and USA. Being a best of 3 sets knock out tournament played off scratch, the cream rose to the top with the following being worthy winners and finalists:

50’s Singles: J Male df. J Prenn 6/3 6/5
50’s Doubles: Happell/Male df. B Barker/Bradfield 6/1 6/0
55’s Singles: M Happell df. D Watson 6/1 6/2
55’s Doubles: Hamer/Watson df. MacAlister/Bradfield 4/6 6/3 6/1

The RMTC hosted the Cockram Trophy (Over 50s) over the weekend, concluding on Monday. This included teams representing France, UK, USA and Australia. It was terrific to have the French (best dressed award – of course) here for this event. They even enjoyed their resort style living (6 bedrooms + pool & jacuzzi) in the delightful beach suburb of Frankston, although they say they will check the distance from the Club next time!  This tournament is best of 5 matches, including 2 doubles and 3 singles, with each team member only playing once.  Team captains employed various tactics in team selection. Representing Australia – Julian Snow (captain), Mike Happell, Graeme Bradfield, Richard Allen, Andrew Gould, John Emery, Fred Kininmonth and Henry Turnbull.

The Aussie team enjoyed a 5/0 win over France on Saturday and a 4/1 win against the USA on Sunday. The UK team, also undefeated, faced off against the Aussies on Monday.  Selections by both team captains meant that the pivotal match would be the #1 singles between Mike Happell (Aust) v James Male (UK). This match went down to the wire with a couple of deuces at 5 all in the final 3rd set. These two very good friends gave their all with James prevailing in the end. They last played against each-other in the 90’s, so this was a match to savour. UK closed out the last 2 matches to win the Cockram Trophy 4/1. Congratulations to the UK team: Mark Openshaw-Blower (captain), James Male, David Watson, John Prenn, Simon Barker, Peter Holmes and Nick Jones.

Meanwhile on the Hamer (south) court the French battled bravely in a close encounter with the USA team but couldn’t close out the matches, going down 5/0. Congratulations to a really good bunch representing the USA team: Bill Barker (captain), Alan McHugh, Steve Hufford, Arthur Whitcomb, Anders Cohen, Peter Vogt and Max Drake. As evident from the ovation warmly provided to the French team, they endeared themselves to all players and spectators alike for their enthusiasm, fun and competitive spirit. We look forward to seeing again Tim Batten (captain), Alexandre Girod, Ivan Semenoff, Laurent Marville, Jean Phillipe Grabli and Francois Bernheim.  [by Fred Kininmonth]

Cockram Trophy:
1st: GB (3 wins, 0 losses)
2nd: Aus (2 wins, 1 loss)
3rd: USA (1 win, 2 losses)
4th: Fra (0 wins, 3 losses)

60+ age group teams from the UK & Oz, as well as a rag-bag tag team of American refugees supported by discards from UK & Oz teams, gravitated to the bucolic countryside at Ballarat for a three-handed tournament. Practice day on Friday was preceded by a welcome cocktail party presaging the most generous hospitality of the hosts, led by President Stuart Strange and his organiser Annie Strange.

In beautiful livery the “Team GB” fronted for their Saturday encounter against “The World” team – also beautifully presented in shorts, polo shirts and caps emblazoned with flags of the US, UK & Oz [the USCTA engaging in triumphalism by renaming the team earlier called the AllStars]. “The World” won the first two doubles in stunning upsets led by captain Vern Cassin (a US resident living in Riyadh who plays occasionally at Radford since first picking up a “real” racquet five years ago), “Team GB” levelled the rubber with double bagels in the two singles matches.The final doubles awaited the arrival of two Americans who had played difficult Cockram matches in Melbourne before catching the train to Ballarat and rushing to the court. Playing the decider, without having previously so much as walked on the court, they understandably lost the first set, before a thriller ensued with the most unlikely result of the rag-bag team of refugees bewildering the fancied “Team GB”, and scrambling to a victory.

Sunday was a simpler affair, and the Oz team proceeded to rout “The World” team 5-0. The Ballarat BBQ was the highlight of the day with a heartfelt entreaty from the Ballarat President to enjoy the court and the club and to return for more. But the vital game was to come the next day, and even the lugubrious Jamie Begbie obeyed “Team GB” orders and refused another glass of red at 9.30pm.

The UK v Oz first match was 8.30am Monday – an early start so we could all get back to Melbourne for the Masters Welcome Party at the MCC.- and the club was abuzz ahead of the start. Oz took the First Doubles in straight sets, before the next doubles – a thrilling three-setter in which Prue McCahey and Jill Newby each carried their male partners in a three-hour match – make the match score level, and the schedule hours askew. Beautiful stroke play by Shaw-Hamilton in the First Singles put “Team GB” ahead, but Nick Carr covered the court like a preying mantis to equalise. In the enthralling final match of the 2017 Bostwick, Satow/Moore took the first set 6/5 for the UK, but the established Barker/Bull combo scrambled to take the second set. The gallery was sweating, and the players equally amazed as it went game for game, until at 5/4 up with a match point, Bull served a giraffe which uncannily caught the rear bandeau and remarkably leapt forward out of reach of the receiver and landed within a bee’s length of the hazard line to ace his opponents and take an extraordinary victory. Oz wins the 2017 Bostwick.  [by Dick Friend]

Bostwick Cup:
1st: Australia (2 wins, 0 losses)
2nd: The World (1 win. 1 loss)
3rd: Team GB (0 wins, 2 losses)

Congratulations to the Australian over 70’s team – Graeme Holloway (captain), John Faull, Alan Willingham, Tony Poolman, Tim Hurburgh, Ron Booth and Graeme Richardson – on winning the Danby Trophy in Hobart.  The Danby Trophy was truly a feast of tennis, tempered with outstanding and characteristic Hobart hospitality. The weekend got off to a fine start with a welcoming cocktail party on court on Friday evening. Amongst several highlights were the Hobart Club Life Membership presentations to Robert Fahey MBE and Barry Toates, made by Christine Sterling (sister of Robert Fahey and President of the Hobart Real Tennis Club). Elizabeth Eden choir master led a talented gaggle of choristers in rousing renditions of the Star Spangled Banner, God Save The Queen and Advance Australia Fair from the hazard end.

Australia had a solid win against the USA on Sunday (2/1) and in a tense final encounter against the UK, Australia prevailed (2/1). Hurburgh & Richardson won the deciding rubber in a high standard game against Barlow & Danby, keeping the Aussies in the dedans on the edge of their seats before securing coveted glass & silver ewer. All participants much appreciated the hospitality shown throughout the tournament, as all players partners and friends enjoyed the dinner at Mures Restaurant in the docks on Saturday evening and the Taste of Tasmania dinner at the Hobart Club on Sunday night.  [by Alan Willingham]

Danby Trophy:
Ist: Australia (2 wins, 0 losses)
2nd: Team GB (1 win, 1 loss)
3rd: USA (2 losses)

All teams returned to Melbourne  on Monday evening to celebrate together with a presentation dinner in the MCC Committee Room. This was kindly organised by Andrew Gould. It was a fine affair with Ted Cockram sharing a few stories and presenting the Cockram Trophy. Paul Danby from the UK presented the Danby Trophy. It was lovely to have some doyens of the game participating in making it a wonderful evening. Almost 90 people attended filling this amazing venue. Many of the overseas guests were thrilled to be there and enjoy the night in this famous location with both long-time and new friends in this special real tennis community.

Fred Kininmonth – President


– beginningat  noon

Lamb is on the Barbie, with Smoked Quali, Salad, Pavlova and other Australiana.
Sign-up sheet in the Club – ring the Pros. All welcome.

Kitchen Summer Break
Evie from the kitchen will be taking a well-earned summer break. RMTC lunches will resume on Wednesday 8 Feb.
Women’s World Championship 2017 – 15-21 May 2017

The 2017 Women’s World Championship is to be held at the Tuxedo Club in New York USA from May 15-21, 2017. The event will encompass the usual level singles and doubles matches for the world’s top female players – but handicap events for ladies of all abilities will also be available for those that are keen to play. The Americans do an amazing job with these sort of events and for those interested in going – we are sure you will not be disappointed! The HRTC in conjunction with the Australian Real Tennis Association will be organising a “women’s tour” encompassing this event – with possible visits to other American clubs. If the idea of joining like-minded ladies on a fun trip to the USA interests you please contact Christine Stirling by email at