The Royal Melbourne Tennis Club
135 Years
13 September 2017 Weekly News
Head Professional: Frank Filippelli (
Editor: John Woods-Casey


  • 17                 Internationality Handicap Doubles                                          Mackinnon Family
  • 23                 Barry Toates Trophy (RMTC v Sydney)                                  V Scopelliti
  • 26&28           Junior Clinics (u16)                                                                 Pros
  • 30                 Grand Final Handicap Doubles                                               Pros


  • 6                   First Friday of the month drinks (6-8pm)
  • 7                   Quarterly Medal #4                                                                 Pros
  • 8                   Joan M Hayne Handicap Doubles                                           Pros
  • 14-15            Australian Masters Championships*                                       J Hamer
  •                      Over 50s, 55s, 60s, 65s, 70s & 75 Sgls & Dbls


Barry Toates Trophy (RMTC vs Sydney Real Tennis Club) – 23 Sep
Sydney-siders don’t get many opportunities to play real tennis so on this weekend they make their annual pilgrimage to Melbourne for this big occasion. We need an enthusiastic and willing team to take them on and show them real tennis and real tennis hospitality. Sign up in the club or ring the pro shop.

Junior Clinics (u16) – Tues & Thur 26 & 28 Sep
Junior clinics are back again this school holidays for those under 16. Help us grow the best game in the world. Grab your children and/or collar some passing stray on the street, let us work our magic and in 10 years you could be telling everyone that you’re responsible for the next world champion. Clinics will run in hour blocks at 9:30 and 10:30 on both days.

Grand Final Handicap Doubles – Sat 30 Sep
Join in the celebration of the biggest day of the year in Melbourne, the AFL Grand Final. Come into the club and start the day with some round robin tennis to be finished by 2pm, then watch the game at 2.30 on the TV at the club. Light lunch will be provided. Ring the pro shop or visit us at the club to sign up.

Note: Entries close 6 October

Preparation has started in earnest for this wonderful international tournament. We have expressions of interest from teams from France, the Netherlands, the UK, and the USA as well as RMTC and Ballarat teams.

With only a few weeks before entries close, it is time to secure your place in the world’s largest amateur handicap doubles tournament – the 2018 Boomerang Cup and the RMTC Handicap Doubles.

How do I enter?
Visit the Boomerang 2018 page under Major Tournaments on the RMTC website ( for a full list of Entry Forms and key activities, or click here for the RMTC members’ entry form.

Not in a team or no Doubles partner?
If you haven’t got a team or Doubles partner but would like to play, please enter and indicate you want us to find you a team or a partner.

What social events are planned for the Boomerang?
We will start with a Welcome function in the beautiful surrounds of the club on 8 January (6pm onwards), we will have mid-tournament dinner (with dancing) on 12 January by the Yarra river, and our Final Presentation Dinner will be held on 20 January in the magnificent splendour of one of the finest buildings in Melbourne. Full details of these and other events will be posted on the Boomerang 2018 page over the next month or so.

What else is happening in January?
The short answer is a lot! Visit the Boomerang 2018 page and look at Advance Notice for some of the key happenings.

Boomerang Pennant for RMTC players – a chance for some serious practice
Get your teams listed now with the Pros for the Boomerang Pennant competition. There will be 4 teams playing Tuesdays starting on 17 October and 4 teams on Thursday starting on 19 October.

If you have any questions please contact Tournament Directors Vince Scopelliti and Greg Cornish at


North African Handicap Doubles – Sat 9 Sep

An observer reports on the 20th Anniversary North African Tournament
The tournament was played with great gusto by all involved on Saturday 9th.  Laughter filled the club. Farouks were gained and used with devilish cunning, and the Gadaffi adaptor was often invoked. More complicated handicaps such as receive ¾ 15, owe ¼ 15 did the markers’ heads in. Two Assyrian deciders had to be employed.

Progressing to the finals were the highly favoured pair of Roland Scollay & Jackson Brand who, after finishing their match at 4 games all, went down on the Assyrian decider to Georgie Lewis & Peter Blomquist. The smart money had been on Lizzie Brown & Julia McCahey, but they lost (4/5) to Ruby Crysell & Stewart McNab in the other semi-final. This set the scene for a fascinating final. Blomquist and Lewis had to give Crysell & McNab owe 30/receive 30. It was 5 all when the bell rang, calling for yet another Assyrian decider, when like a wolf on the fold McNab’s last ball came to rest just on the last Gallery line – winning the tournament. The dedans was as noisy as the MCG at the final siren. Jonners diplomatically summed up the day ”I have never seen tennis like it”.
The Feast : The usual suspects were rounded up for the 75th anniversary of the film Casablanca, and the dress code could have been interpreted as come as you were in Casablanca in 1942. The best dressed lady was the still grinning Ruby Crysell (winners are allowed to be grinners), and the prize for the best dressed man went to Robert McCahey.

Jonathan Sear, a world expert on chase 4 and 5, spoke on the origins of our wonderful game. Beginning as a temple rite by high priests in ancient Egypt, the game spread through North Africa and the Middle East. Herodotus documents play by the Lyddians. Homer’s Odyssey (book 6) records the first game of ladies’ lawn tennis.

O’er the green mead the sporting virgins play/(Their shining veils unbound). Along the skies,/ Toss’d and retoss’d, the ball incessant flies.

The first undoubted recorded tennis match was in Cyrenaica ( Eastern Libya) in about 490BC

The king (Allistrates) played with them at tennis; and Apollonius running forward, caught up the ball, and striking it with inconceivable skill and rapidity, returned it to the royal player. The king, motioning to his servants, said, “Give up your sport, give up your sport; for I suspect this youth is as good a player as I am.”

Sear then went on to point out the echoes of North African tennis to be found in our modern courts. As well as the obvious – sixteen arabic symbols on each court, he placed great importance on chase worse than 8 yards, and the term hazard. Hazard came to Old French from the Spanish Azar (an unfortunate card or dice roll”) which in turn came from the Arabic word az-zahr (الزهر) meaning “dice”.

An observer described the address as recondite, others described it as Alexandrian, incomprehensible, unfathomable, impenetrable, mysterious, occult, and cabbalistic.

Music was provided by an excellent piano and clarinet combo – perfect for a Casablanca night – & there was dancing and partying well into the small hours – the club had fun.

Thanks to Lizzie Brown for making it all happen and, along with Julia McCahey, the hours of preparation to turn the RMTC into Rick’s Bar Americain.

Jonathan Sear

Australian Amateur Singles – Sat-Sun 9-10 Sep
At the Australian Amateur Singles Championship, held in Hobart over the weekend, Kieran Booth won his 8th straight title. In the final he defeated Michael Williams in 4 sets, 3/6 6/2 6/3 6/4, in the final having won easily through his semi-final against Al Ramsay from Hobart. In the other semi-final Williams took 4 sets to dispose of Paul Rosedale who is having a very solid year.



An opportunity to see Kate’s award-winning documentary, Njinga
Thursday 28 September 6.30pm
Cinema Nova, 380 Lygon St, Carlton

The story of Kate Leeming’s astonishing 22,000-kilometre trek by bicycle across Africa. Dodging rebels, insurgents, Somali pirates, and exotic and dangerous wildlife all while battling extreme conditions. From desert to jungled terrain on non-existent roads and faint tracks, Njinga is more than a story of mental grit and physical endurance, it is a story of hope.

The film won Best Documentary, Best Cinematography and was runner-up for Best Director at the Action on Film International Film Festival in LA.

Introduction by Kate Leeming

“In partnership with Education Changemakers and it’s Educhange Film Fest, I will be screening my award-winning feature documentary Njinga, the story of my ten month cycle journey through 20 African countries from Senegal to Somalia.”

All members and friends welcome to attend, even if not a part of the Educhange event.

or direct at