In 2007 Real Tennis was added to the long list of activities available within the MCC Sporting Sections.
Real Tennis boasts a rich heritage. It evolved in the monasteries of France, was codified in the early 16th century and popularised in England during the 19th century when courts were built to play a game that was the forerunner to the popular lawn tennis game we know today. The structure of the courts and the rules are as laid-out five centuries ago.
Real Tennis is played in the United Kingdom, France, the USA and Australia – the “grand slam” countries.
Real Tennis is the original and longest running World Championship of all sports. It was first played in France in 1740, called the World Championship and played continually since then. In fact, 12 times world champion is MCC Real Tennis Section member Rob Fahey. Having held the title for 22 years, Rob has only just lost the title in May 2016 to American, Camden Riviere.
The section plays most of its games at the Royal Melbourne Tennis Club (RMTC) in Richmond but also competes at courts in Ballarat and Hobart. We are currently engaged in discussions with the main MCC committee in regards to building our own court facilities.
It’s a game for both men and women and a unique handicapping system allows players of varying ability to enjoy competitive matches in both singles and doubles.
Sometimes described as a mix of tennis (same scoring), squash (play off walls) and chess (very tactical), Real Tennis is played on an indoor court with players using traditional wooden racquets (made by Gray Nicolls of cricket bat manufacturing fame) and solid, hand-made balls.
As one of the newest Sections, we encourage those interested in racquet sports to join our growing section and play this superb game. We conduct on court “introductory sessions” at our Club Nights mainly on the second Friday of every month at The Royal Melbourne Tennis Club. Club membership is only $35 per year. See the Membership TAB for details and to download a membership application form.