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Tennis Australia Melbourne, Victoria

Tennis Australia is the governing body for the sport of tennis in Australia. The organisation exists to promote tennis and conduct domestic and international tournaments on behalf of Australia, including the Australian Open and the Davis Cup for the Australian Davis Cup Team. Tennis has been played in Australia from around 1877, but it was not until 1904, in preparation for the Davis Cup, that the sport began to organise, with the founding of Tennis Australia's predecessor, the Australasian Lawn Tennis Association. In 2005 TA celebrated its centenary, and that of its first event – the Australian Open. The organisation is currently based in at Melbourne Park.

There are around 6,000 catalogued items in the Tennis Australia heritage collections, and an estimated 2,000 uncatalogued items. The collections include a large amount of tennis equipment dating from the late 19th Century to today including around 4,000 tennis racquets, plus hundreds of balls, racquet-presses, nets, clothing and other equipment which represent the immense changes in technology and materials over a century. They can also tell interesting stories of major manufacturers and champion athletes that made, used and endorsed tennis equipment. Some items are extremely rare, such as handmade wood inlay racquets from the 1860s to be used in the sport that was precursor to modern tennis, known as 'real tennis'. Another fine piece is a large leather and wood banner, c.1900 which was an early advertisement for important tennis equipment manufactures Wright & Ditson.

The collection also includes thousands of photographs and newspaper articles relating to the sport of tennis in Australia and Australian players playing overseas. And it includes rare and important original tickets, programmes and memorabilia from very early Davis Cup and Australian Open matches (1900 to 1960). A fine example of original photographs is the album of pictures created by Eleanor Hopman in 1938 to document herself and other Australian women players travelling to play in England, accompanied on part of the journey by the Australian Cricket team, including Don Bradman. The collection also includes a few thousand journals, magazines, reference books and rare books, dating as far back as the 1870s all relating to tennis.

Also in the collection are hundreds of items which depict or celebrate the sport of tennis, including fine antique jewelry, fine art, decorative art and popular prints and cartoons. Stand-out pieces include a 18th Century oil painting of an English aristocrat and a circa-1870s stained glass panel depicting early tennis, part of a pair, with the other half housed in the Wimbledon Museum collection, UK. Also interesting is a sub-collection of tennis-themed games, from well-preserved 19th Century parlour games to a 1970s pinball machine.

Contact Information

location
Melbourne Park Olympic Boulevard, Melbourne Park Melbourne 3000

Contact

Location

Melbourne Park Olympic Boulevard Melbourne Park Melbourne Victoria

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5075 items

Black and white photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Photographic print of Don Budge, signed by him. Materials: Paper, Photographic emulsion, Ink

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Programme for Davis Cup Challenge Round 1946 at Kooyong Materials: Paper, Ink

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Program: Davis Cup: Australia v India Materials: Paper, Ink, Cardboard

Score card

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Official Scorecard for 1983 Davis Cup Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Club 'Anchora' tennis racquet with: bevelled crown; string whipping over cloth tape reinforced shoulders; and, fine-grooved handle with fantail butt. Materials: Wood, Lacquer, Glue, Metal, Gut, Ink, String

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Photo of MG Rose Materials: Paper, Photographic emulsion

Prize

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Silver prize jug. Inscr on lid: 'HOLLYWOOD GROUNDS/INAUGURAL MATCH/PEARSON VS. FLOYD JONES/WON BY/CAPTAIN PEARSON/MAY 8TH 1890'. Stamped in base: 'STERLING/2607/2 PINTS'. Materials: Silver/Metal

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Sportime 'Smash' tennis racquet. Materials: Graphite, Composite Materials, Paint, Plastic, Leather, Adhesive tape, Ink, Nylon

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Photo of Segura Materials: Paper, Photographic emulsion

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Donnay Graphite/Wood wood tennis racquet. Materials: Wood, Plastic, Adhesive tape, Leather, Nylon, Graphite

Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

World Tennis Magazine June 1964 Materials: Paper, Ink

Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

ITF World magazine, Spring 2004 Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A WIlson 'T2000' model tennis racquet, with open throat & shaft. Strung using suspension system with metal wire spiral-wrapped around entire head edge. Handle wrapped in (non-original) fluorescent yellow foam tape; plastic butt cap. Manufacturer 'W' logo on base of shaft; triangle and 'T' logo sprayed onto net. Materials: Metal, Adhesive tape, Foam tape, Ink, Plastic

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Tournament Programme: Davis Cup 2000 World group Semi-Final; Brazil vs Australia Materials: Paper, Ink

Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

April 20 and September 7, 1959 issues of Sports Illustrated. Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A J.H. Cleave & Son 'Oxford' tennis racquet, with concave throat; string whipping over cloth tape shoulder reinforcements; flat and wide throat; and fine grooved octagonal handle. Retailer's details feature across, and model name along throat on obverse; manufacturer's details features across throat on reverse. Manufacturer's monogram impressed onto butt cover. Materials: Wood, Lacquer, Metal, Glue, Gut, Leather, String, Cloth tape, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Wilson 'Jack Kramer Autograph' racquet. Materials: Wood, Paint, Leather, String, Adhesive tape, Nylon, Plastic

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: 'Tackle Lawn Tennis This Way'. 133 pages. Hardcover with dustjacket. Edition uncertain (first published 1958). Materials: Paper, Ink, Cardboard

Paddle

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A ply-wood paddle, with rounded butt. Materials: Wood, Metal, Glue, Lacquer

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A PK-15 tennis racquet with open throat and handle wrapped with leather. Vinyl strings & plastic butt cap. Handle wrapped in plastic packaging wrap. Adhesive label on wrap marked with: 'PK-15...50/50'. Reinforcement strip along crown. Materials: Graphite, Leather, Vinyl, Ink, Adhesive tape, Adhesive label, Plastic

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Wilson 'Extra' metal tennis racquet, with double shaft, plastic throat bridge; plastic shaft casing ; and a handle wrapped in brown leather. Cream plastic butt cap with featuring manufacturer's 'W' logo. Manufacturer name on throat bridge (both sides). Model name on outside edges of shaft pillars. Materials: Metal, Plastic, Leather, Adhesive tape, Nylon, Paint

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Spalding 'Top-Flite' tennis racquet, with: original gut netting, and red support strings; black with gold, perforated leather handle grip; ribbon whipping around shoulders; and original plastic handle grip packaging. Materials: Wood, Gut, Adhesive tape, Leather, Paint, Ink, Ribbon, Vinyl, Lacquer, Glue, Metal, Plastic, String

Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Nine issues of 'Tennis' magazine, dating from 1986. Materials: Ink, Paper, Metal

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Photo of Lendl Materials: Paper, Photographic emulsion

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Wilson Bobby Riggs, Riggs International tennis racquet. Base of head on obverse features model name - on reverse features Wilson logo. Throat features the 'W' trademark with an interwoven banner device. Leather handle grip features quatrefoil perforations. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Leather, Adhesive tape, Plastic, Glue, Metal, Lacquer, Cloth, Adhesive tape

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A 'Freshman' tennis racquet with convex solid throat, an octagonal handle with fine grooves, and a leather end wrap. Model name printed across throat. Intials d and T inscribed on throat on reverse. Materials: Wood, Lacquer, Metal, Glue, Gut, Leather

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Feltham 'The Alexandra' tilt-top tennis racquet, with solid convex throat, whipping around shoulders, a slither of wood lamination beyween the throat and outer frame, and a plain handle. Company name and trademark impressed across throat on obverse. Model name impressed across crown. Materials: Wood, Lacquer, Glue, Metal, Gut

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Photo of Laver, 2 copies Materials: Paper, Photographic emulsion

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Wimbledon 'Super Boron' oversize tennis racquet. Materials: Graphite, Boron, Paint, Ink, Nylon, Plastic, Adhesive tape, Leather, Adhesive label

Ball container

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

An empty Court (U.K.) tennis ball can. Key winder and metal seal strip missing. Materials: Metal, Ink