Dendy Park Tennis Club History

Dendy Park Tennis Club History

The official opening of the Dendy Park Tennis Club took place on 20th March 1971. The opening ceremony was conducted by the then Governor of Victoria, Sir Rohan Delacombe, and was followed by an exhibition doubles match featuring Neale Fraser, Geoff Brown, John Cooper and Mervyn Rose, all of whom represented Australia in the Davis Cup.

Before moving to Dendy Park, the club was known as the Elsternwick Tennis Club, having occupied an eight-court site in Elsternwick Park for around 50 years. In the late 1960s, with membership of the Club expanding, the decision was made to transfer to Dendy Park where additional courts and improved facilities were made available to members.

Initially 12 porous and six grass courts were constructed but the limited November to March grass court season led to their conversion to porous in the early 1980s; this allowed increased all year porous court utilisation across the facility. The Club now has 19 porous (clay) courts which makes it one of the largest clay-court facilities in the country. The front four courts provide additional run-off space so are particularly suited to championship play. Lights were installed on six courts in the 1970s and later on another seven courts following their conversion from grass to porous.

A large balcony (which provides a view across the whole complex) was added to the upstairs section of the two-storey Clubhouse in the early 1980s and, in 1987, the upstairs lounge area was re-decorated and a bar installed. More recently, a covered outdoor seating area was constructed at the south end of the Clubhouse and the old tournament box was converted into a downstairs kiosk with kitchen facilties. Minor renovations and upgrades have continued on the upstairs level of the Clubhouse in 2010, 2011 and 2015.

In the late 1970s, under President Kevin Howard, Dendy Park played a significant role in the formation of the Victorian Tennis Association (now known as Tennis Victoria) which was soon established as the peak body for tennis in Victoria. Kevin Howard was the inaugural President of the Victorian Tennis Association. Members who have provided long periods of volunteer Committee service to the Club include Barry Pryor, Ian Wilkinson, Doug Pearson, Tony Avery,  Bernie Macho, Tony Saul, Tom Winter and Joan Mayfield.

Over the years, Dendy Park has hosted many major national and state championships including the Australian and Victorian Hardcourt Championships, the National Under 14 and Under 16 Claycourt Championships and the Australian Seniors' Claycourt Championships. Notable participants have included Wimbledon Singles champions Frank Sedgman, Neale Fraser, Pat Cash, Lleyton Hewitt and Evonne (Goolagong) Cawley - and we should also mention four-time Australian Open champion Ken Rosewall.

Dendy Park has been a strong participant in the local pennant competition, entering teams at all levels and winning the A Grade Men's and Woman's A Grade and State Grade pennant on a number of occasions. Future 1952 and 1954 Australian Champion Thelma Long was a key member of the 1946 and 1947 LTAV A Grade Women's Premiership team; Lesley (Turner) Bowrey French Singles Champion in 1963 and 1965 also represented the Club. Wimbledon, US and Australian Singles Champion Ashley Cooper was a key member of our LTAV A Grade Pennant team in the 1950s.There have been numerous pennant winning Men's and Woman's teams at lower grades in both the LTAV and more recently the Tennis Victoria winter competitions.

The Club's Annual Junior Tournament is now in its 80th year and the development of junior players has always been a major focus of attention for the Club. The Annual Club Championships, which date back to the 1930s, provide an opportunity for Club members to compete in a variety of graded singles and doubles events, and trophies are awarded each year to the best performed man and woman in the Tennis Victoria Pennant competition. Notable Club Championship Open Men's Singles winners include former Wimbledon Champion and Australian Davis Cup Captain Neale Fraser, Australian Davis Cup player Alan Stone and Australian Junior Champion Will Coghlan.

Dendy Park Tennis Club Premiers


  • LTAV Men's A Grade Premiers 1948, 1968, 1970, 1974
  • LTAV Woman's A Grade Premiers 1946, 1947, 1964, 1972
  • Tennis Victoria Men's State Grade Premiers 1997
  • Tennis Victoria Woman's State Grade Premiers 2002, 2003

Australian Davis Cup Representatives and Elsternwick and/or Dendy Park Tennis Club Members

  • Frank Sedgman
  • Rex Hartwig
  • Ashley Cooper
  • Neale Fraser
  • Alan Stone

Australian Federation Cup Representatives and Elsternwick and/or Dendy Park Tennis Club Members

  • Lesley Bowrey
  • Alicia Molik

Club Presidents

Elsternwick Tennis Club

  • T.H. White 1930-1956
  • W.H. Connolly 1957-1959
  • E.G. Thompson 1960-1964
  • K.W. Howard 1965-1970

Dendy Park Lawn Tennis Club

  • K.W. Howard 1970-1979
  • C.L. Brunskill 1980-1985
  • R.V. Pedder 1986-1991

Dendy Park Tennis Club Inc.

  • B.K. Taylor 1992-1994
  • C.L. Brunskill 1995-1997
  • Mrs D Gissing 1998
  • S.K. Kennett 1999-2001
  • K.W. Howard 2002-2010
  • T.F. O'Shannassy 2011-