Club Memorabilia – The Old Grille – A Monk at Rest !!

For many many years, real tennis players from all over the world pounded the bald headed monk who resided in the Hobart grille. While he was relieved of the pain over 12 months ago, he is now at peace behind glass and hanging in the foyer of the Hobart Club. Thanks to Greg Kerin for arranging the permanent rest.

Any information that members have on the provenance of the grille would be greatly appreciated. Does anyone know when he was first installed ?


Australian Open 2012 – They helped make it happen – Thanks !!

A relatively small sized Club such as Hobart can’t make a major tournament happen without the commitment of many of its members. The 2012 Australian Open was no exception. Recognition and thanks to the Club staff and members below. And a special thanks to all the financial, product and in kind sponsors.

The Organising Committee

Graeme Bradfield; Nikki Millard; Ron Booth; Don Armstrong; Greg Kerin; Bob Horner

Club Professional

Barry Toates – balls, draws, marking and a watchful eye and wise advice on everything !!

Court Maintenance

Ron Booth; Brian Maxwell

Live Streaming

Simon Dwyer


Hilton Booth; John Howard

Signs and Posters

John Howard

Pro Am Cocktail Party

Nikki Millard


Nikki Millard; Michelle Moores

Website Results and Reports

Graeme Bradfield; Barry Toates; John Ramsay

Ticketing and Seating

Ron Booth; Kevin Stark

The Sponsors

Soundy’s Menswear

Eye Spy Signs; Nirek Pty Ltd; Accru Hobart; BGA Insurance Brokers; Bob Mirowski Design & Construction

Cellarbrations at Bayview Market; Raincatchers Tasmania; Ron Booth; Gordon Henry Pty Ltd;

Tasmanian Perpetual Trustees;  OAMPS Insurance Brokers; The Mercury; Harvey Gibson; Ray Brown;

Southern Cross Austereo; Hobart Autotec; Barr Builders Pty Ltd; Stefano Perotti; Dougies Diggers Pty Ltd;

Dougies Transport Pty Ltd; Gadtech Pty Ltd; Reynolds Chauffered Cars & Buses; SMA Finance; The Republic Bar;

Smarter Choice Homes (WA); Hazell Bros Group; Hexagon; Medhurst Equipment Pty Ltd; Tasmanian Rain;

John Ramsay & Associates; Vein Remedies; Nirek Pty Ltd; Totally Organic Landscape Supplies;

Aluminium Guttering; Andrew Kemp; J. Boag & Son Brewing; Ace Tennis Coaching; PolyTech;

Tasmanian Collection Services; Little’s P/L; Bennetto Finance; Ian Ritchard; Elizabeth Ritchard;

Noel Leary & Associates; Bradfields Barristers & Solicitors; Brador Investments; Musselroe Beef;

Triple B; Edwards Windsor; Cake Woman; Ristorante Da Angelo; Metro Tasmania; Welcome Stranger;

Gregory St Psychology; Deep Sea Oils.

The Raffle and Silent Auction Items Donors

Peter Scollard; Ian Ritchard; Quest Apartments; New Town Station Nursery; Aproneers (Paul Crosby); Smolt;

Blue Eye (Joff Jennings); Tracks Café; John Ramsay; Gordon Henry; Greg Kerin; Isle of Wine (Paul Crosby).


Australian Open 17 August 2012

Match Results

Women’s Singles

C. Vigrass d. S. Vigrass 6/0, 6/3.

Men’s Singles

R. Fahey d. S. Virgona 6/5, 6/3, 6/1.

Graeme Bradfield writes

Ah singles finals day !!

After a week of sorting out who should be finalists, it all comes down to a last couple of hours of the finest tennis, where players and crowd know there is nowhere left to hide!

Women’s Final – C. Vigrass v. S. Vigrass

High noon saw the Vigrass sisters replay their final here from a couple of years ago. Whilst they have both improved from their handicaps, then in the twenties, Claire has had the benefit of an on hand coach in the form of the men’s world champion, and this has assisted her to be far and away the best female player in the world, by probably ten points. She served tightly and Sarah played great retrieving tennis with several games going to deuce, and having several game points, but she could not manage any of these, and the first set went to Claire 6/0.

The next set started the same, but this time Sarah got a couple of the advantages early, and at 3/3 it looked like there would be a closer match. However Claire’s drag serve kept winning her vital points and she mercilessly won the last three games from there to win 6/3.

Men’s Final – R. Fahey v. S. Virgona

The men’s final was played at 6pm to a large crowd, packed into the Hobart court. There were supporters on both sides as the players immediate families live in Hobart! Rob was born and bred here and Steve’s Mum and sister having moved to Hobart several years ago.

The start of the first set was similar to their recent World Championship match, with both players slightly hesitant and feeling their way as to serves and drives. But not for long ! They traded games, with Rob winning each odd game as they went to 2/2. The tempo kept increasing with both players relentlessly finding the Dedans every time the other made a mistake from the service end. The chosen winning shot from the service end was the one well known to Hobart players, around the base of the main wall tambour, but never executed as well as these two. Time after time they sought out the main wall first before the tambour, low and with a touch of curl, to take it even further around the back of the other player. Rob showed why he leaves others in his wake as he repeatedly volleyed or caressed the tambour shots down to the back hand, short with further work on it. The games kept going in order but the last one had two telling shots. A full blooded straight drive by Steve to the dedans, was punched quicker than you could see by Rob under the grille, for Rob to go to 40/15. On the following point Rob dispatched another volley just as aggressively past the tambour. 6/5 to the champ.

The next set saw Steve trying a few different serves to break Rob’s rhythm, but to no avail. Time and again, fantastic boasts that would be winners against most other players in the world, were coming back from both players low, and sometimes even re boasted,  with the poor balls copping a pounding in the process! Rob however sensed the lack of court time in Steve was starting to tell and to his credit tried really hard to get everything from 4/3 on to take the set 6/3.

The last set found Steve out of aces, as Rob served tight railroad after tighter railroad to restrict Steve to backhand returns and slides down the line. It looked like Rob’s back was starting to twinge and he clearly was not going to be out on the court any longer than he had to be, as he picked up his ‘forty something’ grand slam title, 6/1 in the third!

Today sees the local Booth boys take on the best doubles pair in the world in Fahey & Virgona and the Vigrass sisters take on the RMTC pair of Kate Leeming and Amy Hayball.

Look forward to seeing you there.

Matches Saturday 18 August

Women’s Doubles Final

11:00 am C. Vigrass & S. Vigrass v. K. Leeming & A. Hayball

Men’s Doubles Final

2:00 pm R. Fahey & S. Virgona v. K. Booth & H. Booth

Matches can be seen on live streaming

Australian Open 16 August 2012

Results Today

Men’s Doubles

R. Fahey & S. Virgona d. M. Happell & B. Richardson 6/2, 6/2, 6/1.

K. Booth & H. Booth d. F. Filippelli & C. Chapman 3/6, 6/2, 6/1, 5/6, 6/5.

Women’s Singles

S. Vigrass d. K. Leeming 0/6, 6/0, 6/3.

President Graeme Bradfield writes –

Today saw the semis of the men’s doubles and the last place for the ladies singles decided.

Fahey & Virgona v. Happell & Richardson

First up the best doubles pair in the world Fahey and Virgona easily account for the RMTC champions Richardson and Happell. It was always going to be a tough ask for the amateur pair not only because they were playing the best two players, but also because they were carrying niggling injuries sustained in their singles games earlier in the week! The score line reflected this with Fahey/Virgona the model of consistency 6/2 6/2 6/1.

K. Booth & H. Booth v. Filippelli & Chapman

The next semi though, lived up to its draw card of being the tightest of matches. The Booth brothers have both dropped their handicaps over the last couple of years by over 5 points and now are probably the best amateur pair in the world having won the Australian Amateur title several times and beaten various professional pairs as well. However the Pros, Filippelli and Chapman started well and with Frank Filippelli making few mistakes and Chris Chapman volleying strongly. They took the first set 6/3. The next two sets however were a different matter with the Booths serving far more strongly and keeping the serve as well, as errors starting to creep into the pros game.The fourth set defined the match where the serve changed regularly and both pairs made few mistakes. It seemed there was nothing that could not be returned somehow. It was won by the Pros from the service end 6/5. The final set was very similar and this time it was the pros that just could not hang in there and the Booths ran out eventual winners 6/5 in a marathon of just over 3 hours.

Leeming v. S.Vigrass

The doubles match was followed by the Ladies semi where the RMTCs professional and international bike tourer Kate Leeming took on Sarah Vigrass from the UK. The first set was dominated by Kate who did not miss a shot and served tight side walls and undercuts to take it 6/0 ! The second set was a mirror reversal with Sarah serving much tighter and getting everything back and with Kate just hitting the tape on lots of good shots. That meant 6/0 to Sarah. The final set started with Sarah continuing her winning way but Kate was not to be denied that easily and fought back at 3/0 to be deuce at 4/3 where a hard fought game with lots of deuces really decided the set and the match, Sarah eventually running out a winner at 6/3.

Matches Tommorrow Friday 17 August

Women’s Singles

12:00 pm – C. Vigrass v. S. Vigrass

Men’s Singles

6:00 pm – R. Fahey v. S. Virgona

Watch the matches on live streaming on

Australian Open 15 August 2012

Today’s Results

Women’s Singles

C. Vigrass d A. Hayball 6/0, 6/0.

Men’s Singles

R. Fahey d F. Filippell1 6/2, 6/2, retd.

S. Virgona d. K. Booth 5/6, 6/3, 6/2, 6/4.

President Graeme Bradfield writes –

The men’s semis were played in great spirit with the competitors well aware of their opponents games and what to expect!

Fahey v. Filippelli

The first match pitted what looked to be a supremely fit Frank Filippelli against the World Champion Rob Fahey. Frank and Rob have not only played each other many times but they used to practice together often at RMTC in the years that Rob worked there. One thing Frank does is retrieve fantastically and this he did for two long first sets where everything Rob hit came back to a decent length making Rob hit it again. However a lot of firepower is needed to put the ball away against someone of Rob’s speed and so Frank’s well placed shots were returned to the opposite corner repeatedly until he finally felt a small hamstring tear develop towards the end of the second set. Frank who never breaks down could not believe he could no longer run and had to stop at 6/2 6/2.

Vigrass v. Hayball

The second match saw the first of the ladies semis with Amy Hayball of RMTC taking on the World Champion Claire Vigrass for the first time on the Hobart court. Claire who is clearly the best ladies player for a long time cruised through the match. She showed why it is so difficult to get the ladies to line up to play her, as she served so tightly there was little chance of a chase, and then she returned with such pace that she was soon serving again! The Hobart crowd appreciated the level of play of the ladies champion and also that Amy supported  the Hobart tournament as it was such a tough draw.

Virgona v. Booth

The second men’s semi had it all, with the local boy Kieran Booth exploding all out, to surprise the no 2 in the world Steve Virgona with a great display of tight angles, retrieving and full forces for the Dedans backhand and forehand. Steve who had not dropped a game in the first rounds now dropped six of them, to lose the first set 6/5 and war was declared !!! He upped the tempo of his returns (as if that was possible the way the two were hitting it) but he also gritted his teeth to deal with Kieran’s forces better and tightened his floor strokes to reduce the opportunities for winners. It worked, and whilst tight, he took the next set 6/3. The next set saw more of the same with it going Steve’s way 6/2. But the local boy was not done yet and whilst Steve went to a 4/1 lead in the fourth, Kieran fought back to nearly level, before he started to run out of petrol to an amazingly fit Virgona, and just could not get the power and speed he had in the early stages of the match. Steve taking the last set 6/4.

Matches on Thursday 16 August

10:00 am R. Fahey & S. Virgona v. M. Happell & B. Richardson

12:00 pm K. Booth & H. Booth v. F. Filippelli & C. Chapman

4:30 pm S. Vigrass v. K. Leeming

View the matches on live streaming

Matches on Friday 17 August

12:00 pm Women’s Final

6:00pm Men’s Final – R. Fahey v. S. Virgona

Matches on Saturday 18 August

11:00 am Women’s Doubles Final- C. Vigrass & S. Vigrass v. K. Leeming & A. Hayball

2:00 pm Men’s Doubles Final

Australian Open 14 August 2012

Men’s Doubles Results Tuesday 14 August

M. Happell & B. Richardson d. G. Hyland & N. Howell 6/4, 6/4, 6/1.

K. Booth & H. Booth d. A Fowler & B. McFarlane 6/0, 6/2, 6/1.

Graeme Bradfield’s Account of the Matches

It was the best of times : it was the worst of times !!

So it was for the Pros on day three, the worst, with neither of the professional pairs winning a set from the amateur pairs. Mind you the two pairs in question are probably the best two amateur pairs in the world at the moment!

In the first quarter final Bret Richardson and Michael Happell with only one good leg each, after both sustaining injuries in their ingles, used their experience as a pair to account for the young Nick Howell and old wise fox Graham Hyland 6/4 6/4 6/1. In the first two sets, Richardson and Happell took an early lead only to see some great retrieving by Nick Howell get the Pros back into the set. However their coolness under pressure won out and in the final set the fight was gone from the Pros who realised they were not in the hunt against the aggressive volleying by Bret and consistent returns by Happell.

However, that match was still closer than the next quarter final. Hilton Booth was everywhere and his elder brother was just happy he was on his side, as they blitzed the Ballarat boys of Brett McFarlane and Andrew Fowler 6/0 in the first set in about ten minutes without spending much time at the Hazard end. From there they didn’t stop, taking the next two sets 6/2 6/1. The Booth brothers barely had to say a word as Hilton chopped off anything within 5 metres of him and Kieran controlled his forcing with pin point accuracy for the first time this week.

Matches on Wednesday 15 August

Women’s Singles

10:00am C. Vigrass v. A. Hayball

Men’s Singles

11:30am R. Fahey v. F. Filippelli

3:00pm S. Virgona v. K. Booth

Live streaming will be available on