Not Wimbledon or the Aussie Open but still significant tennis tournaments played in Torquay.
Lawn tennis was invented by Major Walter Wingfield in 1873. The game quickly became a popular pastime in Australian homes from its introduction in 1875 when the first tennis court was constructed in Hobart and the first English professional arrived on Australian soil.
The first Australian tennis tournament was named the “Championship of the Colony of Victoria” was played in January, 1880. This later became known simply as the “Championship of Victoria”.
After the opening of the Torquay Palace Hotel feedback to the Follett’s (owners of the hotel) was there needed to be more things to do around town. They built their tennis court to the enjoyment of the visitors.
Also responding to visitor requests for public courts was the Torquay Improvement Association. They looked for and consulted on various locations, navigated protests and eventually provided two courts on land they owned in Beales street at the rear of the hall. The first known committee was formed on 16 March 1918 with E. Taylor, F. Gilbert, G.L. Battern, R.C. Hocking and T.K. McFarlane.