The Milton Tennis Centre | Our History
The Milton Tennis Centre – 100 years of Brisbane sporting heritage
The Milton Tennis Centre at Frew Park, Milton Rd was the home of Queensland tennis since 1915 and consisted of 19 hard courts and four grass courts. It hosted eight Australian Championships/Opens and 16 Davis Cup ties (including three finals). Apart from tennis it also hosted concerts featuring acts such as the Rolling Stones, Elton John and Johnny Cash and 10,000 fans witnessed Jeff White retain his national lightweight title against Lionel Rose in 1971. The Milton courts were converted into Australia’s major tennis centre for the Davis Cup final in 1958 and were the venue for the first Australian Open in 1969.
Rod Laver’s 6-3 win in the deciding fifth set of his 1969 Australian Open semi-final against Tony Roche, having won the first two sets 7-5 and 22-20 before losing the third set 9-11 and the fourth 1-6, is one of the many memorable moments in the Centre’s history. The Davis Cup final wins by Australia in 1962 featured Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, Neale Fraser and coach Harry Hopman and in 1967, Emerson, Hopman, Tony Roche and John Newcombe. Interviewed by the Courier Mail in 1999, Newcombe recalled Milton with fondness – “Milton had a very good surface, one of my favourites in Australia. It seated about 7,000 and it was a great atmosphere.”
It hosted its last Davis Cup tie in 1990, the quarterfinal win over New Zealand featuring current team captains, John Fitzgerald and Wally Masur. Lindsay Davenport won the last world tour event at Milton in 1994, after which the wooden grandstands were declared unsafe. The Milton Tennis Centre closed in 1999 when Tennis Queensland sold the property to cover more than $1 million in debts. Doncaster Holdings sold the site to Multiplex for a reported $5.9 million in April 2002. Derelict and having suffered two fires, the stadium was demolished in May 2002.