Australian tennis legend Ken Rosewall joined Penrith Mayor Karen McKeown on Monday afternoon to unveil the first four upgraded courts at Woodriff Gardens Tennis Complex.
In construction since late last year, the $1.3 million project was funded by Penrith Council along with contributions from Tennis Australia and the NSW Government through its Community Building Partnerships Program.
“These new courts will be the envy of all other tennis associations,” Cr McKeown said.
“The new surface is a rubberised acrylic surface that will have the same playing characteristics as the courts used in the recent Australian Open.
“I’m excited that such an iconic figure in Australian tennis, Ken Rosewall, is here in Penrith and can see the work that Council is doing to promote the game.”
The new playing surface is produced by Mapei, with the courts in Penrith being the first to use this product in NSW.
Speaking exclusively with the Weekender, 81-year-old Rosewall said the new surface should attract top quality players and competitions to the Penrith area.
“The surface is recognised by Tennis Australia, so there’s no doubt there will be an opportunity to stage more events,” the eight-time Grand Slam singles champion said.
“Tennis NSW is looking to spread some of their events further west, so there’s no reason why this upgraded centre can’t attract many more players.”
Nepean District Tennis Association CEO, Chris Woodland, was delighted for the local tennis community.
“It’s a fantastic outcome for the whole community of Penrith to have a state-of-the-art facility like this for players to play on,” he said.
“It’s also great to have a legend like Ken Rosewall involved, he was more than happy to come out and help.”
Tuff Turf, the contractor responsible for the project, is on track to deliver the next four courts by month’s end.
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.