Melbourne Olympic Parks Trust (MOPT)
  • Geotechnical Investigations
  • Advice on Causes of Defects
  • Recommendations on Improvement Measures


National Tennis Centre Project

World class sport is an exacting business. DP has previously carried out geotechnical investigations for the Melbourne Formula 1 Grand Prix track and the track surface tolerances were very precise, understandably because of the stiff suspensions and high speed of performance racing cars. But when it comes to field sports, notably tennis, the playing surface conditions are just as exacting. There is a lot of high technology that goes into the game of tennis, partly to do with achieving predictable grip and ball bounce but also in more recent years because of the electronic monitoring systems used to determine whether a ball is technically In or Out. 

The tennis courts at the National Tennis Centre in Melbourne were constructed twenty years ago, over a precinct with extremely variable soil conditions, ranging from highly reactive clay to basalt rock and highly compressible estuarine clays. The court bases vary from concrete to cement treated crushed recycled concrete, ordinary crushed rock and asphalt.
DP were engaged to carry out a range of geotechnical assessments to determine subgrade conditions beneath most of the courts within the complex, including Rod Laver Arena and the Show Courts. These investigations were used as the basis for considering improvements to the courts as a precursor to a major planned resurfacing operation to ensure that the playing surfaces were of world class. DP’s project manager Peter McDonald says “Before we could carry out the usual investigations we had to sit down with the centre managers and operators to fully understand the technical requirements of the playing surfaces. Even with all of our previous experience with sports centres, this venue has some very special requirements to be considered and we had to be sure we understood them well so that we could frame our advice as constructively as possible to assist centre management and Tennis Australia development decisions”.


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