Margaret Court Arena at Melbourne Park opened with Rod Laver Arena in 1988 as ‘Show Court One’. It was the year the Australian Open Grand Slam tournament moved from Kooyong to its current home. The venue features a retractable roof which is the fastest of its kind in the world - opening and closing in just five minutes, corporate facilities, video screens, sound system and new spectator facilities. In addition to Tennis, Margaret Court Arena can now host Basketball, Netball and an array of Concerts and special events.
Melbourne Park’s “Show Court One” was officially re-named ‘Margaret Court Arena’ as a tribute to Australia’s most successful female tennis player on the eve of the 2003 Australian Open Tennis Championship (12 January 2003)
Born in 1942, Margaret (Smith) Court grew up in Albury on the border of New South Wales and Victoria. As a teenager she went to Melbourne to develop her tennis career under the guidance of another Australian tennis great, Frank Sedgman, and trainer Stan Nicholes.
At 17 years of age she won her first Australian Championship title – the first of seven straight victories in her total of 11 National championships, and the beginning of an amazing career in which she amassed 62 Grand Slam titles, including 24 in singles. This remains a record for both men and women. Representing her country in Federation Cup from 1963-71; she won all of her twenty singles matches, fifteen of twenty doubles matches and was a member of four winning Federation Cupteams (1964, ’65, ’68 and 1971).
Margaret’s other achievements include being the first Australian woman to win Wimbledon (in 1963) and being inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1970. In 1993, Rod Laver and Margaret Court became inaugural players inducted into the new Australian Tennis Hall of Fame.
In 2010 it was announced MCA would undergo a significant redevelopment as part of the $700 million Melbourne Park Masterplan, transforming the court into a multi-use arena capable of hosting a wide range of sporting and entertainment events.
With the capacity increased from 6,000 of 7,500, the redeveloped MCA features a state-of-the-art retractable roof – the fastest of its kind in the world, opening or closing in just five minutes.