Newmarket Real Tennis Club

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Founded 1901

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Welcome to our Club!
Come and try Real Tennis - the sport of Kings!

Here you will find the fascinating history of our club, learn about this ancient but fascinating game, see the latest news and of course book your game on line!

Latest News!

For the very latest news or to tell us yours please visit our Facebook page.

The Wine Break Doubles Competition

If you are 65 or over on THURSDAY 6 APRIL 2014, please find a partner and enter the Winebreak Doubles which is now in its 6th year. Ladies are eligible too!! Even if you can’t think of a partner, enter yourself and we’ll try to pair you up. Either ring the Pro or put your names on the entry form at the Club.

Play will consist of sets to 8 in boxes and will start at 11am. The winner will be the team with the most games won.

Entry fee is a bottle of wine!! A rolling cold buffet will be provided for a modest charge of £10 and there will be a further charge of approximately £10 for court and marking fees. So £20 for some excellent tennis, good food, wine and company – not bad!!

Founders Cup 2016

Founders Finalists
The Finalists!

Another great day of competition at The Club! 7 pairs battled it out in 2 groups producing the finalists, Tom Marriott & Eric Nutter from the morning group and Henry Edwards & Jonathan Becher from the afternoon session.

This produced an exciting final which Jonathan and Henry appeared to have sewn up, taking, a 4-1 lead. Playing off a handicap of Owe 30 - Receive 30, Tom and Eric then really had to buckle down as they couldn't afford to make a mistake and needed to hold the service end. A good uphill point by point battle ensued as they pulled level and eventually won 8-5. A lesson in concentration!

New Booking System

  1. All bookings are now via our new booking system at: or via the Book On Line Logo.
  2. Hazel has kindly produced a pdf guide for the new system which you can download here.
  3. If you have any difficulties don't hesitate to contact Andrew!

NRTC v Royal Worlington Golf Club
Annual Real Tennis & Golf Match

On Sunday 18th September NRTC (captained by Simon Talbot Williams) took on Royal Worlington Golf Club (captained by Hugo Johnsen) in a day of handicap Real Tennis & Golf. Surprising the golfers won the Real Tennis 3-0, although the last game between John Harrison & Charles Johnsen (NRTC) v father & son combination of Jay & Torquil Harrison went down to the last point at 9-9, 40-40. In the afternoon NRTC overturned the golfers by 2-1 so in the end Worlington snatched the cup away from NRTC for the first time in 7 years. There are rumours that the result would have been very different if the NRTC captain Tom Marriott had not decided to accept a late invitation to go on a super yacht in the Mediterranean!

Fingelton Cup Winners 2016!

Ben & Ed Turner beat Eric Nutter & Ken Smith 6-1, 6-1 to win the final of the 2016 Fingleton Cup! Very well played!

Thurlow Champness 2016!

Tom Marriott (30) beat William Russell (28) in a thrilling match 6-4, 1-6, 6-5 to win the Thurlow Champness - the clubs premier competition!

More on Facebook...

Eric & Ken's American Adventure!

Eric & Ken have just completed a tour of American Tennis clubs - read the full report on our Facebook page!

Junior Real Tennis Coaching

NRTC is pleased to offer a junior Real Tennis programme at the Club. This fantastic opportunity has been made possible by sponsorship from the Dedanists’ Foundation, a charity set up by real tennis players to recruit young players into the game and to help clubs to widen participation in the local community and its schools. Real Tennis is a fantastic game and a great way to stay fit and use your brain at the same time!!

Hangover Doubles 2016 result!

Overall winners Adrian Thurley & Colin Clifton-Brown

Six pairs competed for this coverted prize! Jamie & Ned Robertson won the over 50 handicap section but Adrian & Colin won the under 50 section with a better games win/lose ratio making them the overall winners. The 12 hangovers....

Over 50 handicap'ers
Under 50s

Web Site!

If you spot any errors, omissions or have any comments - good or bad - about the web site please let me know!

To contact us:

Contact numbers, email and address for the club are top and bottom of every page.

Please contact the pros for club issues and Adrian for web site issues.

To find us:

If you have a smart device with a QR reader just scan the code below!

QR Code NRTC Map
Just scan this QR code to find us!

Don't have a QR reader? There are many free versions available for Apple or Android devices. We use Qrafter Pro available at the App Store

Meet our Pro!

Andrew Knibbs
Andrew Knibbs

Andrew Knibbs:

  • Born 06/05/71
  • Right-handed professional
  • Best handicap: 9.8
  • Current handicap: 15.8

Competition Achievements:

  • Category C open Championship Winner
  • Category B open Championship Winner
  • Browning cup Finalist


  • Basic certificate Real Tennis
  • Advanced Management Certificate Real Tennis
  • CRB checked
  • Safeguarding Qualified first aider

The Game of Real Tennis

Real Tennis is the original racquet sport from which the modern game of lawn tennis, or tennis, is descended. Real tennis is still played at a small number of active courts in the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States and France. It is also known as:

  • "court tennis" (America)
  • jeu de paume (France)
  • and formerly called "Royal Tennis" (Australia)

The term real tennis is often thought to be a corruption of this last name and related to the game's connection with royalty during its heyday in England and France in the 16th and 17th centuries. In fact "real" was first used at the end of the 19th century as a retronym to distinguish it from the then recently invented game of lawn tennis. Real tennis players often just call it "tennis," describing the modern game as "lawn tennis."

Real Tennis Court

The court is divided by the net into two sides. The side from which the game is normally viewed by spectators through the dedans is called the service side. The other is the hazard side. The serve is always delivered from the service side; and the ball is struck to bounce at least once on the hazard side of the penthouse roof and then on the floor within the service court.

Points are won or lost when errors are made (e.g. by hitting the ball into the net or out of the court). They may also be won by striking the ball into the winning openings (i.e. the dedans, grille or winning gallery) or so that it bounces on the floor for the second time between the service line and the end wall at the hazard end.

If a ball bounces twice anywhere else on the court or enters any other gallery before a player touches it, a chase is set (said to be laid).

Scoring in Real Tennis is the same as that adopted by lawn tennis (viz 15, 30, 40, deuce, advantage, game;) except in Real Tennis the score of the winner of the point is always called first. The first player to six games wins the set.

When a chase is laid the score does not change, that chase is noted and held in abeyance until the chase is played off. When two chases have been laid, or if there is one chase outstanding and the score is at game point (e.g. one player is at 40 or advantage), the players change ends.

After changing ends, the chase or chases are played off in the order in which they were laid. When chases are played off, the receiving player (or server in the case of a hazard chase) must hit his/her shots so that their second bounce is closer to the back wall than the chase being played (e.g. if the chase is 6-yards, he/she must play to 5,4,3,2 or 1 yard or the point is lost, if the ball will fall short of 6 yards on the second bounce a shot does not have to be played and the point is won by the server).

The lines on the floor are positioned to mark the floor equivalents of gallery chases and to measure the length of the other floor chases in yards from the back wall (e.g. if the second bounce was on the 6-yard line, then chase 6 has been laid). Chases that occur at the hazard end are called hazard chases.

The terms one and two, two and three etc. denote that the ball has landed on its second bounce equidistant between the two chase lines. The terms 'better than' and 'worse than' are used to give more precision to marking chases (e.g. 'better than 4 yards' denotes that the ball has landed on its second bounce nearer to the dedans back wall than the 4 yard line. 'Worse than 5 yards' denotes that the ball has landed on its second bounce further up the court than the five yard line).

All clear?

The Real Tennis Courts of the World

Clubs in the United Kingdom:

  • The Royal Tennis Courts/Hampton Court Palace (1529)
  • Falkland Palace, Fife in Scotland (1539)
  • Oxford University (1800)
  • Hatfield House(1843)
  • Leamington (1846)
  • Cambridge University (1862)
  • Petworth House (1876)
  • Canford School (1879)
  • Manchester (1880)
  • Hyde House, Bridport (1883)
  • Queen's Club (2 courts 1888)
  • Holyport (1890)
  • Jesmond Dene (1894)
  • MCC Lord's Cricket Ground (1900)
  • Newmarket (1900)
  • Moreton Morrell (1905)
  • Hardwick House (1907)
  • Seacourt Tennis Club (1911)
  • Oratory School (1989)
  • Bristol Bath and Tennis Club (1997)
  • Prested Hall (2 courts 1999)
  • Burroughs Club (2000)

Clubs in Australia:

  • Hobart, Tasmania (1875)
  • Melbourne Royal Tennis Club (1882)
  • Ballarat, Victoria (1984)
  • Romsey, Victoria

Clubs in France:

  • Fontainebleau (1702)
  • Paris (1919)
  • Bordeaux (1978)
  • Pau

Clubs in USA:

  • Aiken Tennis Club. Aiken, South Carolina
  • Tennis and Racquet Club. Boston (1902)
  • International Tennis Club of Washington (1997)
  • National Tennis Club. Newport, Rhode Island
  • Racquet and Tennis Club. New York (1918)
  • Racquet Club of Philadelphia. Philadelphia
  • Tuxedo Club. Tuxedo, New York (1880 - 1980)

Useful Links


The Tennis and Rackets Association is the governing body of British Tennis and Rackets and is committed to developing the games at all levels. As well as running the Handicap System, they organise many competitions and championships which personal members may enter.

Real Tennis On Line

Members of RTO can check their personal account, handicap history etc


The IRTPA looks after all aspects of the professional sport: grass roots, pro recruitment, training and development, professional certification, tournament sponsorship, television, media relations, endorsements.

By joining the Ladies Real Tennis Association (LRTA) lady members have access to their own range of matches and tournaments and then gain a concessionary rate if joining the T&RA as well.

Hazel Dunn is the Newmarket LRTA representative if anyone has any questions.

This section will retain notable posts from the past!