John Peers Tennis Centre

As one of the final activities of our centenary year, on Saturday 18 November we were delighted to name our Tennis facilities at Keysborough after outstanding Mentonian and Australian Tennis icon, John Peers.

On a sunny morning at Keysborough, Head of Sport, Brenton Sanderson welcomed guests including John and his family, former Firsts players and coaches, special friends, and students and families of the current Girls Firsts Tennis teams from both Mentone and Haileybury.

Brenton told of the School’s long Tennis history starting in 1937. “Over the past 80 years there have been many Tennis triumphs but perhaps the most significant was in 2001, when Troy Little (Class of 2001) captained the Firsts team, including his young cousin John, to glory. This ignited a winning team spirit that saw five championships in six years… always under the watchful eye of coach Mike Wilton and later Leigh Rowlands.” Brenton also spoke about his vision for Tennis at Mentone and hoped to see a “return to the glory days” of the sport.

Principal Mal Cater said he was Deputy Principal at Mentone when John and his teammates dominated AGSV Tennis, and remembered the excitement and delight felt by the whole school as their success continued.

“John captained the winning team in 2006, which was a fitting end to his stellar school career. Since then, he has continued to find success on the world Tennis circuit with over 30 doubles titles. He won his first doubles grand slam at the 2017 Australian Open and in 2022, won the US Open mixed doubles crown with fellow Aussie Storm Sanders… and I know how proud he was to win a Bronze Medal for Australia at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 with Ash Barty.  

“As our Centenary year draws to a close, I am truly delighted to recognise John’s incredible achievements and proud to dedicate our Tennis facilities at Keysborough in his name.”

John was gracious as ever in his response, recognising his cousin Troy as an inspiration in his early Tennis career at school and “being looked after on the bus” by the senior boys on the team, as well as the honour he felt in having the facilities named after him all these years later.

Girls Firsts Tennis Captain, Ella R (Year 11), summed it up beautifully, recognising John as a legend of the sport and an inspiration to all of the Mentone Tennis players.