“I always knew in my heart that he would find a home – and this one – is a beautiful home,” he said.
“He was always going to find his level. It was too special not to resurface.
“It’s as good as I would have dreamed it would be.”
The idea for a giant tennis racket in Milton came from a trip to New York City, Stefan said.
“I sponsored the Queensland Open and I sponsored the Queensland Golf Open and I went to New York to see what they were doing that could be great,” he said.
“And I’ve seen all these ‘big things’, but I haven’t seen a big tennis racket.
“So I thought why don’t we make the biggest tennis racket in the world.”
He took the idea from Brisbane steel construction company Patrick Gay Constructions.
“And because of that job, he later put the needle (Stefan’s Sky Needle in South Brisbane) for me,” he said.
He said he modeled the racquet after the popular Aldila tennis racquet from the 1980s.
“It is an absolute replica of the very famous Aldila racquet released at the time,” he said.
The hairstyling entrepreneur recognized that Brisbane’s tennis pedigree – at Frew Park and the Pat Rafter Arena in Yeerongpilly – were good calling cards for international visitors.
“Oh, absolutely it is. 100 percent it is. This is a world class facility. Look at it, ”he said.
Mayor Graham Quirk said the relocation of Stefan’s racquet was a welcome addition to Milton’s Frew Park, home to the Roy Emerson Tennis Center and Wendy Turnbull Green.
“This is a wonderful facility that recognizes the reestablishment of much of tennis history (the old Milton courts) with six new courts as well as a two story tennis administration center,” said Cr Quirk.
He said the tennis racket reminded the city of tennis courts in their heyday, before they fell into disrepair.
Milton’s first tennis center operated from 1915 to 1999. Tennis Queensland sold the site after it was declared unsafe and the site has been sold several times.
A million dollar all-skill game park will also be built at Frew Park on Milton Road on the combined site of the former Milton Bowl and former tennis courts.
The full center will be open later this year.