Inside The Melbourne Tennis Court Estate Of Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka

A fancy white house with Victorian architecture and a fancy fountain.
A significant part of Melourne, this property features a tennis court and world class amenities.

With Australia’s biggest annual tennis event fast approaching in January, the woman at its helm is hoping for a swift win in the game of Melbourne luxury real estate.  

Jayne Hrdlicka, Virgin Australia CEO and Tennis Australia chair, has listed her Victorian home with an eye to the property fetching at least $17 million, or about $11 million U.S.

Listing agent Robert Fletcher of Private Property Global says the prestigious Hawthorn residence has attracted significant attention from local and overseas buyers attracted to the leafy Melbourne suburb.

The listing comes just two months before the Australian Open will take place seven kilometers, or a little more than four miles, down the road. Hrdlicka in 2017 made waves when she became the first female chair of the Tennis Australia board, a role she will keep until 2025 following a recent reelection.  

A white fancy kitchen with tall ceilings and a kitchen island.

Presented by Robert Fletcher and Michael Gibson, Private Property Global

The approximately 2,000-square-meter (about 21,520 square feet) parcel on sought-after Kooyongkoot Road is well-suited for a family or tennis enthusiast.

On the ground floor, a billiards room, office and large living, dining and family rooms offer plenty of spaces for lounging. The sunny white marble kitchen has French doors that open onto a verandah accented with decorative black trim typical of Victorian architecture. 

Upstairs, five spacious bedrooms with marble fireplaces, tall ceilings, balcony access and generous closets make up the sleeping quarters. 

Naturally, the home of Australia’s tennis boss features a beautifully kept north-south tennis court. A swimming pool and botanical-style gardens complete the grounds.

A well-kept tennis court in front of a fancy white house.

The Hawthorn estate is rich in Melbourne history. The home was designed by St. Kilda architect Harry Browse Gibbs in 1886 and built for a prominent local merchant family. It belonged more recently to another well-heeled executive, Commonwealth Superannuation chair Patricia Cross. 

Hrdlicka paid Cross $13 million (roughly $8.5 million U.S.) for her long-time estate.

Since then, the tennis enthusiast has “done continued works” to maintain the home in “beautiful working order,” Fletcher says. The residence seamlessly blends classic elements such as colorful stained-glass windows and ornate ceilings, with bright, airy windows, stainless-steel appliances and other modern touches. 

Hrdlicka briefly listed the property in June 2022 after moving to Queensland to be closer to the airline’s home base. The American-born executive became CEO of Virgin Australia in November 2020, stepping in during a tumultuous period for Australia’s second-largest airline. Before joining Virgin, she briefly served as the chief of a2 Milk Co.

A living room with a painting above a fireplace and a blue, love-seat couch.

The timing could not be better for a home of this caliber to hit the market, Fletcher says.

The market for homes valued upward of $15 million is the “strongest it’s been in recent memory,” he says. That, coupled with the fact that buyers are searching for homes with plenty of land and a strong location, puts the listing in a solid position.

Expressions of interest close November 30.