12 March 2024 | Tennis Queensland

After 35 years of service, seasoned tennis official David Herbener called time on an impressive career at the recent 2024 Brisbane International. Herbener leaves behind a rich legacy, exemplified by his outstanding passion and dedication to the game.

David’s officiating journey began in 1989 as a Line Official. Over the years, he became a respected figure among the Queensland officiating family, forging lasting friendships and leaving an indelible mark on the tennis community. As a line umpire coach/evaluator, he shared his wisdom and insights with many Queensland officials, guiding them to officiate in the Brisbane International and even the Australian Open finals. His ability to communicate procedures effectively and his interest in individual growth earned him great respect from both new and seasoned officials. David continued to show an unwavering commitment to the game at every tournament he attended, he was the first to arrive and the last to leave. Ensuring that every court was prepared to perfection.

His passion for the game started long before his career began, growing up in a ’tennis family’. Following in his father Ed Herbener’s footsteps, David transitioned from being a ballboy and scoreboard operator at the old Milton Tennis Centre to a Line Umpire. His family’s tennis legacy continued with his father serving as a referee, his sister achieving the status of Australian Open Chief Umpire, and his younger sister becoming a Court Supervisor/Line Umpire.

Officials play an important role in the tennis world, ensuring fair play, upholding the rules, and contributing to the overall integrity of the game. David’s three decades of dedicated service showcase his impeccable officiating skills but also his ability to nurture and guide aspiring officials and his support in shaping the tennis experience for players, spectators, and fellow officials alike.

David’s journey was filled with remarkable highlights, including officiating at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the first Davis Cup World Group tie in Mildura, and the first Australian Open in 1993. His distinguished career at the Australian Open included officiating in 11 men’s Semifinals out of the 12 years he served as a Line Official.

Tennis Australia Chief Umpire (and proud sister of David) Cheryl Jenkins said, “David has been a valued and respected member of our Queensland officiating family. He has been generous with his time to help developing officials, sharing his knowledge and learnings from past experiences.”

“Over the years there have been many fond moments with my brother, especially of us being the few sibling officials selected for the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Each time we visit Mum and Dad’s home, we see a photo in our officiating uniform from the Olympics, a lovely reminder of this achievement.”

Tennis Queensland Officiating Development Coordinator Phil Waight said, “David has always been a team player, full of knowledge and advice for fellow officials. We will miss him around the tennis courts.”

Signing off on an incredible 35 years of service, David farewelled his officiating career with one final tournament, the 2024 Australian Open.

In retirement, David is most looking forward to enjoying his golf and supporting his local NRL team, with his officiating legacy set to continue in those that he inspired and mentored across years of service.

Thank you and congratulations on an outstanding career David.

Want to start your officiating journey, learn more here.