Australian tennis great Margaret Court, who holds the all-time record for Grand Slam singles titles with 24, says she feels slighted by the tennis community and Serena Williams.
In an interview with the Daily TelegraphCourt, 80, said that although she admired Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam singles winner, as a player, Court doesn’t “think she ever admired me.”
In the interview, Court says she became an unwelcome name in the tennis community because of her personal beliefs.
OPINION:Margaret Court does not deserve a place of honor
“I was at Wimbledon this year and no one even spoke to me. So I thought, ‘Ah, that’s interesting.’ It’s very sad because a lot of the press and TV these days, especially in tennis, don’t want to mention my name.”
During the US Open broadcast, however, commentators brought up Court’s name and career Grand Slam titles won comparing her to Williams.
“It’s only when they have to because I still hold so many records. In 2020, I was meant to come to Wimbledon for the 50th anniversary of my Calendar Grand Slam. But then COVID hit, so the honor never happened,” Court. continued.
“The French Open didn’t invite me, the US Open didn’t invite me. Rod Laver won the Slam and I was going to be honored in the same way, but no. I didn’t lose any sleep over it. But the honor wasn’t there for what I did. In my own nation, I got headlines, but they’d still rather not mention me.”
Court was outspoken about her views on same-sex marriage and transgender people, which she said were the work of “the devil”. In 1990, she criticized Martina Navratilova saying that she was not a good role model because she is a lesbian.
A court also defended apartheid in South Africa, which was nothing more than legalized racism.
In the interview, Court defended her achievements, suggesting that the era in which she played was more competitive than the era of Williams.
Court won her Grand Slam singles titles between 1960 and 1973.
“I would have loved to have played in this era,” Court said. “I think it’s much easier. How I would have liked to have taken family or friends with me. But I couldn’t. I had to go on my own or with the national team. People don’t see everything.
“We didn’t have psychologists or coaches with us. It’s a completely different world. That’s what disappoints me – that players today don’t honor the game’s past.”
Court also mentioned that she came back after having children and won three out of four Slams while, “Serena hasn’t won a Slam since” having a child.
“Serena played seven years more than me,” Court said. “I finished in my early 30s. People forget I took two years off. I first retired … when I was 25, thinking I’d never come back to tennis. I got married, had a baby, but then had one of my best years. , winning 24 out of 25 tournaments.”
Court went on to say she was disappointed that Williams did not give much recognition to Ajla Tomljanovic, the Australian tennis star who knocked Williams out of the US Open in the third round on Friday.
“I thought it was bad that Williams didn’t mention her opponent more when she spoke,” Court said. “We were taught to honor our opponent. We respected each other.”
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