Australian tennis great Margaret Court, who holds the all-time record for Grand Slam singles titles with 24, says she feels snubbed by the tennis community and Serena Williams.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Court, 80, said that while she admired 23-time Grand Slam singles winner Williams as a player, Court didn’t “think she ever looked up to me”. .
In the interview, Court says she has become an undesirable name in the tennis community due to her personal beliefs.
OPINION:Margaret Court does not deserve a place of honor
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“I was at Wimbledon this year and nobody even spoke to me. So I thought, ‘Ah, that’s interesting.’ It’s very sad, because a lot of press and TV today, especially in tennis, don’t want to mention my name.”
During the US Open broadcast, however, commentators mentioned Court’s name and career Grand Slam titles when comparing her to Williams.
“It’s only when they have to, because I still hold so many records. In 2020, I was supposed 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 had won the Slam and I was going to be honored in the same way, but no. I didn’t. lost sleep. But the honor hasn’t been there for what I’ve done. In my own nation, I’ve been given titles, but they still prefer not to mention me.
The Court was candid 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 she was not a good role model because she is a lesbian.
Court also defended apartheid in South Africa, which was nothing more than legalized racism.
In the interview, Court defended her accomplishments, suggesting the era she was playing was more competitive than the era of Williams.
Court won his Grand Slam singles titles between 1960 and 1973.
“I would have loved to play back then,” Court said. “I think it’s so much easier. Like I would have liked to take my family or my friends with me. But I couldn’t. I had to go alone or with the national team. People don’t see all that .
“We didn’t have any psychologists or coaches with us. It’s a whole other world. That’s what disappoints me – that today’s players don’t honor the past of the game.”
Court also mentioned that she came back after having children and won three out of four Grand Slams, while “Serena hasn’t won a Grand Slam since” she had a child.
“Serena has played seven years older than me,” Court said. “I finished in my early thirties. People forget that I took two years off. I first retired… when I was 25, thinking I would never come back to tennis. I I was 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 Williams didn’t 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 wrong that Williams didn’t mention her opponent more when she was speaking,” Court said. “We were taught to honor our opponent. We respected each other.”
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