Australian tennis great Margaret Court, who at 24 holds the all-time record for Grand Slam singles titles, says she feels snubbed by the tennis community and by Serena Williams.
in a (n Interview with the Daily TelegraphCourt, 80, said that while Court has admired Williams, a 23-time singles Grand Slam winner, as a player, Court “don’t think she’s ever admired me.”
In the interview, Court says her personal beliefs have made her an unwelcome name in the tennis community.
“I was at Wimbledon this year and nobody spoke to me. So I was like, ‘Ah, that’s interesting.’ It’s very sad because a lot of press and television today, especially in tennis, don’t want to give my name.”
However, during the US Open broadcast, commentators mentioned Court’s name and career Grand Slam titles she had won when comparing her to Williams.
“Only if they have to because I still hold so many records. In 2020 I was due to come to Wimbledon for the 50th anniversary of my calendar grand slam. But then COVID struck, 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 would be honored in the same way, but no. I haven’t lost any sleep over it. But the honor wasn’t there for what I did. Titles have been bestowed upon me in my own nation, but they would still prefer not to mention me.
The court has been open about her views on same-sex marriage and transgender people, which she said are the work of the “devil”. In 1990, she criticized Martina Navratilova for not being a good role model because she was a lesbian.
The court has also defended apartheid in South Africa, which was nothing more than legalized racism.
In the interview, Court defended her achievements and suggested that the era she played in was more competitive than Williams’ era.
Court won her Grand Slam singles titles between 1960 and 1973.
“I would have loved to have played in that era,” Court said. “I think it’s so much easier. I would have loved to have taken family or friends with me. But I couldn’t. I had to go alone or with the national team. People see that not everything.
“We didn’t have any psychologists or coaches with us. It’s a whole different world. That disappoints me – that players today don’t honor the game’s past.”
Court also noted that she came back after having kids and won three out of four Slams, while “Serena hasn’t won a Slam since” she had a kid.
“Serena played seven more years than I did,” Court said. “I finished in my early 30s. People forget I took a two-year hiatus. I first retired … when I was 25 and thought I never would go back to tennis. I got married, had a baby, but then I had one of my best years, winning 24 tournaments out of 25.”
Court went on to say she was disappointed that Williams didn’t give much credit to Ajla Tomljanovic, the Australian tennis star who eliminated Williams in the third round of the US Open on Friday.
“I hated that Williams stopped mentioning her opponent when she was speaking,” Court said. “We were taught to honor our opponent. We respected each other.”