- Margaret Court, the most successful tennis player of all time, slammed Serena Williams in a rare interview.
- “Serena, I admired her as a player,” Court said. “But I don’t think she ever admired me.”
- Court also criticized Williams for not congratulating her opponent after the last match of her career.
Serena Williams came under fire from tennis legend Margaret Court, who in a rare interview accused Williams of not admiring her.
Court, 80, holds the all-time record for Grand Slam singles titles at 24 – one more than Williams, who played on Saturday in what she says will be the last match of her career.
Last month, Williams was asked about the potential to match Court’s Grand Slam record before retiring. Williams replied: “I already broke the record” and doesn’t seem to acknowledge Court’s greater number of titles.
Court won 13 of their 24 titles before the Open era began in 1968.
“Serena, I admired her as a player” The court told the Daily Telegraph. “But I don’t think she ever admired me.”
“I would have liked to have played during that period. I think it’s so much easier,” she added. “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 don’t see it all.”
“We didn’t have psychologists or coaches with us. It’s a different world. It disappoints me that players today don’t honor the game’s past.”
The Australian also slammed Williams for not congratulating her opponent Ajla Tomljanovic after their last match.
Williams had said after losing to Tomljanovic in the fourth round of the US Open: “I tried, but Ajla just played a little bit better.”
“I hated that Williams stopped mentioning her opponent when she was speaking,” Court said. “We were taught to be behavioral role models for young people.
“We were taught to honor our opponent. You have learned from your losses.
In addition to criticizing Williams, Court also spoke out in favor of being ostracized by the broader tennis community.
Court is a pastor in Australia and has previously spoken out against same-sex marriage, calling transgender children the work of the “devil”.
Her comments have seen her come under fire from many within the sport, including Tennis Australia, although it has been widespread calls from tennis fans for renaming Margaret Court Arena at Melbourne Park.
“It’s very sad because a lot of press and TV channels today, especially in tennis, don’t want to give my name,” she said.
“Only if I have to because I still hold so many records.”
“I think people worry that I’m preaching the gospel or something,” she added. “But I just love helping young people.
“I’ve helped people overcome depression, helped mend broken lives. There are many people in sport who need help. But in sports, it’s like they’re scared that someone is Christian. How sad.”