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Margaret Court blasts Serena Williams over grand slam record, GOAT status, tennis, interview

Aussie tennis legend Margaret Court has taken aim at the retiring Serena Williams after the retirement of the American powerhouse.

Court won 24 grand slam titles in the 1960s and early 70s in her unparalleled career, including a calendar Grand Slam in 1970.

But the devout Christian’s achievements have often been overshadowed in recent years because of her vocal opposition to same-sex marriage and support of gay conversion therapy.

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In the wake of 40-year-old Williams announcing her retirement after the US Open, where she was eliminated in the third round by Aussie Alja Tomljanovic, Court will hang on to the grand slam record the American had long coveted.

Williams was stranded on 23 grand slam wins since her last title at the Australian Open in 2017, despite making four more finals and two more semi-finals in the following five years.

Despite falling short, Williams was labeled the GOAT (greatest of all-time) by the US Open in the fanfare before each of her US Open match in her farewell tournament.

Speaking in an interview with The Telegraph UKCourt said: “Serena, I’ve admired her as a player, but I don’t think she has ever admired me.”

Court also blasted Williams for her post-match interview after being beaten by Tomljanovic.

“I thought it was bad that Williams didn’t mention her opponent more when she spoke,” she said.

“We were taught to be role models for the young, in how we behaved. We were taught to honor our opponent. You learned from your losses. We respected one another.”

Court also lashed out at tennis, claiming after being invited to Wimbledon this year, “nobody even spoke to me”.

“It’s very sad, because a lot of the press and television today, particularly in tennis, don’t want to mention my name,” Court said.

“It’s only when they have to, because I still hold so many records. In 2020, I was meant to be coming to Wimbledon for the 50th anniversary of my calendar grand slam.

“But then Covid hit, so the honor never happened. 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 lose any sleep over it. But the honor has not been there for what I did do. In my own nation, I have been given titles, but they would still rather not mention me.”

Before the US Open, Williams mentioned Court in her retirement letter, leaving little doubt she believed she deserved to be remembered as the greatest in history.

“There are people who say I’m not the GOAT because I didn’t pass Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam titles, which she achieved before the ‘open era’ that began in 1968,” Williams wrote.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want that record. Obviously I do. But day to day, I’m really not thinking about her. If I’m in a grand slam final, then yes, I am thinking about that record. Maybe I thought about it too much, and that didn’t help.

“The way I see it, I should have had 30-plus grand slams. I had my chances after coming back from giving birth. I went from a C-section to a second pulmonary embolism to a grand slam final. I played while breastfeeding. I played through postpartum depression.

“But I didn’t get there. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. I didn’t show up the way I should have or could have. But I showed up 23 times, and that’s fine. Actually it’s extraordinary. But these days, if I have to choose between building my tennis resume and building my family, I choose the latter.”

However, the Court also had a response to this as she also returned after having a child, winning the 1973 US Open, French Open and Australian Open after having her first child.

“Serena has played seven years more than I did,” Court noted.

“I finished in my early 30s. People forget that I took two years out. I first retired, like Ash Barty, when I was 25, thinking I would never return to tennis. I got married, had a baby, but then had one of my best years, winning 24 out of 25 tournaments.”

‘Cut her off’: Court comments slammed

On a near yearly basis, Court’s name on the showcourt at Melbourne Park is debated, while her Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AC) award in 2021 sparked a wave of backlash.

In 2021, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said he was “quite sick” of talking about Court every summer and tweeted: “I don’t want to give this person’s disgraceful, whiskered views any oxygen.

“But when others insist on rewarding them with this country’s highest honor – I think it’s worth saying again. Grand Slam wins don’t give you some right to spew hatred and create division. Nothing does.”

Court has become a divisive figure for her outspoken views on homosexuality, conversion therapy, same-sex marriage and transgender people.

Court claimed she was “making a stand for my beliefs” and “have had a lot of bullying”.

Court’s new comments have also been slammed.

Cultural critic Soray McDonald posted: “Serena isn’t considered the GOAT because she’s not a raving homophobe. She’s considered the GOAT because her game is objectively far more athletic and competitive than anyone Margaret Court ever faced, much less beat. Anyone with sense can see they are not remotely comparable.”

Writer Charlotte Clymer wrote: “Friendly reminder that Margaret Court supported Apartheid in South Africa. That, alone, should be more than enough for you fools to cut her off from the tennis world completely.”

Racquet Magazine’s Ben Rothenberg tweeted: “If there’s a silver lining to Serena Williams retiring, it’s that we no longer have to mention Margaret Court with any regularity.

There’s no good reason to be giving this woman a platform to mope about being (deservedly) ostracised because of her hurtful words and actions.

“And it’s not an issue of tennis people being ‘fearful of somebody being a Christian’ as this article lets her conclude. There’s lots of devout Christians in tennis tour who are fully embraced and popular.

“The difference with Margaret Court is that she’s consistently been a jerk.”


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