Tennis legend Margaret Court has broken her silence on the drama surrounding the ‘GOAT’ debate with recently retired Serena Williams, claiming the US star ‘never admired’ her even though she holds the record for most Grand Slam titles .
The 80-year-old is considered by many to be the greatest player of all time (GOAT), having won 24 Slams and 192 total titles in her illustrious career.
Williams was eliminated just a stroke short of Court’s record, although in the run-up to the US Open she bizarrely claimed she had “already broken the record” by citing the fact that 13 of Court’s wins came in the amateur era.
The Australian has previously declined to comment on William’s claim that she was in fact the greatest player of all time, but enough was enough on Sunday.
Serena Williams (left) and Margaret Court (right), pictured together in 2016, are two of the greatest tennis players of all time
“Serena, I admired her as a player but I don’t think she ever admired me,” Court told the Telegraph.
When Williams said goodbye to the US Open and tennis in general last week; Stars from all walks of life, be it film, tennis or icons like Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama rushed to congratulate her on being the “greatest of all time”.
It was an onslaught of content unprecedented for a female athlete, with even the US Open organizers flashing on the stadium’s electronic tickers.
Tennis star Billie Jean King, who backs Williams via Court, congratulated Williams after she retired after losing at the US Open
Golf legend Tiger Woods said Williams was the greatest of all time and inspired a generation
Legendary TV presenter Oprah Winfrey praised Williams after her retirement
Again, despite Court having won most of the Grand Slams.
If you factor in their combined tally at the major events – singles, doubles and mixed – Court has won 64 matches to Williams’ 39, a huge difference between the two on the biggest stage.
But Court and her stellar record have been completely whitewashed and nearly erased from history over the past decade.
Margaret Court holds the Australian Open trophy which she won 11 times in 2020
This is likely due to her controversial and outspoken views, particularly after she attempted to lead the vote against legalizing gay marriage in Australia and then announced she would be boycotting Qantas for its support of the LGBTQI+ community.
The Australian tennis legend and Pentecostal minister said she suffered “a lot of bullying” because of her faith; and while controversial and hurtful to many, they are not illegal and certainly do not alter what she has achieved in tennis.
While Martina Navratilova, a tennis great and gay woman, called her views “scary,” Court refuses to back down – and insists her beliefs shouldn’t inform the “GOAT” debate.
“I became a Christian when I was number 1 in the world. You’ll never change that,’ she said.
Margaret Court has finally broken her silence and insisted she should be declared a ‘GOAT’.
One of Williams’ main points as to why she should be considered the greatest is that some slams were won by Court before the “Open era” when professionals and amateurs mixed.
“There are people who say I’m not the GOAT because I failed Court’s record, which she set before the ‘Open era’ that started in 1968,” Williams told Vogue ahead of the US Open.
She also claimed that having a baby (her daughter Olympia is 5) destroyed her chances of more Grand Slam wins.
“The way I see it, I should have had more than 30 Grand Slams. I had my chances after coming back from childbirth,” Williams said.
“I went from a cesarean to a second pulmonary embolism to a Grand Slam final. I played while breastfeeding. I played through postpartum depression.’
Serena Williams wears a custom sweater with the anagram GOAT, which refers to Greatest Of All Time
Court dismissed that argument, saying that she too had children during her tennis career and would have much preferred to have played in that generation.
“I came back after two babies! “After having the first baby, I won three of the four Slams. And Serena hasn’t won a Slam since,’ she said.
“I would have loved to have played during that period – I think it’s so much easier. As amateurs we had to play every week because we didn’t have any money. Now they can take off when they want and fly back when they want.
“We would be gone for 10 months. That’s why I first retired in 1965 because I used to be homesick,” says a defiant Court.
It’s a debate that will likely never truly be settled, with Court lamenting the lack of respect current players have (or don’t have) for the game’s past greats.
Margaret Court with Andy Murray (left) and John Newcombe (right) at the Wimbledon celebrations in July. The court claims no one spoke to her at the event
Serena Williams serves in her last game – a loss to Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic at the US Open last week
US Open organizers introduced Williams as the “greatest tennis player of all time” before each of their matches, and Court said they declined to invite her to the tournament, much like French Open organizers did.
Despite being invited to the Wimbledon centenary celebrations in July, Court claims “no one spoke to her”.
It seems tennis has decided Williams is the real “GOAT” – but no one can take her Court’s remarkable record; These titles cannot be completely erased from history.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/tennis/article-11179893/Australian-tennis-legend-Margaret-Court-slams-Serena-Williams-Open-exit-retirement.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Australian tennis legend Margaret Court beats Serena Williams after US Open elimination and retirement