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Margaret Court Says Serena Williams Doesn't Admire Her and Media Doesn't Honor Her

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 5, 2022

Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Tennis legend Margaret Court lamented what she considers a lack of reverence she receives around the sport, including from fellow legend Serena Williams.

Court told the Telegraph's Oliver Brown she has "admired [Williams] as a player" but added, "I don’t think she has ever admired me."

The 80-year-old also recounted how "nobody even spoke to me" when she attended this year's Wimbledon tournament. For her, it's part of a larger trend:

"It's very sad, because a lot of the press and television today, particularly in tennis, don't want to mention my name. 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."

Court's 24 Grand Slam titles remain the most ever for a women's singles player. She's also one of three women to win all four Grand Slams in a single season.

Nobody disputes Court's place in the sport's history. Her views on some social issues, however, have burned much of the goodwill she otherwise would've generated through her success on the court.

The Australian has made hateful remarks about the LGBTQ+ community, has been outspoken about her opposition to same-sex marriage and once claimed that "tennis is full of lesbians."

In 2017, Casey Dellacqua drew attention to a letter to the editor Court wrote in response to Dellacqua and her partner welcoming a child together. Court wrote "this baby has seemingly been deprived of a father."

Casey Dellacqua OLY @caseydellacqua

Margaret. Enough is enough. <a href="https://t.co/Cl1DtC4aSL">pic.twitter.com/Cl1DtC4aSL</a>

Court also spoke positively about Apartheid-era South Africa in 1970.

"South Africans have this thing better organized than any other country, particularly America," she reportedly said. "I love South Africa. I’ll go back there any time."

Hall of Famers Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe both signaled their desire in 2020 to have Court's name removed from the arena that bears her name at Melbourne Park in Australia.

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