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Former Australian tennis player Margaret Court has sent out a brutal message to Serena Williams in the wake of the icon’s retirement from the sport.
Court holds the record for most Grand Slam titles of any player with 24 across her career in the 1960s and early 70s.
Williams has retired just one short of the record finishing on 23 Grand Slams, a number she has been stranded on since the Australian Open in 2017.
In her last attempt to equal that record, she was eliminated in the third round of the US Open by Aussie Alja Tomljanovic.
Although she has finished her career falling one short of Court’s record she has been heralded as the greatest of all time, both on and off the court.
Court’s recent outspoken opposition to same-sex marriage and controversial views on gay conversion therapy has often seen her tennis achievements overshadowed.
There has been evident simmering tension between Williams and Court with the Australian recently speaking in an interview with Telegraph UK to slam the American.
She said: “Serena, I’ve admired her as a player, but I don’t think she has ever admired me.
The 80-year-old then went on to blast the American’s retirement speech following her defeat.
“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 honour our opponent. You learned from your losses. We respected one another.”
Clearly feeling in a bitter mood the veteran also lashed out at the tennis world for her treatment in recent years.
Friendly reminder that Margaret Court supported Apartheid in South Africa.— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️⚧️🇺🇦 (@cmclymer) September 5, 2022
That, alone, should be more than enough for you fools to cut her off from the tennis world completely.
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.— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) September 4, 2022
The difference with Margaret Court is that she’s consistently been a jerk.
“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 honour 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 honoured in the same way, but no.
“I didn’t lose any sleep over it. But the honour 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.”
Serena Williams had mentioned Court and her 24 Grand Slam title record in her retirement letter penned before the US Open.
She maintained that she believed she should be considered the GOAT despite not surpassing the Australian’s record.