The 24-time Grand Slam singles champion Margaret Court has hit out at the American great Serena Williams, claiming that the 23-time majors winner didn’t admire her like she did.
The legendary Australian Court went onto add that Williams didn’t mention her opponent Ajla Tomljanovic in her speech after losing in the third round of the 2022 US Open. Williams, who has been chasing her record-equalling 24th major trophy, recently announced that the countdown had begun for her to evolve, with the US Open organisers celebrating her career in each of her matches at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“Serena, I’ve admired her as a player,” Court told the Daily Telegraph. “But I don’t think she has ever admired me.”
The 80-year-old Court further said that her achievements were not comparable with those of Williams as the latter played “seven years more” than her. Court highlighted that she won three out of four majors after having a baby unlike Williams, who hasn’t won a single since having a daughter in September 2017.
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“I finished in my early 30s. People forget that I took two years out. I first retired … 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.
“I came back after two babies. After having the first baby, I won three out of the four slams. And Serena hasn’t won a slam since. I would love to have played in this era. I think it’s so much easier.
“How I would love to have taken family or friends along with me. But I couldn’t. I had to go on my own or with the national team. People don’t see all that. We didn’t have psychologists or coaches with us. It’s a whole different world. That’s what disappoints me that players today don’t honour the past of the game.”
After crashing out of the 2022 US Open, Williams paid tribute to her parents, sister Venus and near and dear ones. She even teased with a return at the Australian Open in the post-match press conference.
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“I thought it was bad that Williams didn’t mention her opponent more when she spoke. We were taught to honour our opponent. We respected one another,” Australian Court said.
Court also rued that her name is not mentioned much in spite of her record-breaking achievements.
“A lot of the press and television today, particularly in tennis, don’t want to mention my name. 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,” Court said.
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