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US Open: who is Margareth Court, the legendary player who has just joined Novak Djokovic

Short (first name Margaret).

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US Open: who is Margareth Court, the legendary player who has just joined Novak Djokovic

Short (first name Margaret). A name that has stood the test of time in the small world of tennis. The Australian winner of 24 Grand Slam titles (11 Australian Opens, 5 Roland-Garros, 3 Wimbledon and 5 US Open) won between 1960 and 1973, straddling the end of the amateur era and the start of the he Open era, was Serena Williams' ultimate goal. The American remained stuck at 23 major crowns (Steffi Graf has 22, like Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer stopped at 20, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert at 18…).

Margareth Court added 21 major titles in mixed doubles and another 19 in women's doubles, bringing her total to 64 major titles. In 1970, the Australian became the second woman in history to win all four major tournaments in a calendar year (the first in the Open era), joining American Maureen Connolly who had achieved a full house in 1953 ( Stefanie Graf entering as the third woman to win all four majors in 1988). Three times, in 1965, 1969 and 1973, Margareth Court won three of the four major tournaments.

"Court's career has spanned both amateurs and professionals, with a record of 1,180 wins and 107 losses, the most in history, which equates to a remarkable 92% win rate. . When the Open era began in 1968, Court still compiled 593 victories for 56 defeats”, summarizes the Hall of fame.

Once the rackets were put away, becoming a pastor in Perth, Margareth Court (81) created controversy because of her homophobic remarks, as in an interview with Australian radio in 2017: “There are many lesbians in tennis. There are a lot of professional lesbian players. When I was playing, there were already some but now they are everywhere. She added that transgender children were the work of "the devil." That's what Hitler did, and that's what Communism did: penetrate the minds of children. There is a plot in our nation and in the nations of the world to penetrate the minds of our children. »

Repeated outings that had drawn strong criticism in the world of tennis, in particular from Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova. John McEnroe called her a "crazy aunt" and assured that the "only list that is longer than Margaret Court's titles is that of her offensive and homophobic comments." Some had even asked that the “Margarateh Court” (7,500 seats) at Melbourne Park, venue of the Australian Open, be renamed.

In 2020, invited during the Australian Open to a small ceremony, Margareth Court regretted not having been able to express herself: “They wanted to honor me, but not celebrate me because of what I could have say. The tennis world points the finger at me and discriminates against me for everything I have done. It's very sad. I think they think that because I'm a pastor, I'm necessarily going to give a sermon. »

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