Margaret Smith Court -
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2002, 02:59 AM Thread Starter
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Margaret Smith Court

I was just wanting some information on her.I looked on the newspaper,and it showed the past AO champions.I was shocked when Margaret Smith Court won the AO 7 years in a row!
How many Slams did she won all together?Which ones?How old is she now?Some information would really be appreciated,Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2002, 03:00 AM
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All I Know is she won 24 slams.


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2002, 03:00 AM
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I think she won more slams than anybody ... 24 (?)
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2002, 04:37 AM
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She has the most Slams in singles (24--11 Australian, 5 French, 3 Wimbledon, and 5 U.S., with two additional U.S. amateur titles), and she also has the most combined in singles, doubles and mixed. I don't recall the number in all, I think it's around 56, a little ahead of Martina Navratilova. She won the Grand Slam in Singles in 1970 and Mixed Doubles with Ken Fletcher I think in 1963. She also won three out of four in 1973 towards the end of her career. Her head to head against Billie Jean King is well in her favor, I think it's 20-something to 10, but I'm guessing at that. King was considered her greatest rival, but King was injured a lot then so her record is a little looked down on versus King. While her record in Singles is often put down or overlooked because 7 of her 11 Australian titles (1960-1966) came when most top players didn't play there, she did win those tournaments. I think she took a couple of years off in the late 1960's to have a baby or two, but returned to win her Grand Slam in Singles. She's been compared as the women's Pete Sampras. She was a serve and volleyer and I think tall and athletic. I never saw her play.

Anyway, if you watched the 1999 French Open final, she was the trophy presenter. She has apparently become extremely religious in the last 10-20 years, and I think she's even a minister and runs a church in Australia, where she is from. We're talking a real Bible thumper, not the subtle kind. I read in "Hard Courts" she publicly ragged on Martina Navratilova after the latter's 1990 Wimbledon win as a poor role model for your girls because of her lesbianism. So, you can imagine, Margaret is not real popular these days. I don't think she's involved in tennis much and does not do any commentating as far as I know. She is in her late 50's. She did appear at the Wimbledon parade of champions in 2000.

She played Bobbie Riggs before Billie Jean King did and lost badly on Mother's Day and it was dubbed "The Mother's Day Massacre." When Billie Jean King found out, she said: "I knew I had to do two things. One, I had to play Bobbie Riggs. Two, I had to beat him." She did!

That's all I know.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2002, 04:43 AM
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One more thing: She did beat the nubile teenaged Christine Marie Evert in the 1973 French Open final, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4. Chris has always been pretty rough stuff on clay. That, along with 4 other French Open titles, I don't think she can be written off as simply a grass court wonder, though all of her other majors were on grass.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2002, 04:51 AM
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I saw her play towards the end of her career and she beat Evonne Goolagong in the finals of the U.S. Open. I remember she looked clumsy compared to Evonne. But then, everybody did.

Court did win 11 Aussie titles but, as Celeste said, hardly any players bothered to go all the way to Australia back then. I believe it was a 3 day trip. I really haven't heard any media types refer to Court as one of the "best of all time" even though she did win 24 Slams.

She is a bible-thumper now and, besides ragging on Martina, I believe she refused to meet with Alex Stevenson a couple of years ago because Alex is illegitimate. Court was Stevenson's "hero" so that was kind of mean, I think.

Court also said she couldn't believe Steffi Graf would give up tennis and just travel with Agassi and she was sure Steffi would make a come back. She didn't say it, but I got the impression she didn't approve of Steffi living in sin with Andre. . Court said that she still missed tennis and nothing else in her life, not even her 3 children, can fill the void. (Nice mother . . .)

Anyway, the last time I saw her she was presenting the winners trophy to Steffi Graf at the French Open 1999. I have no idea why they picked her to present the trophy but I guess they needed somebody. I don't know what else she does to earn money nor do I know if any of those 3 children play tennis (or speak to their mother)
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2002, 05:08 AM
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Yes, I remember now some of those comments! LOL! Anyway, she has also commented upon Venus. She said something last year to the effect that to be No. 1, you had to win the Slams, but also be willing to up and play another event the next week that was not prestigious. I can't remember her exact comments, but it was something to that effect. She has also said that she believes that if God was in her life earlier in her life, she would have won more Slam titles. Yeesh, Michael Chang all over again, as if no other player was religious. I don't think God fixes matches based on who is a true believer, tennis is just a game after all! If that was the case, Chanda Rubin and Tara Snyder would have loads of Slam titles.

I read something recently on the Internet, she attended Mass (I guess she was born Catholic) before the 1970 French Open final (which she won) and it was all in French and Latin and she didn't understand what they were saying and wondered where God was in her life. Like it or not, Margaret seems to have the calling!
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2002, 05:08 AM
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Unfortunately Margaret Court was on TV the other day being very vocal against homosexuality (something to do with changing the consent age in Western Australia, maybe?) which ruined any good impresssions I may have had of her.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2002, 11:19 AM
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I only know she said that Nav wasn`t an example for the youth because she is open about being gay. I guess Steffi is neither anymore after getting pregnant before being married.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2002, 03:14 PM
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Margaret's reference to that if she discivered religion during her playing days she would have won more slams comes from the fact that she became extremely nervous during her matches. Her first Wimbledon as no. 1 seed, resulted in a first round dumping by a young Billy Jean King! Therefore she thought that this religious belief may have settled her nerves in big matches.

Yes, she was never really liked during her tour days, esp with other players. She was critical of BJK and Casals ect.... who dared to demand equal prize money and were very much women's libbers.
She had a very rough time with tennis establishment in Aust. with her financing her own tours overseas because of run-ins with Nell Hall (Harry Hopmans 1st wife) who was the chaperone of the Aust touring women's team.

But she could play on any surface, particularly clay being a French Winner 5 times, and I think 1 or 2 of her US Open titles were on clay at Forest Hills??????? I beleive she grew up on 'en-tous-cas' courts in Albury her home twon, so the surface wasn't foreign to her.
She was very helpful to Evonne Goolagong in her early days being a mentor to her.
She has started her own ministry, but does a little tennis coaching on the side.

She is quite outspokne on Tennis coaching in Aust, thinking that squad coaching has lead to the lack of womens talent in Aust.

There's more to life than just being happy.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2002, 03:50 PM
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I don't think God fixes matches based on who is a true believer
If that were the case then Michael Chang would have won 24 Slams instead of just the one.

I think it's wonderful to be religious and to know that God is in your life and to embrace Him. However, I don't think a person should act as if God loves them and ONLY them. God loves all of us, no matter what we've done in our lives.

I never used to even think about Court even after she said those things about Martina. However, I was very upset when she wouldn't meet Alex Stevenson. Alex is a child. It's not her fault who her parents are or whether or not they were married. I thought Court's comments were totally unnecessary. AND MEAN
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2002, 08:55 PM
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Court's US wins were all on grass.

She wasn't always extremely religious.
Court liked to sip beers in her early days. After she was injured with a twisted back-a faith healer did wonders for it. That may have led her down that path.

Margaret was the first Martina in many respects-doing weights, running track,and doing those strange kangeroo jump exercises Harry Hopman had his male players do. Rosie Casals called her the "Arm" becuase she was so big and strong. Her right arm was once tested for strength and found to be stronger than most MALE athletes.

Here's Marge on herself and God:

Her Aussie titles aren't entirely worthless. Her first win in 1960 featued upsets of world #1 and #2 Maria Bueno and Darlene Hard. 61-62-63-and 64 featured mostly other Aussies, but in those days that still meant other top ten women such as Turner and Lehane(who had the first female two-handed backhand). In 1965 the Fed Cup was in
oz, all the top 10 came, including King and Bueno. The final with Bueno went to 3 sets, where Maria collapsed in the third with cramps from the heat. In those days there were no time outs or breaks like Jen and Hingis had. Maria writhed on court for minutes while the crowd groaned in sympathy, unable to help(touching her meant an automatic default). Maria defaulted.

Her wins in 1966 and 1969 were vs. quality fields, even in 1971 and 1973 she beat Goolagong in the finals.

I'm not wild about Court's beliefs, but that shouldn't influence views on her ability. Court is at or near the top of any all-time list.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2002, 09:58 PM
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I totally agree Rollo, Margaret Court was one of the all time best. I don't always look at how many times someone won a major to say that they were the best. Paulene Betz was run out of the game in the late 1940's and she was the best in the world, would Maureen Connley, Louise Brough, Margaret Dupont or Doris hart have won the titles if Paulene was allowed to play. Would Steffi have won as many titles if Monica wasn't stabbed, Would Margaret Court have won as many titles if the top players played in all the Majors in her day. We'll never know and we can't go by what if's. Someone said that Martina Was weak on clay, I don't agree with that at all, she had to play the greatest clay courter of all time(chris evert) and Chris wasn't weak on grass, she only had to play 3 of the greatest grass court players of all time(Evonne, Billie and Martina). Steffi didn't have a major challange during her run at most of her Grand Slams and that's why she dominated!

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