I had the great fortune to meet Margaret Court this year after the Williams Sisters' Australian Open Women's Singles Final. As expected, she was courteous, listened intently to my questions about why she was no longer active in the seniors and exhibition events. Her reply was a simple "It's no secret that my life has taken a different direction". And this from a woman who was being honored with the renaming of Court 1 the Margaret Court Arena this year.
I feel in any conversation about the greatest ever, one has to consider a player's participation in the game- their exposure to opponents, and how much doubles they also played together with singles. Margaret Court has the best overall record in singles, doubles and mixed doubles of any man or woman EVER!
While she will never be remembered as the flashiest or most brilliant shotmaker (e.g. Goolagong, King), her consistent ability to overpower her greatest rivals makes her the greatest ever.