Has tennis forgotten Margaret Court?

Andrew Jardine Roar Guru

By Andrew Jardine, Andrew Jardine is a Roar Guru

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    The media appear to have forgotten – or do not care – about Margaret Court amid the hullabaloo of Serena Williams matching the singles grand slam record.

    The fact is that Australian Margaret Court holds the open-era of the most singles grand slam victories, not German Stefi Graf. Court won 24 and Graf 22.

    Serena’s feat may have American flags fluttering, but she still has a way to go to catch Court.

    In 1970 Court became the first woman during the open era (and the second woman in history) to win the singles grand slam (all four major tournaments in the same calendar year).

    She also won 19 women’s doubles and 21 mixed doubles titles, giving her a record 64 major titles overall. That’s another record that will be tough to match.

    Much is often made of career grand slams in tennis. However only two players have achieved the calendar feat in tennis, both of them Australians.

    Rod Laver did it twice with Court completing it once.

    Cameras often focus on the 77-year-old Laver every year sitting in the stands at the Australian Open as the younger generation trade blows, but most times I fail to catch a glimpse of Court in the crowds.

    Laver and Court are hardly forgotten Australian heroes, but their feats appear to slowly been buried by international journalists in the mist of time.

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    The Crowd Says (33)

    • January 31st 2016 @ 6:24am
      a cross said | January 31st 2016 @ 6:24am | ! Report

      Poor research. Graf (a German! ) won the Grand Slam in 1988.

    • January 31st 2016 @ 7:11am
      Kersi Meher-Homji said | January 31st 2016 @ 7:11am | ! Report

      Ken Rosewall, another tennis great, is rarely shown on the TV screen while Rod Laver is constantly visible.

      • Roar Guru

        January 31st 2016 @ 5:11pm
        Andrew Jardine said | January 31st 2016 @ 5:11pm | ! Report

        Almost every critic is writing about how Serena was trying to match Graf’s Open-era “record”. It’s a case of not letting the facts get in the way of a “good” story.

        The fact is that Court won 24 singles slams and Graf 22. Reporters have access to the internet like everyone else, and a quick check will show that Court holds the record.

        My mistake about the Graf slam in 1988. I should have checked, but so should others when they didn’t check the feats of Court.

        • February 1st 2016 @ 4:04pm
          Dave said | February 1st 2016 @ 4:04pm | ! Report

          Now you’re talking. 👏

    • January 31st 2016 @ 7:45am
      Onside said | January 31st 2016 @ 7:45am | ! Report

      Good information, and a most valid question. I wonder what the answer is.

      • Roar Guru

        January 31st 2016 @ 5:05pm
        Andrew Jardine said | January 31st 2016 @ 5:05pm | ! Report

        Correct, My mistake about Graf’s slam. However:

        Graf won 22 Grand Slam singles titles.[3] Her 22 singles titles is second all-time behind Margaret Court (24), and marks the record for most Major wins by a tennis player (male or female) since the introduction of the Open Era in 1968.

        In 1988, she became the first and only tennis player (male or female) to achieve the Golden Slam by winning all four Grand Slam singles titles and the Olympic gold medal in the same calendar year,[4] furthermore, she is the only tennis player to have won each Grand Slam event at least 4 times.

    • January 31st 2016 @ 12:40pm
      Dr.Canuck said | January 31st 2016 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

      In fact…Steffi Graf won the “Golden Slam” in 1988 – all four majors plus the Olympic gold medal. Margaret Court never did that!! Now don’t get me wrong, I think that Court’s feats are greater than that of Steffi Graf, but don’t try to play down others to make your choice as GOAT stand up. The beauty of sports is trying to compare players or teams across generations, when in reality there is no way to do it and everyone does it differently. IMO Serena is the best ever…..never has a player dominated everyone as much as her in women’s tennis. Take that Margaret Court!!

      • January 31st 2016 @ 2:20pm
        Mike from tari said | January 31st 2016 @ 2:20pm | ! Report

        Pray tell how Margaret Court could win an Olympic gold when tennis was not played at the olympics, face it she won more slams than any other.

        • January 31st 2016 @ 3:26pm
          Dr.Canuck said | January 31st 2016 @ 3:26pm | ! Report

          This is the beauty of this argument! Is Michael Jordan better than Bill Russell?? or is LeBron better than them both?? Is Messi better than Maradona?? Margaret Court played against a much shallower pool of talent worldwide (no “ova’s” or “ich’s” in those days!!), but she dominated. Steffi Graf won most of her slams after “the stabbing” (would she have won as many if Seles was around the whole time?). Love the discussions because there is no right answer. That being said, there’s not doubt that Court needs more exposure around Grand Slam time outside Australia.

      • Roar Guru

        January 31st 2016 @ 5:04pm
        Andrew Jardine said | January 31st 2016 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

        Correct, My mistake about Graf’s slam. However:

        Graf won 22 Grand Slam singles titles.[3] Her 22 singles titles is second all-time behind Margaret Court (24), and marks the record for most Major wins by a tennis player (male or female) since the introduction of the Open Era in 1968.

        In 1988, she became the first and only tennis player (male or female) to achieve the Golden Slam by winning all four Grand Slam singles titles and the Olympic gold medal in the same calendar year,[4] furthermore, she is the only tennis player to have won each Grand Slam event at least 4 times.

      • January 29th 2017 @ 8:20am
        Harry G said | January 29th 2017 @ 8:20am | ! Report

        What you have to remember is that the only way you can compare players over different time period is numbers.. And that means grand slam wins.. I do happen to think that Serena is the best female player ever to grace a tennis court and I’m willing for her to equal and break Margaret courts record of 24 slams. The debate of who is the best female tennis player ever will then be undisputed. Until that happens Margaret remains the best player and I’m afraid no one can argue with that.

    • January 31st 2016 @ 2:27pm
      Onside said | January 31st 2016 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

      Andrew, I sent your article to several friends. Below is one reply, that in the spirit of things ,confirms your story. I have removed a couple of personal references to protect my mates identity .

      The article is on the money. I went to a Davis Cup lunch last Friday put on by the Davis Cup Foundation of which Neale Fraser is the convenor. Anyway they were celebrating the 1960, 61 and 62 Davis Cups. Rocket was of course there, along with Frank Sedgeman, Fred Stolle and Ken Rosewall. Others there were Lleyton Hewitt, Darren Cahill, Wally Masur and a number of current players.

      Margaret Court was there with her husband and was over looked until part way through the lunch someone remembered to introduce her. Very poor form and in keeping with the Roar sports site commentary.

    • January 31st 2016 @ 2:58pm
      Dave said | January 31st 2016 @ 2:58pm | ! Report

      None of you know the true meaning of the tennis term ‘Grand Slam’. It just seems to roll off everyone’s tongue as a must say term when commenting on tennis. The four majors played every year are just that ‘Majors’ not Grand Slams. The original and true meaning of the tennis term ‘Grand Slam’ is the winning of the four ‘Majors’ in the same year, as taken from the book titled ‘the encyclopaedia of tennis’ edited by the great sports writer Javk Pollard. In the last twenty years or so the reporting referring to players winning ‘Grand Slams’ is inaccurate. The last players to win a grand slam are Graf and Laver not any of the current crop. Fact. Five players have won 6 Grand Slams in the history of the game. Budge, Laver x2, Connolly, Court and Graf. Also fact.

      Comment from The Roar’s iPhone app.

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