Controversial Australian tennis great Margaret Court has said that if not for her record-breaking career, the tennis world would rather forget about her, stating “nobody even spoke to me” after she was invited to attend Wimbledon.
Despite Court’s domination of the tennis world through the 60s and 70s, winning 24 grand slam titles, the tennis legend’s pious beliefs have overshadowed her achievements.
Now a pastor of Victory Life Centre church, Court told The Telegraph UK that the way the tennis community treats her is upsetting.
“It’s very sad, because a lot of the press and television today, particularly in tennis, don’t want to mention my name,” she said.
“It’s only when they have to, because I still hold so many records. In 2020, I was meant to be coming to Wimbledon for the 50th anniversary of my calendar grand slam. But then COVID hit, so the honour never happened.
“The French Open didn’t invite me, the US Open didn’t invite me. Rod Laver had won the slam and I was going to be honoured in the same way, but no. I didn’t lose any sleep over it.”
Court’s religious beliefs have been widely criticised, with many people surely rejoicing that the 80-year-old never received her 50th-anniversary honour on Australia Day, an honour that was furiously contested.
Margaret Court is going to be honoured on Australia Day. With our highest honour. She shouldn’t, and we need to have the debate before it happens.
Have a read. pic.twitter.com/hFsJ8UOXyz
— Justin Smith (@justinsmithword) January 21, 2021
This award has nothing to do with the tennis she played. She DOES NOT deserve it. Spreading hate towards people who have different beliefs is NOT service to humanity. Her beliefs cause harm to others. This award will be forever devalued for her receiving it.
— Lauren (she/her) (@LollyKells) January 22, 2021
Court’s sermon’s have been known to attract attention, in 2019 Victory Life Centre made headlines when the former tennis pro delivered a sermon stating that pro LGBTQ beliefs were “of the devil”.
The tennis star told the Telegraph that as a result of her staunch anti-LGBTQ beliefs, she’s been the victim of bullying from the LGBTQ community, stating that her church has also suffered.
“Even when I’m helping the poor, some companies are not allowed to give my church things because of my name,” she said.
However, Court maintained that the bullying will never deter her from what she believes is right.
“I became a Christian when I was No.1 in the world,” she said.
“You will never change me from that. This is what I believe and what the Bible says.
“I loved my tennis days, I believe it was a gift from God, and I love what I do today.”