Margaret Smith Court
MARGARET SMITH COURT

Australia
Born 16/7/1942
Australian Open 1960,1961,1962,1963,1964,1965,1966,1969,1970,1971,1973
French Open 1962,1964,1969,1970,1973
Wimbledon 1963,1965,1970
US Open 1962,1965,1969,1970,1973

Margaret Smith Court holds the record for Grand Slam singles titles (24). Almost half of these came at her native Australian championships where she often benefited from weak fields. Margaret Smith was originally a left hander but was taught to play right handed. Smith was a determined player who trained assiduously. She was a serve volleyer and hit the ball hard for a woman of the wooden racket era. She won her first Grand Slam event at the Australian in 1960 and over the next 13 years lost just one match there (the 1968 final to her great rival Billie-Jean King), winning 11 titles (the most by any player at a single Grand Slam singles event). Although some of her wins were against slightly weaker fields, she did beat Billie-Jean Moffitt and Maria Bueno in 1965, Billie-Jean again in 1969 and Evonne Goolagong in the 1971 and 1973 finals. Her title haul at the other Grand Slams was reduced to more human proportions. She won the French Open five times (over Lesley Turner, Bueno, Ann Jones, Helga Niessen and Chris Evert). Margaret won the U. S. Open five times (over Darlene Hard, Moffitt, Nancy Richey, Rosie Casals and Goolagong). She won Wimbledon just three times (in 1963 over Billie-Jean, 1965 over Bueno and 1970 over Billie-Jean). In 1970 (by now Margaret Court) she became the second woman to win the Grand Slam. In 1973 she was still at the peak of her form but she was overcome by nerves in a Battle of the Sexes match against Bobby Riggs, losing easily. Many years later the second court at the Australian Open was named the Margaret Court Arena (it should have been called the Margaret Court Court!)

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