Margaret Court Criticizes Serena Williams, Says She doesn't Recieve The Credit She Deserves - UBITENNIS
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Margaret Court Criticizes Serena Williams, Says She doesn’t Recieve The Credit She Deserves

The outspoken tennis legend claims she has been excluded from the sport due to her religious beliefs.

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The most decorated Grand Slam singles champion in history has accused Serena Williams of failing to give her as much admiration as she gives her. 

 

Margaret Court has also criticized the American for failing to acknowledge Ana Tomljanovic following her loss to her in the third round of the US Open. An encounter which is suspected to be the last singles match Williams will play in her career. The 80-year-old tennis Great has won 24 major tournaments during her career which is one more than Williams. 

“Serena, I’ve admired her as a player,” Court said during a rare interview with The Daily Telegraph. “But I don’t think she has ever admired me.”

Continuing to speak out about the former world No.1, Court said it was ‘bad’ that she didn’t speak about Tomljanovic following their clash at the Arthur Ashe Stadium. Williams lost the match 7-5, 6-7(4), 6-1. 

“I thought it was bad that Williams didn’t mention her opponent more when she spoke,” she says. “We were taught to honour our opponent. We respected one another.”

Despite her array of achievements, Court is a divisive figure. She claims she has been excluded from the sport due to her Christian beliefs which have generated controversy in the past. Especially concerning the LGBT community. In the past she has said that the women’s tour was ‘full of lesbians‘, described rival Martina Navratilova as a ‘bad role model’ due to her sexuality, boycotted Qantas airlines due to their support of marriage equality and publicly criticised former player Casey Dellacqua for having a baby with her same-sex partner by writing a letter to a newspaper. 

Court, who is now a Christian pastor, claims she received little recognition during her time at this year’s Wimbledon Championships. It is tradition for the tournament to invite former champions to attend. 

“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. But the honour has not been there for what I did do. In my own nation, I have been given titles, but they would still rather not mention me.”

A better player in motherhood?

Some argue that Court’s achievements can’t be compared to players today because 13 of her Grand Slam triumphs occurred before the Open Era. It has been suggested that her 11 Australian Open titles have less value than Williams’ total of seven. Something she emphatically denies. 

“I often hear Billie Jean (King) saying that people didn’t come down to Australia in my early years,” she said.

“But Maria Bueno, the world number one, came down. So did Christine Truman, Ann Haydon and Darlene Hard. Plus, Australia had some wonderful players. We had five girls in the top 10. Lesley Bowrey won two French Opens.”

She goes on to point out that unlike Williams she won Grand Slam titles after giving birth and played on the Tour seven years less than her. 

“Serena has played seven years more than I did,” Court added. “I finished in my early 30s. People forget that I took two years out. I first retired … when I was 25, thinking I would never return to tennis.

“I got married, had a baby, but then had one of my best years, winning 24 out of 25 tournaments.”

“I came back after two babies. After having the first baby, I won three out of the four slams. And Serena hasn’t won a slam since she had a baby.” 

Court also believes playing on the Tour back in her era was harder than it is now and players today don’t do enough to ‘honour the past of the game.’

During her career Court won a record 64 Grand Slam titles – 24 in singles, 19 in doubles and 21 in mixed doubles.

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Alycia Parks Stuns Garcia To Win First Tour Title In Lyon

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Image via WTA Twitter

Rising star Alycia Parks is on the verge of breaking into the world’s top 50 for the first time after stunning world No.4 Caroline Garcia in straight sets to win the Lyon Open. 

 

22-year-old Parks, who contested just three WTA main draws last year, battled to a 7-6(7), 7-5, win over Garcia who is the first top-five player she has beaten on the Tour. Throughout the final, the American didn’t drop serve after saving all four break points she faced. In total, she produced 28 winners with 15 of those being aces. It is only the second time she has beaten a top 10 player on the Tour after Maria Sakkari at the Ostrava Open last year. 

“I want to thank you for all coming out, this title means a lot to me,” Parks said afterwards. “France has a special part in my heart right now. I want to congratulate Garcia, you had an amazing week, keep playing how you’re playing.”

The victory caps off what has been a breakthrough week for Parks who dropped two sets in five matches played which was in her opening two rounds. Earlier in the tournament, she also defeated seventh seed Danka Kovinic and fourth seed Petra Martic to become only the third unseeded player to win a WTA event so far this year.  

Parks was ranked 199th in the world 12 months ago but has climbed up the rankings and is now set to break into the world’s top 70 for the first time on Monday. Towards the end of last year, she won back-to-back WTA 125 tournaments and has now won 16 out of her last 17 matches played. Her only loss was to Czech teenager Sara Bejlek in the second round of qualifying at the Australian Open.

As for Garcia, Sunday’s clash was the first time she had contested a WTA final in her home city of Lyon. Coming into her clash with Parks, she had won 10 out of her last 11 finals played on the Tour. It is the 40th time in her career she has lost to an American player in a WTA main draw.

Congrats on an amazing week and the (past) couple of months have been unbelievable (for you),” said Garcia. “It’s your first WTA title today and it was well deserved. You played amazing and if you keep playing like this you are for sure going to keep going up (the rankings).”

Parks, who graduated from High School in 2019, is coached on the Tour by her father Michael who has been her main mentor since childhood. 

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Garbine Muguruza Switches Focus From Ranking Points To Enjoyment In Hunt For Form

Ranked outside the WTA top 80 for the first time since 2013, Muguruza is hoping to stage a comeback with the help of a new perspective.

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Garbine Muguruza (ESP) waves to the crowd after defeating Fiona Ferro (FRA) on No.2 Court in the first round of the Ladies' Singles at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 1 Monday 28/06/2021. Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

To say that last year was tough for Gabine Muguruza is a bit of an understatement. 

 

The Spaniard started 2022 among the best players in the world and was ranked No.3 as a result of her triumph at the WTA Finals just a couple of months earlier. However, the year didn’t go as planned for two-time Grand Slam champion Muguruza who won just 12 matches. In total, she played in 17 tournaments but only managed to score back-to-back victories in two of them. In October she plummeted down the rankings from 13th to 57th. 

Muguruza’s problems have continued into this season. She is yet to win a match and is now down to 82nd in the world which is her lowest position in almost a decade. January 2013 was the last time the 29-year-old was ranked outside the top 100. 

“I’ve had so many moments in my career where I’ve been so high, and other moments when I’ve not been so high. It’s a process of trying to get back up there,” the former world No.1 told The National. “Now I’m focusing on training hard and being humble.
“You have to know that maybe you haven’t had the success recently as you had in other years, but that’s fine because things can change very quickly.
“With tennis, one week it can go wrong, then next week it can go well, then everything changes again. I think experience helps me to stay calm in the not-so-good moments when I haven’t been playing as well or results haven’t followed.”

It is a frustrating situation for somebody of Muguruza’s ability to be in. At the 2021 WTA Finals, she scored four wins over top-10 players but since then hasn’t beaten anybody ranked higher than No.31 in the world. 

Eager to get back to the top of the sport, she has decided to change her outlook on how she approaches the Tour. Muguruza, who is coached by Conchita Martinez, now says her main priority is enjoying her tennis. If this is achieved, she is confident the results will follow in due course. 

“I feel that this year it’s more about keeping it calm and more simple,” she said. “Last year I put myself under a lot of pressure, telling myself to keep going to stay at the top all the time. That definitely didn’t help me, and it was a bit of a struggle.
“This year, yes ranking is important – I’ve been at every possible ranking – but that is not my priority anymore. Now it’s about enjoying my time on court and taking the trophies back home, then we’ll see what the ranking is.”

Muguruza’s next test will be at the Abu Dhabi Open, which will get underway on Monday. She has been drawn to play Karolina Pliskova in the first round who recently reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open. Then if she wins, she faces Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina. 

“I played some good tennis [in Australia]. A bit disappointed about the quarter-final but overall my level is there. Of course, there are some things to improve to become more solid but overall the situation is quite good,” Pliskova said ahead of the first round clash. 

12 months ago Muguruza reached the third round in Abu Dhabi before losing to Maria Sakkari. 

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Injured Bianca Andreescu retires From Semi-Final match In Hua Hin

The Canadian was looking to book a spot in her first WTA final of the year but was forced to retire after injuring her right shoulder.

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BIANCA ANDREESCU OF CANADA - PHOTO: ALBERTO NEVADO / MMO

Lesia Tsurenko booked her spot in the final of the Thailand Open in Hua Hin after Bianca Andreescu was forced to retire whilst down 7-6, 4-0.

 

The first set was extremely tight with the first four games being breaks of serve. Andreescu got the crucial break to lead 5-3 and served for the first set but the Ukrainian fought back to level the set at 5-5. Then Tsurenko was the one to break serve but she was able to close out the first set.

After the opener, the semi-final clash went completely one-sided with Tsurenko taking over by winning four games off the trot before Andreescu decided to call it quits. The Canadian had a medical timeout during a second set changeover.

Tsurenko gave full credit to her opponent and despite the retirement says it was a very difficult match.

“Bianca is such an amazing player she said. She is capable of hitting all kinds of shots and gave so much trouble today”. She said.

Tsurenko is looking to win her fifth WTA title and will be playing in her first final since 2019 in Hua Hin. She faces the China’s Lin Zhu who earlier in the day beat the number seven seed Xinyu Wang 6-2, 6-4, in one hour and 38 minutes to book her spot in the final.

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