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Margaret Smith Court

From Academic Kids

Margaret Smith Court (pre-marital name: Margaret Jean Smith) (born July 16, 1942) is a retired Australian professional tennis player. She was born in Albury, New South Wales in Australia.

Margaret Smith began playing tennis at the age of eight and was seventeen when she won her first of seven straight Australian Open singles titles. In 1963, her strong serve and forehand allowed her to become the first Australian woman to win the Wimbledon Championship and to win the Grand Slam in mixed doubles with partner Ken Fletcher.

Margaret Smith dominated world tennis in the first half of the 1960s until 1966 when she retired, married Barry Court, and started a family. She returned to tennis in 1969, winning three of the Grand Slam singles events that year. In 1970, she won all four of the Grand Slam tournaments, defeating Kerry Melville in the Australian Open final, Helga Niessen in the French Open, Billie Jean King at the Wimbledon championships and Rosie Casals at the US Open. Her Grand Slam achievement was a feat accomplished previously by only one woman, Maureen Connolly, who did it in 1953 and since only by Steffi Graf in 1988.

On May 13, 1973, Margaret Court lost a nationally-televised tennis match to Bobby Riggs in straight sets – 6-2, 6-1 – despite being the top-ranked women's player at the time. Billie Jean King beat Riggs to even the score four months later.

She retired permanently in 1977 when she learned she was expecting the third of her four children. During her illustrious career, Ms Court won a record 62 Grand Slam titles and was ranked No.1 in the world seven times: 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1969, 1970, and in 1973. Included in her victories she was the singles champion of the four major tournaments:

  1. Australian Open - 11 times: 1960 to 1966, 1969 to 1971, 1973
  2. French Open - 5 times: 1962, 1964, 1969, 1970, 1973***
  3. Wimbledon championships - 3 times: 1963, 1965, 1970***
  4. US Open - 5 times: 1962, 1965, 1969, 1970, 1973***

Court is one of only three players to have a "boxed set" of Grand Slam titles – ie., every possible title (singles, same-sex doubles, and mixed doubles) from each Grand Slam event. The others are Doris Hart and Martina Navratilova.

In 1979 Ms Court was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and in January of 2003, Show Court One at Melbourne Park was renamed Margaret Court Arena.

Also in 2003, the Government of Australia honored her and fellow Australian tennis superstar, Rod Laver with their image placed on a postage stamp of Australia as seen here.

Ms Court now lives in Perth, Western Australia, and runs a Christian ministry. Her husband Barry's father Sir Charles Court and brother Richard Court, were both Liberal premiers of Western Australia.

Grand Slam singles titles (24)

1960   Australian Open          Jan Lehane                  7-5, 6-2
1961   Australian Open          Jan Lehane                  6-1, 6-4 
1962   Australian Open          Jan Lehane                  6-0, 6-2 
1962   Roland Garros            Lesley Turner               6-3, 3-6, 7-5 
1962   U.S. Open                Darlene Hard                9-7, 6-4 
1963   Australian Open          Jan Lehane                  6-2, 6-2       
1963   Wimbledon                Billie Jean King            6-3, 6-4 
1964   Australian Open          Lesley Turner               6-3, 6-2 
1964   Roland Garros            Maria Bueno                 5-7, 6-1, 6-2
1965   Australian Open          Maria Bueno                 5-7, 6-4, 5-2, ret  
1965   Wimbledon                Maria Bueno                 6-4, 7-5 
1965   U.S. Open                Billie Jean King            8-6, 7-5 
1966   Australian Open          Nancy Richey                walkover 
Open Era 
1969   Australian Open          Billie Jean King            6-4, 6-1 
1969   Roland Garros            Ann Haydon-Jones            6-1, 4-6, 6-3 
1969   U.S. Open                Nancy Richey                6-2, 6-2 
1970   Australian Open          Kerry Reid                  6-1, 6-3 
1970   Roland Garros            Helga Niessen               6-2, 6-4 
1970   Wimbledon                Billie Jean King            14-12, 11-9
1970   U.S. Open                Rosie Casals                6-2, 2-6, 6-1
1971   Australian Open          Evonne Goolagong            2-6, 7-6, 7-5 
1973   Australian Open          Evonne Goolagong            6-4, 7-5 
1973   Roland Garros            Chris Evert                 6-7, 7-6, 6-4 
1973   U.S. Open                Evonne Goolagong            7-6, 5-7, 6-2de:Margaret Smith Court

nl:Margaret Smith-Court

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