Margaret Court is largely considered the Greatest of All Time in women’s tennis, but what exactly makes her such an incredibly untouchable immortal?
In recent times, Margaret Court has been the center of controversy for statements made regarding her views on the LGBTQ community. Regardless, there is no denying what the Australian tennis legend has done for the sport, as her unparalleled dominance in Grand Slams has granted her a GOAT status of epic proportions.
#1 – Calendar Grand Slam
We all know how difficult it is for any tennis player, no matter how great they may be, to win all four Grand Slams within the same year. Even the infamous Big 3 of ATP tennis, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic have all been unable to accomplish this feat, making it a major indicator, if not a requirement, to be deemed a GOAT of the sport.
In 1970, Margaret Court became the first woman in the Open Era and the second woman in the history of the sport to win all four Grand Slams consecutively in the same calendar year. This incredible achievement is largely considered the “holy grail” of tennis and is currently shared by only five players across the WTA and ATP combined.
#2 – Doubles & mixed doubles Grand Slams
If winning all four Grand Slams in a calendar year is not impressive enough, then guess what, that was not the first time the Australian achieved a feat of that magnitude. In the years 1963 and 1965, Margaret Court won every mixed-doubles major title consecutively, bringing her total to a staggering three calendar Grand Slams across all disciplines by the end of 1970.
Adding to an already astounding doubles record, Court won 21 mixed doubles majors and 19 women’s doubles majors for a total of 40 Grand Slams in doubles tennis. It doesn’t quite end there either, as the years 1973 and 1975 saw the Aussie GOAT win the WTA Finals at the season’s end to add two more prestigious doubles titles to her name.
#3 – Several career Boxed Set Grand Slams
You may have looked at this heading wondering what you just read, and fair enough, because a Boxed Set Grand Slam is an achievement that hardly anybody has obtained in the history of the sport, making it widely unheard of to the public ears. The term refers to the accomplishment of winning the singles, doubles, and mixed doubles titles of the same Grand Slam tournament throughout one’s career.
Margaret Court managed to win a career Boxed Set Grand Slam for every major at least once during her life of professional tennis. More impressively still, Court has won the Boxed Set in a single Grand Slam event on five occasions, meaning she would completely clean sweep the tournament across all disciplines.
What makes Margaret Court so incredibly untouchable when it comes to Grand Slams is that she is the only player in history across men’s and women’s tennis that has won the singles, doubles, and mixed doubles titles of every Grand Slam event at least twice. An already incontestable arsenal of world records which is only amplified by the fact that she is, and will forever be, the only tennis player to win Boxed Set Grand Slams before and after the Open Era.
#4 – Unmatched singles winning percentage
With such a phenomenal track record of 64 WTA majors, it comes as no surprise that Margaret Court also has the greatest singles winning percentage of all time in the Open Era at an unbelievable 91.37%, winning 593 of her 649 singles matches played during that period. To give you some perspective, Novak Djokovic’s singles win percentage is currently at about 83.16%, and this is the all-time highest ratio for men’s tennis.
#5 – Strong physique, playstyle & training regime
There is indeed a winning combination that has contributed to Margaret Court’s unmatched success, and that is her natural physique that has been complimented greatly by her choice of playstyle and commitment to training. Avoiding injury as much as possible is an often-overlooked factor to success in tennis, and many players with amazing potential have unfortunately fallen victim to the shackles of injury, sometimes instigating career-ending moments.
Margaret Court’s dedication to fitness training earned her the nickname “Aussie Amazon,” as she was one of few women that were so committed to lifting weights, circuit training, and running up sandy hillsides. In addition to keeping her injury-free throughout the majority of her career, Court’s training allowed her to get the best out of her physique. Possessing a longer reach than most, as well as notable advantages in height, strength, and size, the Aussie was an offensive serve-and-volleyer who was deceptively fast on the court.
Considering that 23 of her 64 major career titles were done at the Australian Open and of course being Australian herself, it is no wonder that one of the most elite tennis stadiums in the country was renamed Margaret Court Arena in 2003 to honor Australia’s greatest ever female tennis player. Indeed, there has yet to be a player quite like Margaret Court, and while Serena Williams has come close to matching her singles Grand Slam record, challenging the Aussie’s doubles records introduces a whole new solar system of challenges, unlikely to ever be contended in the foreseeable future.