MARGARET Court believes her outspoken views on gay marriage are contributing to a push from a former rival to downplay her grand slam record of 24 singles titles and potentially derail a major celebration of her 1970 clean sweep of the four major singles titles next year.
American Billie Jean King has stated the 24 major singles titles won by one of Albury's greatest sporting stars is skewed due to many of her major on-court rivals regularly electing bypass the Australian and French open tournaments during her career.
Fellow Australian tennis great Rod Laver is celebrating the 50th year of his 1969 grand slam.
"A lot of it is because of Christian beliefs and things that I have said about the Bible and gay marriage," Court told Sky News this week.
Margaret Court on calls for Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena to be renamed: I think it’s been going on for some time, a lot of it because of my Christian beliefs and things that I have said about gay marriage…— The Bolt Report (@theboltreport) July 10, 2019
"I think she looks back and says a lot of things about me in those early days."
"In those very early days, Billie Jean didn't come down to Australia when I was playing here."
Court beat Brazilian No.1 ranked player in the world, Maria Bueno, in the 1960 final of the Australian Championships as an 18-year-old with former world No.2 Christine Truman beaten in the semi-finals the same year.
Fellow Australian Lesley Bowrey also reached a No.2 world ranking in the 1960s in claiming two French Open victories.
"So there was a lot of players but they (King and others) keep saying there were no players down here in those times," Court said.
"So really, I shouldn't be granted 24 of the grand slams and having been a record."
Melbourne hosts the first grand slam event of the year.
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