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Margaret Smith Court

tennis player

Nickname: The Arm
Alias: Mrs B.M.Court
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Bio During an era when so many Australian men were ascending in the world of tennis, Margaret Smith Court was the outstanding Australian female competitor and one of the greatest players of all time. Standing just shy of six feet tall, pressing forward with relentless conviction, admirably patient and purposeful from the baseline, she won more majors than any male or female player in the history of the game. Taking 24 of those crowns in singles, she recorded another 40 “Big Four” triumphs in women’s and mixed doubles. She became only the second woman to win a singles Grand Slam in a splendid 1970 campaign.

She won a record 24 of those titles, a record that still stands. She also won 19 women's doubles and 21 mixed doubles titles, giving her a record 64 major titles overall. She is the only woman to win the mixed doubles Grand Slam, which she accomplished twice. Her all surfaces (hard, clay, grass and carpet) singles career winning percentage of 91.68% (1180–107) is one of the best of all time according to the Sporteology website. Her open era singles career winning percentage of 91.37% (593–56) is unequaled, as is her open era winning percentage of 91.7% (11–1) in Grand Slam finals. Her win-loss performance in all Grand Slam singles tournaments was 90.12% (210–23). She was 95.31% (61–3) at the Australian Open, 90.38% (47–5) at the French Open, 85.10% (51–9) at Wimbledon and 89.47% (51–6) at the US Open. She also shares the open era record for most Grand Slam singles titles as a mother with Kim Clijsters. The International Tennis Hall of Fame states, "For sheer strength of performance and accomplishment there has never been a tennis player to match (her)." In 2010, the Herald Sun newspaper of Melbourne, Australia called her the greatest female tennis player of all time. Court is one of only six tennis players to ever win a multiple slam set in two disciplines, matching Roy Emerson, Martina Navratilova, Frank Sedgman, Doris Hart and Serena Williams. Court, however, is the only one in tennis history to complete a multiple slam set, twice, in all three disciplines: singles, women's doubles and mixed doubles.

Court became the first female player from Australia to win a Grand Slam tournament abroad, when she won the French and US Championships in 1962. The year after that, she became the first Australian woman to win Wimbledon.

After Wimbledon in 1966, Court temporarily retired from tennis. She married Barry Court in 1967, whose father, Sir Charles Court, and brother, Richard Court, served as premiers of Western Australia. She returned to tennis in 1968 and in 1970 won all four Grand Slam singles titles. The next year, she lost the Wimbledon singles final to Evonne Goolagong Cawley while pregnant with her first child, Daniel, who was born in March 1972. Court made a comeback the same year and played in the US Open and then played throughout 1973. Her second child, Marika, was born in 1974. She started playing again in November of that year. After missing most of 1976 after having her third child, she returned to the tour in early 1977 but retired permanently that year when she learned that she was expecting her fourth child. Her last Grand Slam tournament appearance in the singles was in the 1975 US Open. Her last ever Grand Slam tournament appearance was in the 1976 Australian Open in the women's doubles.

Court is one of only three players to have achieved a career "boxed set" of Grand Slam titles, winning every possible Grand Slam title – singles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles – at all four Grand Slam events. The others are Doris Hart and Martina Navratilova. Court, however, is the only person to have won all 12 Grand Slam events at least twice. She also is unique in having completed a boxed set before the start of the open era in 1968 and a separate boxed set after the start of the open era.

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