Margaret Smith Court - Turned Professional
Famous Sports StarsTennisMargaret Smith Court - Early Interest In Tennis, Trained In Melbourne, Early Victories, Turned Professional, Chronology, Related Biography: Coach Frank Sedgman - CONTACT INFORMATION, SELECTED WRITINGS BY COURT:
In 1961, Court won her second Australian Open, against defeating Lehane. She also won the women's doubles championship there. After the victory, Court turned professional, and was able to travel abroad for the first time. She did not go alone or with her family, but with several other Australian women tennis players under the captaincy of Nell Hopman.
In her first year, Court did not do exceptionally well. Though she won the Kent All-Comers Championship, defeating Ann Haydon, she also lost in the quarterfinals of the French Open and Wimbledon. She suffered from nervousness and was not prepared. She also had problems with the schedule and the rules Hopman dictated. The following year, Court refused to travel with them in the 1962 season. Instead, she traveled with an American player and had two friends serve as chaperones. This situation created tension with the official Australian team, but led to more victories for Court.
In 1962, Court won both the women's singles and doubles championship at the Australian Open, the women's singles title at the French Open, and the women's singles and mixed doubles title at the U.S. Open. Her only failure came at Wimbledon where she lost in the first round to Billie Jean Moffitt (later known as Billie Jean King). This was the first year that Court was ranked the number one player in the world. (Court was ranked number one in 1963-65, 1969-70, and 1973.).