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Margaret Smith Court

Early Interest In Tennis, Trained In Melbourne, Early Victories, Turned Professional, Chronology, Related Biography: Coach Frank SedgmanCONTACT INFORMATION, SELECTED WRITINGS BY COURT:


Australian tennis player

Australian Margaret Smith Court was a dominant woman's tennis player in the 1960s and early 1970s. Over the course of her career, she won a total of sixty-two Grand Slam women's singles events, more than anyone in the history of women's tennis, and seventy-nine total singles titles. The first Australian to win Wimbledon, Court won the second Grand Slam in women's singles in 1970. (Maureen Connolly did it in 1953, when it was an all amateur affair). Court also won mixed doubles Grand Slam in 1963. She was the only player to win a Grand Slam in both singles and in doubles. In the days before big prize money, however, Court only earned about a half million dollars for her professional victories.

Court's amazing success led to her becoming the first female tennis player from Australia who had a following. She was known for her great fitness, athleticism, and endurance, and had a game that featured a dominant fore-hand, good volleying skills, and an attacking style of play. Though her game spoke volumes, Court herself was somewhat media shy and she did not really seek publicity. As Bud Collins and Zander Hollander wrote in Bud Collins'

Margaret Smith Court

Modern Encyclopedia of Tennis, "For sheer strength of performance and accomplishment there has never been a tennis player to match Margaret Smith Court."

Court's background was not indicative of her future success. Born on July 16, 1942, in Albury, New South Wales, Australia, she was the youngest of four children born into a working class family. Her father worked in a cheese and butter processing plant as a foreman. No one in her family was interested or played the game of tennis (though two siblings were competitive cyclists), though they lived opposite Border Tennis Association.


Address: c/o Victory Life Centre, PO Box 20, Osborne Park, Western Australia 6917 Australia; c/o Margaret Court Ministries, 37 Florence Rd., Nedlands, Western Australia 6009 Australia.


(With Don Lawrence) The Margaret Smith Story, as Told to Don Lawrence, S. Paul, 1965.

(With George McGunn) Court on Court, a Life in Tennis, Dodd, Mead, 1975.

Sketch by A. Petruso

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsTennis