Margaret (Smith) Court was born on 16 July 1942, raised in Albury on the border of New South Wales and Victoria. Dubbed “the Aussie Amazon” due to her stature, mobility and prowess, her style was particularly enterprising and intimidating – all-out attack with big serve, reach and volley.
At 17 years of age she won her first Australian Championship title – the first of seven straight victories in her total of 11 National championships, and the beginning of an amazing 17-year professional career in which she amassed 62 Grand Slam titles, including 24 in singles. This remains a record for both men and women. Court was also the first Australian woman to win Wimbledon (in 1963) - a tournament that happens to conclude often around her birthday.
On 28 October 1967 the then Margaret Smith married Barry Court (son of Sir Charles Court and brother of Richard, both former WA premiers) and continued her famous tennis career. She retired as a professional tennis player in 1977, after giving birth to three of her children whilst still a professional player.
In 1991, Court was ordained as a Christian pastor and became known for her strong Australian values, particularly as a long-standing patron of Drug-Free Australia and the Australian Family Association. Her pro-family values during the 2017 marriage debate led to gay rights activists demanding Margaret Court Arena be renamed (the show court alongside Rod Laver Arena at the Melbourne sporting complex that hosts the Australian Open). Thus far, activists' demands have not rejected and Margaret Court continues to be honoured.
Take Action to celebrate this great Australian by:
- making plans to get the tennis racquets out in warmer weather
- if you live in or near Melbourne, consider visiting the Margaret Court Arena
- enjoy some archival footage of Margaret Court's powerful attacking play in the 1970 Australian Open final vs Evonne Goolagong (shown below)
- exploring more about her history commemorated on the web page for the Margaret Court Arena
- follow Margaret Court on Twitter
- read this January 2018 article in Court's home state of Western Australia by Tony Barrass about giving Margaret Court a fair go
- become a supporter of Free Speech by supporting the Australian Conservative Party