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I don’t think Serena has ever admired me, record-holder says

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Margaret Court does not believe Serena Williams has ever “admired” her and claims the modern game is significantly easier than it was in her own era.

Williams, widely considered one of the greatest sportspeople of all time, stepped away from top-level tennis following defeat to Ajla Tomljanovic in the third round of the ongoing US Open.

Although her time on tour now looks to be over, but the 40-year-old admitted “you never know” when asked about future appearances.

However, a U-turn is widely considered to be highly improbable.

Williams is bowing out with 23 grand slam singles wins – one fewer than record-holder Court.

Court, 80, is a Pentecostal Church pastor now and has been criticised in recent years for comments about race, homosexuality and the transgender community.

She was blunt when asked about her feelings on Williams: “Serena, I’ve admired her as a player. But I don’t think she has ever admired me.”

Court won her grand slam singles titles between 1960 and 1973, and the Australian believes players in the modern era have it much easier than she did during her remarkable career.

“I would love to have played in this era; I think it’s so much easier,” she said.

“How I would love to have taken family or friends along with me. But I couldn’t. I had to go on my own or with the national team.

“People don’t see all that. As amateurs, we had to play every week, because we didn’t have any money. Now, they can take off whenever they want, fly back whenever they want.

“We would be away for 10 months. That’s why I first retired in 1965, because I used to get homesick. You might be with the odd other person. But it’s not like having your family there.

“We didn’t have psychologists or coaches with us. It’s a whole different world. That’s what disappoints me, that players today don’t honour the past of the game.”

mmm.nnn.

Olawale Alabi

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