Reverend Margaret Court AC MBE

In 1970, Margaret Court was the first Australian woman to win the tennis Grand Slam of four singles titles in one year.

Honour Roll

Margaret Court was born on 16 July 1942 in Albury, New South Wales.

Originally a left-hander she switched to her right so as not to be thought odd and still beat the boys. Margaret first came to prominence as a sixteen-year-old in 1959 in Brisbane, when she beat the Brazilian champion, Maria Bueno, in a quarter final of the Australian Singles Championship. The following year she won the Australian title and went on to win it eleven times out of the next fourteen championships. She also won three Wimbledon Championships, three Italian titles, four French, five American and three South African titles making it a grand total of 29 major world titles.

Able to play on any surface, her career highlight was in 1970 when she won the 'Grand Slam' of four singles titles in one year. She was the second woman ever to perform that feat.

Margaret did not have it easy for she had a constant battle with nerves. Her first big test came in the 1963 Wimbledon final against the formidable Billie-Jean Moffitt (later King). Billie-Jean had beaten Margaret in the first round of the previous year's event so Margaret knew she had to come out confident in order to overcome her opponent. She attacked the ball from the start, going for the sidelines with strong ground strokes in order to overcome Billie-Jean's net-storming game. She won 6-3, 6-4 to become the first Australian Wimbledon woman champion.

Her greatest victory was the 1970 Wimbledon defeat of Billie-Jean. Playing with torn ligaments, she had pain-killing injections before the game, however they wore off in the middle of this marathon struggle, the longest match in Wimbledon Women's Singles history. Margaret finally won 14-12, 11-9.

Margaret is now active as Minister in her Church.