Serena Williams takes a shot at Margaret Court as she reveals her regret at not breaking the Australian legend’s Grand Slam record – and explains why her retirement will be VERY different to Ash Barty’s
- The former world No. 1 has won 23 Grand Slams – one less than Court’s world record
- Williams said she should have won more than 30 of the biggest tennis titles of her career
- The all-time great announced her retirement after the US Open in a magazine article
Serena Williams will be remembered as perhaps the greatest women’s tennis player of all time, but she has revealed one missed opportunity will haunt her in retirement: failing to break Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles .
The former world No. 1 announced her time in the game would be over after the upcoming US Open in a Vogue magazine article which also saw her make it clear she had missed the Australian legend’s mark by just one Grand Slam victory.
“There are people who say I’m not the GOAT because I haven’t surpassed Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles, which she achieved before the ‘open era’ began. in 1968,” she wrote.
The reference to the time is telling because before that, from 1968, professionals were not allowed to play against amateurs in Grand Slam tournaments.
“I would be lying if I said I didn’t want this record. Obviously I do,’ Williams continued.
“But day to day, I really don’t think about her. If I’m in a Grand Slam final, then yes, I’m thinking of that record. Maybe I thought about it too much, and it didn’t help.
Williams celebrates winning the Australian Open in 2015. She believes she should have won more than 30 Grand Slams during her illustrious career
The American is almost certain to finish one title short of the record set by Australian legend Margaret Court (pictured with the Hopman Cup in 2016)
“From my point of view, I should have had more than 30 Grand Slams,” she continued. “I had my chances after my return from childbirth. I went from a C-section to a second pulmonary embolism to a Grand Slam final. I played while breastfeeding. I performed during postpartum depression.
‘But I didn’t make it. Should, would, could. I did not present myself as I should or could have. But I showed up 23 times, and that’s fine. In fact it is extraordinary.
“But these days, if I have to choose between building my tennis CV and building my family, I choose the latter.”
Court, 80, has won the Australian Open 11 times, the French Open five times, with three Wimbledon titles and five US Open victories, many of which came before the start of the Open era .
Williams went on to point out a big difference between his decision to “walk away” from the game and former Australian world No. 1 Ash Barty’s shock decision to quit the game aged just 26.
“I know a lot of people are excited to retire and can’t wait to retire, and I would really like to feel that.” Ashleigh Barty was world number one when she left the sport last March, and I think she felt really ready to move on,” she wrote.
“Well done to these people, but I’ll be honest. There’s no happiness in this subject for me.
Not breaking Court’s mark looks likely to haunt retired Williams (seen here competing at the Canadian Open on Monday)
Williams went out of her way to point out that Court won many of her 23 Grand Slams before the Open era began in 1968 and professionals were allowed to play against amateurs.
Reigning Australian Open champion Ash Barty has been completely at peace with her shock decision to retire – but Williams says she ‘hates’ being at a crossroads in her career
“I know it’s not the usual thing to say, but I feel a lot of pain. It’s the hardest thing I can imagine.
‘I hate that. I hate having to be at this crossroads.
Williams does not give up immediately.
She is currently playing in a tournament in Toronto and just won her first match in 430 days on Monday after battling health issues for most of the past few seasons.
And as she revealed in her post, the all-time great still hopes to be able to play at the US Open in New York later this month. She’s also committed to playing at the Western & Southern Open next week in Cincinnati.
Retiring Serena Williams regrets not breaking Aussie Margaret Court’s Grand Slam record