•   
  •   

Sport Tennis Australia will 'recognise but not celebrate' Margaret Court anniversary

19:01  07 november  2019
19:01  07 november  2019 Source:   theage.com.au

Djokovic hopes Murray's resurgence continues in 2020

  Djokovic hopes Murray's resurgence continues in 2020 Andy Murray fully deserves his success in 2019, says Novak Djokovic, who is hopeful the former world number one can return to his best.Novak Djokovic is hopeful former world number one Andy Murray can return to being a contender for the top prizes in 2020.

a man standing in front of a crowd: Margaret Court says she will not come to the Australian Open unless she is duly honoured. © Vince Caligiuri Margaret Court says she will not come to the Australian Open unless she is duly honoured.

Tennis Australia will recognise but not celebrate the 50th anniversary of Margaret Court’s grand slam year, as the sport’s governing body seeks to contain the latest crisis surrounding its all-time greatest player.

The organisation's chief executive, Craig Tiley, flew to Perth for a regular board meeting on Thursday night with fellow directors before this weekend’s Fed Cup final between Australia and France. Court’s looming milestone was likely to dominate discussion.

Court is planning to attend the tournament after publicly calling on Tennis Australia to honour her anniversary at next year’s Australian Open in the same way it lauded Rod Laver’s 1969 grand slam during this year’s tournament.

Andreescu withdraws from WTA Finals

  Andreescu withdraws from WTA Finals US Open champion Bianca Andreescu has been forced to withdraw from the WTA Finals in Shenzhen because of a knee injury and will be replaced by Sofia Kenin.Andreescu was forced to retire mid-match against Karolina Pliskova on Wednesday night after landing awkwardly while returning a serve.

Sources familiar with the matter said Tennis Australia was planning to mark the occasion and flew a film crew to Perth earlier this year to interview Court about her career.

Pictures: Famous tennis players: Then and now

Tennis Australia will formally recognise her rare achievement in winning all four major singles titles in a calendar year.

Djokovic powers to fifth Paris Masters title to keep year-end number one race alive

  Djokovic powers to fifth Paris Masters title to keep year-end number one race alive Novak Djokovic won his fifth Paris Masters title on Sunday, meaning he can still beat Rafael Nadal to finish the year as world number one.The number one seed triumphed 6-3 6-4 to lift his 34th Masters 1000 trophy - one short of Rafael Nadal's record haul - and keep alive his challenge to end the year at the top of the ATP rankings.

However, there will be no celebration of Court.

The icy relationship between Tennis Australia and Court is a product of her vocal opposition to homosexuality and gay marriage, which this year prompted her career rival, Billie Jean King, to call for her name to stripped from the Margaret Court Arena at Melbourne Park.

The question of how to reconcile Court’s achievements with her faith-based views divided prominent figures in Australian tennis.

John Alexander, a Davis Cup hero who now serves in the Morrison government as a backbench MP, agreed with Court that her personal views should not lessen her tennis legacy.

"You have got to celebrate her career," he told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. "Everything that she did as a tennis player should be celebrated.

"She is a preacher. She believes devoutly in what she says. What is popular and accepted these days may not be consistent with her views so she has been vilified. But to deprive her of any acknowledgement of what a great player she was is not right.

Are ATP Finals ill-timed for Nadal?

  Are ATP Finals ill-timed for Nadal? Rafael Nadal qualified for the ATP Finals in July, for a 15th successive year, but will injury disrupt his tournament yet again?Nadal has qualified for the year-end competition for the past 15 years in succession, however during that period of time he has only made it to the final twice.

"If you go back to the time when Billie Jean King was openly gay and left her husband for a woman Margaret would have been seen with her Christian virtue as a pillar of society. She hasn’t changed, but now we totally accept the right of people to marry someone of the same sex. Margaret hasn’t changed, but the times have changed."

a man wearing a suit and tie: Novak Djokovic presents Laver with a trophy to mark the 50th anniversary of his second Grand Slam on January 14, 2019. © AAP Novak Djokovic presents Laver with a trophy to mark the 50th anniversary of his second Grand Slam on January 14, 2019.

Wendy Turnbull, a three-time finalist at major tournaments, was more circumspect.

"I think some of the things she has said regarding this are absolutely crazy. However it is freedom of speech and Australians have this," said Turnbull, who started her professional tennis career in 1975 just as Court's career was coming to an end.

"What Margaret achieved is special and she worked hard to do this and she represented Australia well while playing tennis.

"We should recognise her grand slam 50th anniversary, but how I don’t know. It should not be overboard."

This appears unlikely. Margaret Court has not attended the Australian Open since 2017, before her public comments about the influence of women in tennis and transgender children became a flashpoint in the marriage equality debate. It is unclear whether she will return in January.

Court told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald that no one from Tennis Australia had spoken to her about its plans to mark her 50th anniversary. A spokeswoman for Tennis Australia said nothing had been finalised.

Tennis Australia last year flew Rod Laver from America to attend the Australian Open and later helped the United States Tennis Association organise a tribute dinner for Laver at the Museum of Modern Art in New York during the US Open. Celebratory events were also held by the All England Lawn Tennis Club and at Roland Garros.

Court has declared she deserves equal treatment and will not come to the Australian Open unless she is duly honoured.

Tomas Berdych announces retirement from tennis .
Tomas Berdych confirmed on Saturday at the ATP Finals in London that he was retiring 17 years after turning professional. The Czech world number 103 won 13 titles, reaching a career-high of fourth in the rankings in 2015.

Topical videos:

usr: 3
This is interesting!