'Hiding behind her Bible': Tennis legend's massive serve for Margaret Court

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

Martina Navratilova has railed against Margaret Court’s latest controversial comments, saying Tennis Australia shouldn’t feel the need to recognise her achievements.

Court ramped up her controversial views over the weekend, this time taking aim at transgender athletes in another fiery sermon at a Perth church.

‘HEROIC, JUST AWFUL’: World reacts to latest Margaret Court controversy

Court, who successfully battled for the 50th anniversary of her grand slam to be marked by Tennis Australia at the Australian Open next month, condemned trans athletes at the Pentecostal church where she is a minister.

Julia Lemigova and Martina Navratilova, and Margaret Court. Image: Getty

Her latest comments have left Navratilova fuming.

“It’s outrageous and so wrong,” Navratilova wrote on Twitter.

“We don’t need to change or re-write history when it comes to anyone’s accomplishments but we do not need to celebrate them.

“Margaret Court is hiding behind her Bible as many have done before her and will do after her. Let’s not keep elevating it.”

Tennis Australia was torn over how to commemorate its greatest woman player, whose opposition to homosexuality and gay marriage has made her a polarising figure among players.

The dispute over her anniversary was eventually settled, with Tennis Australia agreeing to "recognise but not celebrate" Court's achievement.

After previous comments on homosexuality and gay marriage, high-profile players like Billie Jean King and Navratilova called for the Margaret Court Arena at Melbourne Park - home of the Australian Open - to be stripped of her name.

Margaret Court’s latest comments

In her sermon on Sunday, Court also targeted transgender children.

"Because we are living in a season ... even that LGBT and the schools - it's of the devil, it's not of God," Court told her congregation.

"And when children are making the decision at seven or eight years of age to change their sex ... no, just read the first two chapters of Genesis, that's all I say. Male and female.

"It's so wrong at that age because a lot of things are planted in this thought realm at that age. And they start to question 'What am I?' and if you are a Christian... you believe the word of God, this is our TV guide to life...

Kim Clijsters, Martina Navratilova, Evonne Goolagong-Cawley, Chris Evert and Margaret Court in 2016. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

"And you know with that LGBT, they'll wish they never put the T on the end of it because, particularly in women's sports, they're going to have so many problems.

"And you have got young people taking hormones and having changes, by the time they are 17 they are thinking, 'Now I'm a boy and really I was a girl'.

"Because, you know what, God's made us that way," she said.

Court also reiterated that being gay was "a choice" and said that just because she didn't agree with people, didn't mean she hated them.

"I don't hate anybody," she said.

with AAP