'Hypocrite': Margaret Court's controversial recognition call divides tennis world

The Australian tennis summer is again facing controversy with fans divided on whether Margaret Court should be acknowledged at the Australia Open on her Grand Slam anniversary.

All-time great Margaret Court called on Tennis Australia to celebrate her grand slam 50th anniversary.

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Court wants the same recognition that was afforded to Rod Laver's 1969 Grand Slam anniversary at the Australian Open earlier this year, and says she won't return to Melbourne Park unless she is formally welcomed back.

Court, who holds the all-time record of 24 grand slam singles titles, has not attended the Australian Open since 2017, when she was heavily criticised after voicing her opposition to same-sex marriage.

Margaret Court at the Australian Open ready to award the trophy.
Margaret Court wants the Australian Open to reach out to her to recognise her Grand Slam anniversary. (Getty Images)

That led to calls for her name to be removed from Margaret Court Arena at Melbourne Park.

"I think Tennis Australia should sit and talk with me (about the anniversary)," Court told Nine.

"They have never phoned me. Nobody has spoken to me directly about it. I think they would rather not confront it.

"They brought Rod in from America. If they think I'm just going to turn up, I don't think that is right. I think I should be invited. I would hope they would pay my way to come like they paid for his, and honour me. If they are not going to do that, I don't really want to come."

Court insisted that her opinions on same-sex marriage should not be a factor.

"I don't feel any of that should be brought into my tennis career," she continued.

"It was a different phase of my life from where I am now and if we are not big enough as a nation and a game to face those challenges there is something wrong."

Fans on social media were divided on whether Court should receive acknowledgement for her incredible sporting achievements.

Many claimed she shouldn’t be recognised on the anniversary considering her views differ vastly to Tennis Australia’s message of inclusion and equality.

Others claimed her views she has expressed on same-sex marriage should not be a factor when it comes to recognising her tennis career.

Tennis Australia said it was "in the process of working through" how Court's milestone should be recognised.

"As previously stated, Tennis Australia recognises the tennis achievements of Margaret Court, although her views do not align with our values of equality, diversity and inclusion," a spokeswoman for Tennis Australia told Nine.