Margaret Court accepts Tennis Australia invitation despite backlash

Margaret Court has accepted Tennis Australia's invitation to the Australian Open to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her 1970 grand slam sweep.

The tennis great’s call for TA to recognise her achievements divided fans due to her controversial views on homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

While TA doesn't agree with Court's views, the governing body says it's important to recognise her efforts in winning the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open in the same calendar year.

"I'm looking forward to celebrating the 50th anniversary of winning the grand slam with my family and friends at the Australian Open," Court said.

Margaret Court has accepted an invitation to commemorate her 1970 grand slam triumph. Pic: AAP

Confirming the news on its website, Tennis Australia said while recognising Court's achievements in the sport, it did not share many of her controversial views.

"Tennis Australia respects Margaret’s unmatched tennis career and welcomes her to the Australian Open, particularly in this milestone anniversary year," the statement read.

"As often stated, Tennis Australia does not agree with Margaret’s personal views, which have demeaned and hurt many in our community over a number of years. They do not align with our values of equality, diversity and inclusion.

"Our sport welcomes everyone, no matter what gender, ability, race, religion or sexuality, and we will continue to actively promote inclusion initiatives widely at all levels of the sport."

The confirmation comes after Court this month called on Tennis Australia to afford her the same recognition Rod Laver received for his 1969 grand slam anniversary at this year's Australian Open.

Margaret Court was in attendance at this year's Fed Cup. Pic: Getty

Court said she wouldn't return to Melbourne Park unless formally welcomed back.

The 77-year-old holds the all-time record of 24 grand slam singles titles but her on-court achievements have been more recently overshadowed by her outspokenness on same-sex relationships and transgender issues.

Court’s comments upset Aussie players

Australian players including Samantha Stosur have spoke out against the Pentecostal minister in the past after her personal attack on openly gay player Casey Dellacqua and her partner Ashley Judd.

Court said in a 2013 letter to the editor it was sad the couple's son Blake had been "deprived of his father".

The tennis great has not attended the Australian Open since 2017, when she was heavily criticised after voicing her opposition to same-sex marriage.

Tennis greats including Billie Jean King have called for her name to be removed from Margaret Court Arena at Melbourne Park.

With agencies