Serena Williams' staggering new claim about Margaret Court at US Open

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Serena Williams, pictured here ahead of the US Open.
Serena Williams has made the bizarre claim that she's already broken Margaret Court's record. Read more here.

Serena Williams has made the bizarre claim that she's 'already broken' Margaret Court's all-time tennis record, despite having 23 grand slam titles to the Aussie legend's 24.

Williams is constantly plagued by questions about Court's record and appears destined to end her career just one grand slam title short of the all-time mark.

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The 40-year-old won her 23rd major at the Australian Open in 2017, and looked all-but certain to eventually equal and pass Court's haul of 24.

But the American champion hasn't won a grand slam since, losing in four finals during that time.

Speaking on the Today Show in New York on Friday, Williams was once again asked about Court's record.

In staggering scenes, the 23-time grand slam champion said: "I've already broken the record.

"So I think it's just someone else's vision and mine is just to ... I never dreamed of having this many grand slams or titles.

"I just thought I would just play tennis and maybe win a grand slam or two. So for me, it's all a bonus."

While factually incorrect, Williams might have been referring to the fact that Court won the majority of her grand slams before the 'Open era' of professional tennis began in 1968.

Court won 11 of her 24 titles after 1968, with 13 of them coming before the grand slam tournaments agreed to allow professional players to compete alongside amateurs.

Margaret Court, pictured here with Pat Cash and John Newcombe at Wimbledon.
Margaret Court with Pat Cash and John Newcombe at Wimbledon. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Earlier this month, Williams announced her plans to step away from professional tennis after the US Open in an article for Vogue magazine.

In the article she made mention of the fact that most of Court's titles came before the Open era.

"There are people who say I'm not the GOAT (greatest of all time) because I didn't pass Court's record, which she achieved before the 'Open era' that began in 1968," the former World No.1 said.

"I'd be lying if I said I didn't want that record. Obviously I do. But day to day, I'm really not thinking about her.

"If I'm in a slam final, then yes, I'm thinking about that record. Maybe I thought about it too much, and that didn't help."

Serena Williams, pictured here after a practice session at Flushing Meadows before the US Open.
Serena Williams looks on after a practice session at Flushing Meadows before the US Open. (Photo by Frey/TPN/Getty Images)

Serena Williams set for emotional farewell to tennis

Williams made the Wimbledon and US Open finals in both 2018 and 2019, but lost on all four occasions with a chance to equal Court's record.

She lost to Angelique Kerber at Wimbledon in 2018, Naomi Osaka (US Open 2018), Simona Halep (Wimbledon 2019) and Bianca Andreescu (US Open 2019) - leaving her stranded on 23 majors.

“The way I see it, I should have had 30-plus grand slams," Williams added.

"I had my chances after coming back from giving birth. I went from a C-section to a second pulmonary embolism to a grand slam final. I played while breastfeeding. I played through post-partum depression.

“But I didn’t get there. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. I didn’t show up the way I should have or could have.

"But I showed up 23 times, and that’s fine. Actually it’s extraordinary. But these days, if I have to choose between building my tennis resumé and building my family, I choose the latter.”

Williams will open her US Open campaign against Danka Kovinic of Montenegro on Monday night (local time) on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The 40-year-old has been given prime time billing on centre court in what could be an emotional final match for Williams.

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