Margaret Court: 'I wouldn’t say today’s game is one-dimensional but I do feel that the women’s game today is lacking a bit of depth compared to the men’s.'
KUALA LUMPUR: Australian tennis legend Margaret Court believes that women’s tennis is facing a lack of real depth compared to their male counterparts.
Court, who dominated the scene in the 60s and 70s and was a rival of American Billie Jean King, won a combined total of 62 Grand Slam titles, including 24 singles titles.
Now a mother of four and grandmother of nine, she believes that what the women’s game lacks is a bit variety.
“The game today is quite different from back in my time ... it’s more all round while in those days it was more of a serve and volley game,” said Court, who turns 72 in July.
“Then we had the French Open and we had to play a more baseline game, which is pretty much played on every surface today.
“I wouldn’t say today’s game is one-dimensional but I do feel that the women’s game today is lacking a bit of depth compared to the men’s.
“The men have at least four to six top players who are swapping and changing at the top, so much so that (Roger) Federer would be considered lucky if he wins another Grand Slam.
“There is no one really dominating for the women as we have seen different players winning the Grand Slams so it could be a wonderful opportunity for young and hungry players to come through.”
Apart from world No. 1 American Serena Williams, who has consistently won at least one Grand Slam title since 1999, except for 2010, it has been a relatively level field.
In recent times, there have been several other winners, from Marion Bartoli at last year’s Wimbledon, Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka and more recently, China’s Li Na who bagged the Australian Open.
“I think what we need is to bring back some of the old serve and volley game, which certainly helps with a bit more variety,” said Court.
“But ultimately it will be down to who is hungrier to win more because you need that kind of hunger.
“And I also think that it’s great for Li Na to win the Australian Open. It’s good for the game ... because that’s probably where the future is, especially with so many young and hungry players (in China).”
Court, who is a church minister and is heavily involved in social work, is in Malaysia for Thursday’s Women@Work forum presented by General Electric, in conjunction with the BMW Malaysian Open at the Royal Selangor Golf Club.