By James Bakama
IF there were any doubts about Uganda’s sports potential, they were dispelled by tennis legend Margaret Court on Tuesday.
“You have got the talent to be the best,” noted Court adding: “All you need is belief. Your mind is the battlefield. You have to believe that you can do it.”
Speaking at a press conference at Serena Hotel shortly after arrival from Entebbe Airport, Court who won a record 62 Grand Slam events, however noted government support is also crucial.
“You need coaches. You must have big numbers being trained. China has succeeded by doing so.” She believes tennis can become as popular as football in Uganda.
Court, accompanied by her husband Barry and tennis coach Mathew Carle will starting on Wednesday morning conduct clinics at Lugogo.
The Australian, who was raised as a Catholic but converted to Pentecostalism, is in Uganda as a guest of Miracle Center Ministries.
She will together with her husband take part in church activities like preaching and inspirational talks at Rubaga and a crusade at Wankulukuku.
On what made her soar above everyone in tennis, Court explained “I loved what I did right from the court, gym. I also had coaches who believed in me.”
But apart from this hard work, she stressed “I love to win. You must always have goals in whatever you do. Whether you want to be a doctor or athlete.”
In 1970, Court became the first woman during the open era (and the second woman in history) to win the singles Grand Slam (all four majors in the same calendar year).
Court won a (still current) record 24 of those titles during her career. She also won 19 women's doubles and 21 mixed doubles titles, giving her a record 64 Major titles overall. She is the only woman to win the mixed doubles Grand Slam, and she did it twice.