Australian Open: John McEnroe hits out at Margaret Court on eve of celebrations_1

Former tennis champion John McEnroe was renowned during his heyday for his propensity to rattle off stinging comments towards fellow players and umpires.

Now, the tennis great has fired one of his fiercest serves at Margaret Court – and Tennis Australia's response to its polarising "crazy aunt" – on the eve of a ceremony marking her achievements.

Court, who holds the all-time grand slam record with 24 titles and having achieved the coveted calendar year 'Grand Slam' in 1970, will be recognised on the 50th anniversary of her feat.

Rod Laver, who won the Grand Slam twice, will present Court with a life-sized replica of the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Trophy on his namesake court, prior to the much-awaited fourth round clash between Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios [Monday, 7pm].

However, McEnroe believes there's something glaring Tennis Australia will forget to address: "Her list of offensive and homophobic statements."

To cap off his riposte, McEnroe issued one final plea to Serena Williams, who lost in the third round at Melbourne Park to China's Wang Qiang.

Williams, a seven-time winner in Melbourne, remains one grand slam title shy of equalling Court's all-time record, with her last victory coming here in 2017.

"Serena, do me a favour and get two more grand slams this year and get to 25, so we can leave Margaret Court and her offensive views in the past, where they both belong," McEnroe begged.