French Open

Gay Australian player blasts Margaret Court

2017-05-31 15:42
Casey Dellacqua (Getty Images)

Paris - Casey Dellacqua on Wednesday blasted Margaret Court for her "hurtful" views on same-sex relationships but refused to back a potential boycott of the Australian Open arena which bears the name of the 24-time major winner.

Gay 32-year-old Dellacqua, who has two children with partner Amanda Judd, said Court was wrong to claim that her children "have been deprived of a father" and that such youngsters are not "given the best possible start in life".

The tennis legend's controversial views on homosexuality have led to calls for the Margaret Court Arena at the Australian Open in Melbourne to be renamed.

If this does not occur, some players have hinted that they will not play in the arena when the the opening Grand Slam event of 2018 is held in January.

Dellacqua recently tweeted: "Margaret. Enough is enough" after Court said she would refuse to fly with national carrier Qantas in protest at the company's support of same-sex marriage.

"At the time I was really hurt because I actually know Margaret personally," Dellacqua said at the French Open on Wednesday.

"Everyone is allowed their opinion, but when you start singling out my family especially, that's when it's not okay.

"And my family do not deserve to be subject to that. She can have her opinion but my family does not deserve that. That's when I thought, it's my time to speak up."

The controversy took a new twist on Wednesday when Court, now a Christian pastor, claimed "tennis is full of lesbians" and transgender children were the work of "the devil".

Court, 74, has vowed to keep airing her views and didn't hold back on Vision Christian Radio station.

"I mean, tennis is full of lesbians, because even when I was playing there was only a couple there, but those couple that led took young ones into parties and things," she said.

"And you know, what you get at the top is often what you'll get right through that sport."

Asked about transgender children, she claimed their minds had been corrupted.

"That's all the devil... but that's what Hitler did and that's what communism did - got the mind of the children. And there's a whole plot in our nation, and in the nations of the world to get the minds of the children."

Dellacqua insists she has the "100 percent support of Tennis Australia" in her criticism of Court.

However, she refused to call for a boycott of one of the Australian Open flagship arenas.

"I personally feel when I'm playing in Melbourne that I have a huge amount of support from the fans," she said.

"So whatever court I do play on, I know that I'll be well supported. The Australian Open is a long time away...but yeah, I just prefer probably not to go into any of that."

Men's world number one Andy Murray said he wanted to see the controversy resolved before the Australian Open starts to avoid a scheduling nightmare.

"For players to be in a position where you're in a slam and kind of boycotting playing on the court, I think would potentially cause a lot of issues," said Murray.

"So I think if something was going to be happening and the players come to an agreement, if they think the name should be changed or whatever, that should be decided before the event starts."

Australian players in Paris have also been dragged into the row simmering thousands of miles away.

Fiery national number one Nick Kyrgios said he has "no problem with gay marriage at all".

Top women's player Samantha Stosur, the 2011 US Open champion, hinted at a boycott.

"I guess we'll cross that bridge when we all get down to the Australian Open and who wants to play on Margaret Court Arena and who doesn't and we'll go from there," she said.

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