Dellacqua: It's my time to speak up on Court comments


Casey Dellacqua has spoken out following Margaret Court's remark that tennis is "full of lesbians", feeling it is time to make herself heard, having previously been the target of the 24-time grand slam singles champion.

Court - now a Christian pastor - caused controversy when she said she would not fly with Australian airline Qantas because of its support for same-sex marriage.

In a subsequent interview, the 74-year-old commented on what she perceived to be an increase in the number of lesbian players on the women's circuit, while also describing transgender issues as the work of "the devil".

Dellacqua is no stranger to Court's views, having been on the receiving end of disparaging statements made by her compatriot in a newspaper in 2013 about her decision to have a baby with partner Amanda Judd.

The Australian admits she is a reluctant spokesperson on the issue but addressed Court directly in a tweet last week, saying "enough is enough", and opened up further during a news conference at the French Open on Wednesday.

"The main focus for us is to win tennis matches, and that's what we are here to do," she told a news conference. "So it's a fine balance of wanting to be you and speak up but also, like I said, the main focus is our tennis.

"But I felt like it was time for me to speak up. I never come out and say anything. I don't really do interviews or things, you know, in regard to that. But I just felt like it was time for me to speak up.

"Back in 2013, that was when she wrote about me, it was a really happy time in my life. The birth of my first child, our first child, so it was a really happy time.

"I did read the article and I left it alone. I thought, you know what, it's not worth responding to. So I left it.

"But then obviously more and more stuff just keeps coming out and I just thought, you know what... that's why the tweet said 'enough'. Because it is, it's just enough.

Discussing how she felt when the original article was published, Dellacqua continued: "At the time I was really hurt. I was hurt because I actually know Margaret personally; I used to hit with her back in Perth, so I know her.

"But like I said, I let it go because it was a very happy time in my life, so I kind of just ignored it and thought, I'm not going to let anyone ruin my happiness. So yes, I was hurt.

"And I guess, more to the point, I'm fine and I'm very conscious of the fact that everyone is allowed their opinion, but when you start singling out my family especially, that's when it's not okay.

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

Dellacqua says she has received "100 per cent support" from Tennis Australia and declined to comment on whether the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne should be renamed.