PARIS — Casey Dellacqua has had more than enough.
In her first comments since posting “Enough is enough” on her Twitter feed several days ago in response to repeated — and in some cases very personal — anti-gay comments by career women’s Grand Slam title record-holder Margaret Court, Dellacqua told reporters at the French Open she felt obligated to take a public stand.
Players rip Court’s same-sex marriage stance
Andy Murray and others are unhappy with Margaret Court’s stance against same-sex marriage amid talk of a possible protest at next year’s Australian Open.
“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,” Dellacqua said Wednesday after winning her first-round doubles match with fellow Aussie Ashleigh Barty. “And 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 has two children with her partner Amanda Judd. After media coverage following the birth of their son in 2013, Court wrote a public letter lamenting that “this child has been deprived of his father. … I simply want to champion the rights of the family over the rights of the individual to engineer social norms and produce children into their relationships.” Dellacqua said she left the issue alone at the time, preferring to dwell on the joy of new motherhood.
“I thought, you know what, it’s not worth responding to,” said Dellacqua, a 32-year-old from Perth and multiple Grand Slam doubles finalist who has been ranked as high as world No. 3. “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.”
Court has continued to lash out at gay marriage over the years and most recently did a radio interview in which she called homosexuality “a whole plot in our nation and in the nations of the world to get in the minds of the children.”
Dellacqua’s Twitter profile describes her as a “mum” and a “Proud West Australian” — a home region she shares with Court. The two are acquainted and have hit with each other, making Court’s strident position all the more hurtful, Dellacqua said. But she and Barty don’t want the issue to distract from the task at hand. “It’s a fine balance of, you know, wanting to be you and speak up but also, like I said, the main focus is our tennis,” Dellacqua said.
She added that she feels supported by Tennis Australia, the national federation. But she and Barty declined to weigh in on a proposal advanced by several top players to strip Court’s name from the stadium named after her on the Australian Open grounds at Melbourne Park, an important Grand Slam landmark.
Wednesday, 2010 French Open finalist Samantha Stosur of Australia told ESPN that players are united in support of Dellacqua.
“It’s not for me to comment really whether it should or shouldn’t stay Margaret Court Arena,” Stosur said after advancing to the third round Wednesday. “It’s named that because of her tennis and her history of tennis. Her views are hers, but obviously we all, or a lot of us anyway, have very different opinions,” Stosur said.
Dellacqua and Barty cruised through their opening match against the French wild-card entry of Virginie Razzano and Marine Partaud 6-0, 6-2 in 47 minutes.