NEW

Barty lets Coco through, Pliskova to meet Martic

On a wet and dreary Friday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, World No 1 Ash Barty retired from her quarter-final match against Coco Gauff, waving on the American teenager into the semis after leading by a set, while Karolina Pliskova survived 3 match...

Nadal avenges Madrid loss

Up to the quarter-final stage of the Rome Masters, Rafa Nadal could be said to have had a fairly torrid time and when he faced Alexander Zverev for a place in the last four, many expected the German, last week’s Madrid Masters winner, to maintain his winning form over...

Pliskova to meet Ostapenko in Rome quarters

Karolina Pliskova is the sole seed in the lower half of the draw and takes on Jelena Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open champion, in the quarter-finals of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, while Petra Martic and Jessica Pegula will contest the last quarter on Friday.

Barty cruises, Gauff stuns Sabalenka and Svitolina swats Muguruza

World No 1 Ash Barty remains on track to add the Rome title to her expanding collection but must overcome Coco Gauff in the quarter-finals, who upset Aryna Sabalenka, the Madrid champion, at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia on Thursday, while Elina Svitolina took out...

Nadal one point from defeat

Rafa Nadal’s invincibility on clay is being tested more regularly than you would expect and makes his forthcoming challenge at Roland Garros in a few weeks’ time, the more intriguing.

Jo Konta and Venus Williams enter Nottingham

British No 1 Johanna Konta and 10-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams will headline this year’s Nottingham Open field, the first of the returning LTA summer grass court events.

Osaka leads march of seeds out of Rome

On a day of major upsets at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, the underdogs prevailed, seeing off seeds Naomi Osaka, Simona Halep, Sofia Kenin, Serena Williams, Petra Kvitova, and Maria Sakkari in a procession of upsets at the Foro Italico in Rome.

Nadal back on track

Rafa Nadal, playing his first match at the Foro Italico following his quarter-final loss to Alexander Zverev at last week’s Madrid Masters, declared himself happy with his performance in overcoming Jannik Sinner in straight sets, but not so with the scheduling by the...

Konta follows Bencic and Mertens out of Rome

Seeds started to tumble at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, with Belinda Bencic and Elise Mertens followed out of the draw by Jo Konta, while Garbiñe Muguruza and Angelique Kerber were among those to win through on Tuesday.

Kvitova, Brady, Swiatek and Sakkari open Rome accounts

The Internazionali BNL d’Italia got under way at the Foro Italico in Rome on Monday, with some of the seeds in action and coming through unscathed, although Petra Kvitova had to come from a set down against Magda Linette to advance, while Jennifer Brady won in...
Tennis News, Tennis Results, Live Tennis Scores & Interviews

Margaret Court honoured

It is sad that the great Margaret Court is, once again, amid a storm of controversy after having been awarded Australia’s greatest honour, the Companion of the Order of Australia, on the country’s national day on Tuesday.

Always remember I’m a minister of the gospel and have been for the last 30 years, I always say what the Bible says. I love people, people come in from all backgrounds, I’m there to help, I’m not there to put people down in that way but I’ll always say what the Bible says. I’ve been bullied a lot in the last few years, and I don’t mind. That’s alright. But if I say anything, then [they say] I’m a bigot and I’m everything else, and I don’t like that.” Margaret Court

The decision to give the award was criticised by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews last week, who said her vocal opposition to same-sex marriage and support of gay conversion therapy should exclude her from receiving the honour.

Most unfortunately, respected broadcaster Kerry O’Brien rejected his Australia Day gong in protest at the ‘insensitive’ decision to honour Court, while LGBTQ advocate Dr Clara Tuck Meng Soo said she would hand back the medal she received in 2016.

The 78-year-old’s accomplishments on the tennis court are undeniable, having won 24 Grand Slam singles titles, which remains a record to this day, but her outspoken views on same-sex marriage, homosexuality and transgender athletes are considered to be out of step in the modern world of equality and, as a result, have drawn angry criticism from many.

It has distanced her from the sport she professes to love, and she was quick to point out in a radio interview on 3AW on Tuesday that she has not been invited to attend the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park, where one of the show courts is named after her.

“I’m not coming to the Australian Open. No, I wasn’t invited,” Court told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell. “With coronavirus, we’ve been so busy with our community work. I haven’t even thought about it.”

Her latest award has further stoked the fire, but Court does not regret accepting the honour.

“No, because I loved representing my nation,” Court said. “When I got the AO [Officer of the Order of Australia in 2007] it was for my community reach area. We put out 75 tonnes of food a week. And this was for my tennis, and I think it was a long-time coming.

“I wasn’t one who looked for it. I didn’t know I was getting it. I was very honoured when I was told I was.

“There wasn’t a lot of fuss about it, but there has been a lot of other people who have made a lot of fuss about it.”

Court, who is now a church pastor and one of only five players to win all four Majors in the same year, refused to be drawn on Andrews’ stance, while claiming her previous comments had been misrepresented by the media.

“I don’t hate anybody, I love people and I love gay people and transgender people. We get them into our community services, we never turn anybody away,” she said.

“I can be bullied, I’ve been bullied a lot in the last few years and I don’t mind, that’s all right.

“But if I say anything, then I’m a bigot and I’m everything else and I don’t like that and I think the press has caused a lot of that.”

She claims has been ‘used’ as a high-profile promoter of her so-called ‘traditional values’ and reiterated her views that being gay was a choice, and could be cured, but she felt some of her views had been misconstrued.

Mitchell concluded the interview by saying the 78-year-old ‘may have dug herself into a deeper hole’ after reiterating her views surrounding marriage equality and homosexuality.

“It is a choice,” she said. “There were some things that were said on radio that claimed I said transgender children are the devil. I never said that.

“Everything we have in life is a choice. That’s the freedom God gave us. That’s their choice. I don’t hate them for their choice.

“I was used as a high profile person to get some opinions and views across – but I have nothing against homosexual people or transgender people.

“I’ve always said what the bible says. And I don’t hate anybody. I love people. And I love gay people and I love transgender people.”

She also repeated her declaration that she continues to pray for Andrews, despite their public war of words.


Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe breached AO protocol when they protested for Margaret Court Arena to be renamed in honour of Evonne Goolagong.

Twitter

Court enraged fellow tennis greats including Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova when she announced a boycott of national airline Qantas for its CEO’s support of same-sex marriage, which Australia introduced in 2017, while there have been repeated calls for Tennis Australia to rename the Margaret Court Arena at Melbourne Park.

Controversy raged when Court accepted Tennis Australia’s invitation last year to AO20 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her 1970 Grand Slam sweep.

“Over the years, I’ve taken a lot, and I think I’ve been bullied in one way, and I think, you know, it’s time to stop,” Court said. “A lot of things were said, which I never really said, which I think was the sad part.

“Always remember I’m a minister of the gospel and have been for the last 30 years, I always say what the Bible says.

“I love people, people come in from all backgrounds, I’m there to help, I’m not there to put people down in that way but I’ll always say what the Bible says.

“I’ve been bullied a lot in the last few years, and I don’t mind. That’s alright. But if I say anything, then [they say] I’m a bigot and I’m everything else, and I don’t like that.”





Previous

Next

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.