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No Melbourne boycott, says Stosur, after Court comments
May 31, 2017 / 1:43 PM / 7 months ago

No Melbourne boycott, says Stosur, after Court comments

PARIS (Reuters) - Competitors at next year’s Australian Open will play on whatever court they are told to, tennis star Samantha Stosur said on Wednesday, a day after suggesting some might boycott the stadium named after Margaret Court.

Sep 1, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Samantha Stosur of Australia hits a forehand against Shuai Zhang of China (not pictured) on day four of the 2016 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters

Grand slam title record-holder Court, 74, said on radio on Wednesday that tennis was “full of lesbians”, a week after expressing her opposition to same-sex marriage.

Her comments have drawn a chorus of disapproval from the sport’s big names, including a suggestion by Stosur that some players at the January major might choose to boycott the stadium, renamed the Margaret Court Arena in 2003.

“I’ve never said I was going to boycott or anything like that,” Stosur told a news conference after reaching the third round of the French Open with a 6-2 7-6(6) win over Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens.

“I‘m going to head down to the Australian Open when it rolls around next year, and we’ll get on whatever court we have to play on. But obviously I don’t agree with what she’s coming out with saying.”

Court, who is now a pastor, earlier told Australian radio show Vision Christian Radio: ”Tennis is full of lesbians, because even when I was playing there was only a couple there, but those couple that led, that took young ones into parties and things.”“...We’re there to help them overcome. We’re not against the people.”

Australian players Nick Kyrgios and Jaimee Fourlis, and world number one Andy Murray, have also expressed disapproval of the veteran’s comments.

But Murray has also urged players to resolve any conflicts before the next Australian Open.

Eighteen-times grand slam singles champion Martina Navratilova, who married long-term partner Julie Lemigova in 2014, has called for the Margaret Court Arena to be renamed.

Court won a record 24 grand slam singles titles in a career that spanned the sport’s amateur and professional eras.

reporting by John Stonestreet; editing by Hugh Lawson

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