British No. 1 Johanna Konta will compete at the Margaret Court Arena despite disagreeing with Court’s controversial statements on LGBT issues and same-sex marriage.
Tennis legends Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King both condemned Court’s views — the latter calling for the Margaret Court Arena, which is one of the main venues at the Australian Open, to be renamed.
When asked about the furore, Konta told a press conference: “I don’t agree with what Margaret Court said. However, she’s entitled to her own opinion.
“But in terms of playing, if I’m scheduled to play on Margaret Court, I will go out there and compete. It’s a tournament decision where they put me.
“I think it’s unfortunate that this whole thing has even occurred, because it does overshadow why her name is on the court. It’s not because of her beliefs, it’s because of her achievements in the sport. They’re actually quite separate.
“It’s not nice to be answering these sorts of questions. It’s not really what this tournament is about. It’s not what these sorts of sporting events are about.
“They’re about equality, they’re about showcasing men and women, wheelchair tennis; celebrating tennis in that way.”
Australia’s Court, 75, won 24 major singles titles before becoming a Christian pastor in Perth.