Meet The Out Gay Tennis Players At Australian Open 2024

Meet The Out Gay Tennis Players At Australian Open 2024
Image: Daria Kasatkina. Image: Instagram

As the Australian Open 2024 kicks off, a handful of out gay tennis stars are flying the rainbow flag at this year’s Grand Slam. 

Historically, the visibility of openly gay tennis players has been limited due to prevalent homophobia in sports culture, concerns about privacy and fears of discrimination impacting careers. 

However, recent years have witnessed a positive shift as societal attitudes evolve, leading to more athletes feeling comfortable coming out and contributing to increased LGBTQI representation in sports.

Daria Kasatkina 

Daria Kasatkina and Natalia Zabiiako. Image: Facebook.

Daria Kasatkina is a Russian professional tennis player who made her top-ten debut in the WTA rankings near the end of the 2018 season and has been ranked as high as world No. 8, achieved on October 24, 2022. 

Kasatkina has won six singles titles and one title in doubles on the WTA Tour.

In July 2022, Kasatkina came out as gay in a video interview, telling Russian blogger Vitya Kravchenko that she was in a relationship with a woman after she found “living in the closet” impossible. The 26-year-old has been dating Olympic medallist Natalia Zabiiako since 2022. 

At the time the athlete also spoke out against prevailing attitudes towards homosexuality and the constraints on LGBTQI rights in Russia. 

“So many subjects are taboo in Russia. This notion of someone wanting to be gay or becoming [gay] is ridiculous. I think there is nothing easier in this world than being straight,” she said. 

Nadia Podoroska

Nadia Podoroska. Image: WTA

Nadia Natacha Podoroska is an Argentine professional tennis player who has won one doubles title on the WTA Tour and one singles title on the WTA Challenger Tour along with 14 singles titles and seven doubles titles on the ITF Circuit.

Podoroska spoke publicly about her relationship with fellow Argentine tennis player Guillermina Naya for the first time in 2022. 

When asked how the tennis player battled feelings of anxiety, she expressed her gratitude for her parents and her partner who was able to provide a sense of comfort to her. 

“That affection and positive energy of being at home helped a lot. Then I went to Spain, I was fine because it seemed like it would be a short time before I could compete again. When I knew it would be longer, my mum was able to visit me. Then my girlfriend came to see me. That’s how it started to happen”, she told Clay.

Emina Bektas 

Emina Bektas. Image: WTA

Emina Bektas is an American tennis player with a career-high WTA ranking of No. 82 in singles, which was reached in November 2023. 

Bektas has won one Singles title on the WTA Challenger along with seven singles titles on the ITF Circuit. Bektas is married to Tara Moore, a Hong Korn-born British former professional tennis player.

Demi Schurrs 

Demi Schurrs. Image: Facebook

Demi Schurrs is a Dutch professional tennis player who specialises in doubles. Schurrs reached a doubles career-high ranking of 7 in 2018 and is currently ranked 18 for doubles.

She came out as a teenager and has become an advocate and role model for LGBTQIA rights and inclusion in sports.

Greet Minnen 

Greet Minnen. Image: WTA

Greet Minnen is a Belgian tennis player who has a career-high WTA rankings of 45 in singles, which was achieved on 8 January 2024. 

The Belgian athlete achieved a historic milestone in the doubles tournament when she faced off against her former partner, Alison Van Uytvanck, during a World Tennis Association (WTA) Tour event in Karlsruhe in 2019.

After Van Uytvanck secured the victory against Minnen, the duo shared a kiss at the net, representing a significant moment for LGBTQ+ visibility in the realm of tennis.

Van Uytvanck and Minnen also partnered in doubles at Wimbledon in 2019, marking another historic occasion as the first openly gay players to team up at a major tournament. 

The Australian Open is available to watch on Channel 9, while every court will also be streamed online on 9Now and Stan Sport. Marking its debut as a 15-day event, the tournament will run until January 28 this year.  


You May Also Like

Comments are closed.