From Daria Kasatkina to Nadia Podoroska, the queer community is set for a great season
BY ELLA GAUCI, IMAGE VIA INSTAGRAM (@NADIAPODOROSKA, @GREETJEMINNEN, @KASATKINA)
It’s back. Get your Pimms and your strawberries and cream (and maybe an umbrella), as Wimbledon is well and truly here. The prestigious tennis tournament has officially begun, and this year it’s full of glorious gay tennis players bringing some rainbow colour to these grey, drizzly summer days.
Here’s our guide to the LGBTQIA tennis superstars competing in this year’s Wimbledon.
One of Argentina’s most prominent tennis players, Nadia Podoroska, came out publicly in 2022. Ever since then, she has posted loved-up pictures on Instagram with her girlfriend and fellow Argentinian tennis player Guillermina Naya.
After coming out last year, the iconic American former world no. 1 tennis player Billie Jean King tweeted: “Congratulations to WTA player @nadiapodoroska on her announcement. Living authentically takes such courage, but it is always worth it.”
The Belgian superstar Greet Minnen made history on Wimbledon’s very own court in 2021 when she played doubles with her (now ex) girlfriend Alison Van Uytvanck. The pair became the first openly gay couple in history to play doubles together.
In another iconic moment, Greet and Alison shared a kiss at the net during the WTA tournament in 2019.
With a career-high ranking of no.8 in the world, Daria Kasatkina is one of the most high-profile LGBTQIA tennis stars competing at this year’s Wimbledon. She came out publicly in 2022 by confirming her relationship with Olympic figure skater Natalia Zabiiako.
Daria has been vocal about her disagreement with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and their anti-LGBTQIA culture. She told The Times earlier this year: “It’s unsafe for me now, with the regime we have. As a gay person who opposes the war, it’s not possible to go back. But I don’t regret it even 1 per cent.”
In an interview with blogger Vitya Kravchenko, she also said: “Living in the closet is impossible. I believe it is important that influential people from sports, or any other sphere really, speak about it. It is important for young people who have a hard time with society and need support.”
The Dutch doubles specialist is expected to compete in this year’s Wimbledon when the draw is announced on Wednesday (5 July). Demi came out as a teenager and has become an advocate and role model for LGBTQIA rights and inclusion in sports.
“I think that’s really nice to be able to support younger fans who may be going through the same things I did,” she told the WTA. “I remember the feelings I had when I came out, so I want to help younger people understand that they should be how they want to be, and show what they want to show.”
“You only live once, so you have to be happy and don’t need to stress about being gay or not.”
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