Daria Kasatkina Opens Up About Her Sexuality As Native Russia Eye Tightening Anti-LGBT Laws - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Latest news

Daria Kasatkina Opens Up About Her Sexuality As Native Russia Eye Tightening Anti-LGBT Laws

Published

on

Daria Kasatkina has become one of the very few Russian athletes to speak publicly about their sexuality during a Youtube interview with blogger Vitya Kravchenko in Spain. 

The world No.12 has previously spoken about being bisexual but until now had not spoken any further about her personal life. Kasatkina has confirmed that she is in a relationship with another woman and posted a photo of them both shortly after the video was published. Her girlfriend is figure skater Natalia Zabiiako who won a silver medal in the team event at the 2018 Winter Olympics representing Russia but has since switched her allegiance to Canada. 

Kasatkina spoke about her personal life after praising Russian footballer Nadezhda Karpova who has recently come out as gay. The 25-year-old said the decision by Karpova is a move she believes will help others, especially those who may not be open about their sexuality for whatever reason. 

I was happy for her, but also for other people, especially girls who need to know that. It has empowered them for sure,” she said. 
“Not only did Nadya help herself by coming clean and getting this burden off her chest, but she helped others.’
“It is important for young people who have a hard time with society and need support. I think that it is very important that influential people from sport, or any other sphere really, speak about it. It helps.”

Continuing his interview, Kravchenko then asked the tennis star if she was happy to speak out about her sexuality. 

“I’m a little nervous, because I’ve never been so open on camera,” said Kasatkina, adding “but in general, I’m pretty cool.”

Kasatkina is currently based in Spain which is a country ranked as the 10th best in the region for LGBT rights according to research conducted by the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. In contrast, Russia is ranked 46th with only Armenia, Turkey and Azerbaijan having a lower score than them. 

“There are so many taboo topics in our country. And there are more important topics that are forbidden, so there is nothing to be surprised at,” Kasatkina replied when asked about the LGBT community in Russia. 
“There’s this phrase, ‘if you want to be gay’. If you want to or not, if you become it or not. What kind of nonsense is this? 
“Really, it seems to me there’s nothing easier in the world than to be straight. Given a choice, who would choose to be gay and make life difficult for yourself? Seriously. Especially in Russia.”

The bigger picture 

A player coming out may not seem like a massive issue in Western Europe but in Kasatkina’s home country it is a completely different scenario. On the same day as Kasatkina’s video was published, lawmakers in Russia tabled a motion calling for a tightening of their anti-LGBT laws. The country already has in place a law that prohibits the display of what they call “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships” toward minors. Now some want to introduce a policy where any information deemed “LGBT propaganda” by Russian authorities can be banned. 

In its explanatory note published on the lower-house State Duma website, it says “Public approval and recognition of such relationships are dangerous not only for children and young people… but for the whole society.’ It also confirmed that should this act come into law, authorities would be allowed to ban websites from showing LGBT relationships. 

Given the current climate, it is unsurprising that Kasatkina says that it will likely ‘never’ be ok for same-sex couples to hold their hands in public in Russia. Although some regions in the country are more tolerant than others. 

“We had some tendencies not so long ago – approximately when the [2018 football] World Cup as. Then, ‘the road’s closed for repairs.’ She spoke of attitudes towards LGBT people in Russia.
“Living in the closet, as they say, for a long time is difficult and doesn’t make sense. It will be stuck in your head until you say it. It is clear that everyone chooses how to open up and how much. You have to be comfortable with yourself, that’s the most important thing.” Kasatkina added.

The reaction 

Tennis figures within what is a largely conservative Russia have expressed their support to Kasatkina after formally coming out about her relationship. Andrei Chesnokov is a former top 10 player who reached the semi-finals of the French Open during the 1980s. 

“My position is very ordinary – this is her choice and her own business. I don’t even want to get involved. I support Dasha. Every person has the right to privacy. She’s a normal girl, she doesn’t kill anyone. Dasha lives her wonderful life. Kasatkina is a wonderful person and it is a pleasure to communicate with her. Dasha is also a great tennis player.” He told Sport 24

Former world No.1 Yevgeny Kafelnikov also told Sport 24 that Kasatkina’s coming out ‘won’t affect his relationship with her’ in any way. 

Speaking to Match TV, Kasatkina’s agent Sofya Tartakova said her announcement should have no impact on her career and called her an inspiration to others.

“How can this interfere with a career? Does it bother you that you love someone, love, in principle, can interfere with someone? Regardless of what gender she is. Should we be afraid of the reaction of the Russian public? I think our audience needs to develop both spiritually and mentally. Thank God that there are players like Daria Kasatkina, who is not afraid and talks about herself very sincerely and humanly. It is difficult to be a human being, but it is possible even while living in Russia,” She said

Unfortunately, not everybody has been as supportive of Kasatkina with one politician going as far as calling her a ‘bad role model.’ Something which Margaret Court once said about Martina Navratilova’s sexuality more than 40 years ago. Roman Teryushkov is a member of the State Duma which is the lower house of the Russian parliament. 

“Honestly, it is difficult for me to comment on such statements. We are Russian people! We have traditional, cultural, moral values ​​that we pass on from generation to generation,” he commented.
Everything that comes to us from the West, I hope, will soon be eradicated. My colleagues in the State Duma have just prepared a draft law banning the propaganda” of same-sex relationships. In Russia, this should by no means be supported and encouraged! We need to eradicate this and live with our culture.
It is impossible to approve the act of Daria in any way! Our athletes have always, starting with Soviet Russia, been idols to follow. And Kasatkina is not the best role model.”

Although Teryushkov’s words will not concern Kasatkina if she sticks to the philosophy she mentioned in her interview…. 

Living in peace with yourself is the only thing that matters, and f**k everyone else.

Daria Kasatkina

Latest news

Andrey Rublev comes back from one set down to beat Zhang Zhizhen in Dubai

Published

on

Number 2 seed Andrey Rublev came back from one set down to beat Zhang Zhizhen 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 6-4 in 1 hour and 51 minutes at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. 

Rublev hit 18 aces and saved both break points he faced to improve to 2-0 in in his head-to-to-head series against Zhang Zhizhen. 

The first set went on serve with no breaks of serve en route to the tie-break. Rublev opened up a 4-1 lead, but Zhang Zhizhen won six consecutive points to win the tie-break 7-4. 

Rublev broke twice in the third and seventh games to win the  second set 6-2. 

Rublev broke in the third game of the decider. Zhang Zhizhen earned two break-back points in the fourth game but Rublev saved them. Rublev held on his next service games and sealed the win on his first match point. 

“I was so happy because the conditions were super tough. He played amazing in the first set. He was not missing at all on serve, serving 220 and it was so tough to return and do something on return. I am happy that I was able to be there and as soon as I had a chance in second set I was able to take it”, said Rublev. 

Hubert Hurkacz saved all six break points to battle past Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (8-6) in 2 hours and 40 minutes. Struff saved the three break points he faced. 

Hurkacz earned two mini-breaks to take a 5-2 lead in the tie-break. Struff pulled back one serve for 3-5 but Hurkacz sealed the first set on his third set point. Hurkacz saved three break points in the 12th game. Struff earned two mini-breaks to win the second tie-break 7-4. Both players saved break points in the first two games of the third set. Struff earned two match points at 6-4 in the tie-break, but Hurkacz won four consecutive points to win the decisive tie-break 8-6. 

Botic Van de Zandschulp edged Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 to clinch his first win against a top 20 opponent. Van de Zandschulp set up a second round match against Sebastian Korda, who cruised past Pavel Kotov 6-0 6-2. 

Van de Zandschulp earned the first break to take a 2-1 lead. Mannarino saved a break point at 1-3. Mannarino broke back to draw level to 3-3. Both players traded breaks in the 11th and 12th games. Van de Zandschulp earned two mini-breaks to take a 5-1 lead in the tie-break. Mannarino pulled one mini-break back, but Van de Zandschulp eanred another mini-break to win the tie-break 7-3. The second went on serve until the 12th game, when Van de Zandschulp earned the decisive break. 

This year’s Montpellier champion Alexander Bublik came back from one set down to beat Tomas Machac 2-6 6-3 7-6 (7-5). Bublik set up a second round match against either Tallon Griekspoor or Abdullah Shelbayh. 

Continue Reading

Latest news

Karen Khachanov wins his sixth career title in Doha

Published

on

Karen Khachanov beat Czech Next Gen Jakub Mesnik 7-6 (14-12) 6-4 to clinch his the sixth title of his career and the first of his career. Khachanov did not drop a set during this week. 

Khachanov saved four set points in the first set before hitting a forehand return to seal the first set on his fourth set point. 

Khachanov broke serve in the opening game of the second set. The Russian player did not face a break point in the whole match and won 83% of his first serve points. 

Khachanov claimed his first ATP title since Zhuhai last September. 

“Every title is a special one. Every time, you want to win. We play around 22 tournaments per season and at the end of the day, you compete every week. For sure here in Doha here in Doha it is one of the nicest trophies”, said Khachanov. 

Mesnik made a major breakthrough this week beating Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and three former Doha champions Andy Murray, Andrey Rublev and Gael Monfils en route to his first tour level final. Mesnik is projected to a career-high number 87 in the ATP Ranking. He is currently in the lead in the ATP Race to Jeddah. 

“For sure this week will be unforgettable for me. From the beginning, I did not even get to the tournament on my own ranking. I had to use the Next Gen spot, so I tried to enjoy every moment on the court. I did not expect that I will go through to the final. I am really happy with my performance”, said Mesnik. 

Continue Reading

Latest news

Jasmine Paolini wins the first WTA 1000 title of her career in Dubai

Published

on

Jasmine Paolini came back from one set down to beat qualifier Anna kalinskaya 4-6 7-5 7-5 in 2 hours and 13 minutes in the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. 

Paolini rallied from one break down in each of the second and third sets to clinch he the second WTA Tour title of her career and her first trophy at WTA 1000 level. Paolini has become the third Italian player to win a WTA 1000 title following in the footsteps of Flavia Pennetta in Indian Wells in 2014 and Camila Giorgi in Montreal 2021. 

Kalinskaya earned an early break in the first game of the opening set. Paolini broke back in the fifth and sixth games. 

Kalinskaya broke serve in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead with a passing winner and closed out the first set at 15. 

Kalinskaya broke Paolini with a return winner in the opening game to build up a 6-4 3-1 lead. Paolini slammed a return winner to break back for 3-3. Paolini forced and error on set point with a crosscourt backhand to break serve in the 12th game. 

The third set started with three consecutive breaks. Kalinskaya broke for the second time in the third game and held at 15 with an ace in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead.  Paolini broke back in the 10th game  to draw level to 5-5 when Kalinskaya was serving for the match. 

Paolini earned three championships point at 6-5 after Kalinskaya made a double fault. 

Paolini drew a long error from Kalinskaya on the first match point. 

Paolini wo 60% of her first serve points.

Paolini beat Kalinskaya in Portoroz in 2021 en route to winning the first WTA title of her career. The Italian player played in three more finals in Cluj Napoca, Palermo and Monastir, but she lost all of them. Kalinskaya beat Paolini in the Round of 16 at last January’s Australian Open. 

Paolini has become the second Italian player to win the Dubai title after Sara Erraini claimed this trophy in 2016. The Italian player is projected to move into the top 15 in the WTA Ranking. 

“I am really happy how I managed to come back. It’s unbelievable. I don’t know. I am just so happy. I am proud of all the work I made this year. It’s not easy to bring this work in the match sometimes. I am playing good tennis. I played well at the end of the last season I started the season well with the second week at the Australian Open. Now I try to be more relaxed on court, to try to think more what I have to do, to be more present every point. I think it works. It’s not going to be every week like this, but I am going to do my best”, said Paolini during the post match press conference. 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending