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




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


Rafael Nadal Returns To Cincinnati With Shot At No.1 Ranking

This is what the king of clay has to do to reclaim the top position.





It has been over a month since Rafael Nadal last played a match on the Tour but in the coming days, he will have a chance to return to the top of the ATP rankings.


The 22-time Grand Slam champion has been absent from action ever since pulling out of his semi-final match at Wimbledon due to an abdominal tear. He was set to play at this week’s National Bank Open in Montreal but withdrew after feeling a ‘slight bother’ in his abdominal region following training. Nadal decided not to play after consulting with his doctor.

Instead, the Spaniard will return next week at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. He confirmed his return in an Instagram post, where he wrote: “Very happy to play again in Cincy. Flying there tomorrow (Thursday).”

Whilst the Spaniard will be finding his feet in the coming days, in Cincinnati he has a chance to dethrone Daniil Medvedev from the world No.1 position. Medvedev lost his opening match in Montreal to Nick Kyrgios. To do this he would need to win the Masters 1000 event for the second time in his career and hope that Medvedev doesn’t make the quarter-finals. Nadal won Cincinnati back in 2013 after defeating John Isner in the final.

So far in his career, Nadal has spent 209 weeks as world No.1 with his longest streak being 56 weeks in a row (2010-2011). In total, he has been at the top of the rankings for eight separate periods and last held the position in February 2020.

Nadal’s No.1 stints
-Aug 18 2008 – Jul 5th 2009 (46 weeks)
-Jun 7 2010 – Jul 3rd 2011 (56 weeks)
-Oct 7th 2013 – Jul 6th 2014 (39 weeks)
-Aug 21 2017 – Feb 18 2018 (26 weeks)
-Apr 2nd 2018 – May 13th 2018 (6 weeks)
-May 21st 2018 – Jun 17th 2018 (4 weeks)
-Jun 25th 2018 – Nov 4th 2018 (19 weeks)
-Nov 4th 2019 – Feb 2nd 2020 (13 weeks)

At present nine out of the world’s top 10 players will participate in the Western and Southern Open. The only exception is Novak Djokovic who is currently banned from entering America because he isn’t vaccinated against Covid-19.

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Jack Draper Considered Skipping Montreal Masters Before Getting Biggest Win Of Career

The rising star completes a trio of British players who have booked their places in the third round of the Masters 1000 event.




Image via https://twitter.com/OBNmontreal/

British qualifier Jack Draper says his decision to play in Montreal this week has paid off after he scored his first-ever win over a top 10 player on Wednesday.


The 20-year-old stunned world No.5 and third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-5, 7-6(4), in what is only his fourth appearance in the main draw of a Masters 1000 event. Draper, who is currently ranked 82nd in the world, won 74% of his first service points and blasted 21 winners past his Greek rival. Recovering from a 1-3 deficit in the second set en route to a straight sets victory.

Leading up to this week, Draper and his team considered not playing in Montreal following his 6-4, 6-2, loss to Andrey Rublev in Washington. However, their decision to do so was the right one. After coming through two rounds of qualifying, he beat France’s Hugo Gaston in the first round before knocking out Tsitsipas.

“This is why I put in all the hard work, for nights like this on stages like this,” Draper said in an on-court interview. “Last week [after] Washington, me and my coach probably were thinking we weren’t even going to come here. We were going to maybe train a week, get a bit of confidence. But it paid off coming.”
“I didn’t really have much of a game plan. I just thought I needed to play good tennis to beat Stefanos. He’s at the top of the game for a reason. [He’s] someone I’ve looked up to the last few years. It’s just good to be out here and try to express myself on this stage.” He added.

Draper’s win comes during what has been a solid season for the Brit who has won four Challenger titles. A former top 10 junior player, he won his first main draw Grand Slam match in June at Wimbledon and reached the semi-finals of the Eastbourne International.

Awaiting the youngster in the third round will be French veteran Gael Monfils who is playing in his first tournament since May. Monfils defeated Maxime Cressy 7-6(10), 7-6(8).

Draper is one of three British players to have reached the last 16 in Montreal. Ninth seed Cameron Norrie will next play home favourite Felix Auger-Aliassime and Dan Evans faces Taylor Fritz.

According to the Pepperstone live ATP rankings, Draper will break into the world’s top 70 for the first time next week.

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Bianca Andreescu Battles Past Alize Cornet In Toronto

The Canadian is into the round of 16 of her home event after beating the Frenchwomen in another three-set battle.




Image via https://twitter.com/NBOtoronto

Bianca Andreescu booked her spot in the round of 16 of the National Bank Open at Sobeys Stadium in Toronto after beating Alize Cornet in three tight sets 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in two hours and 26 minutes.


The Toronto native hit 27 winners and won 60% of her first serve points in another marathon match on Center Court.

“It wasn’t easy at all coming off a tough match yesterday and another one today,” said Andreescu. “She played consistently and I had to go for every ball and I had to fight and I had to push through. I am happy with my mental strength”.

The match started with both players once again struggling with their serves and the first five games were breaks until Andreescu was able to hold serve to take a 4-2 lead. That break was enough for the world number 53 to serve out the first set.

The first three games of the second set went with serve before the Canadian once again to the delight of the home crowd earned three chances to break and broke Cornet’s serve to take a 3-1 lead. The Frenchwomen managed to get the break back the following game and at 4-3 broke the Toronto native one more time before serving out the second set.

In the decider the first three games went on serve and thanks to a poor service game from Cornet Andreescu got the break to take a 3-1 lead. That was enough to serve out the match.

Day 3 results

Another busy day at the National Bank Open in Toronto and there were a lot of surprising results.

Garbine Muguruza who has been flying under the radar lately beat the Estonian Kaia Kanepi in straight sets 6-4, 6-4, only needing one hour and 33 minutes.

Ons Jabeur the number five seed was forced to retire down 6-1, 2-1 to Qinwen Zheng of China while Paula Badosa of Spain also retired due to injury against Yulia Putintseva down 7-5, 1-0.

Jil Teichmann beat the number two seed Anett Kontaveitt also in straight sets 6-4, 6-4, and Aryna Sabalenka the number six seed beat the Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-4, 6-3.

Leylah Fernandez was also upset as she lost to the Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia in two sets 7-6, 6-1. Simona Halep got past Shuai Zhang 6-4, 6-2.

Jessica Pegula beat the American qualifier Asia Muhammad 6-2, 7-5 in the all-American battle on court 4. Another American Alison Riske upset the Latvian Jelena Ostapenko in three sets 7-6, 0-6, 7-5.

The world number one Iga Swiatek had no issues beating the Australian qualifier Alja Tomlijanovic 6-1, 6-2 in 64 minutes and Coco Gauff sent the Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina packing in three sets. The number 10 seed needed three sets and two hours and 49 minutes to beat her 6-4, 6-7, 7-6.

Karolina Pliskova, the tournament’s 14th seed, steamrolled the American Amanda Anisimova. Finally, in the first-night session match, Belinda Bencic beat Serena Williams 6-2, 6-4 in her last match in Canada.

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