‘Orientation Can’t Be Promoted’ - Daria Kasatkina Hits Back At LGBT Propaganda Remarks - UBITENNIS
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‘Orientation Can’t Be Promoted’ – Daria Kasatkina Hits Back At LGBT Propaganda Remarks

In an interview published on Monday, the tennis star admits it took her a long time to accept her sexuality.

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Daria Kasatkina says she had difficulty coming to terms with her sexuality and has blasted those who say her personal life has been influenced by outside factors.

 

The French Open semi-finalist came out as gay earlier this year and revealed that she is in a relationship with former Olympic figure skater Natalia Zabiiako. Making her one of the few openly gay athletes in her native country which currently has a law banning the promotion of homosexuality to minors. In 2013 the government passed a law which supporters say ‘protects’ children from being exposed to homosexuality. Some Russian lawmakers have openly called for the law to be expanded. 

Kasatkina’s coming out generated a surge of media interest both in Russia and around the world. Reflecting on her decision to speak publicly about her personal life during an interview with journalist Ksenia Sobchak, the tennis star admits she was bracing herself for the worst-case scenario.

“I honestly prepared for the worst. I thought it would be dark, knowing our mentality. But in the end, I was surprised how everything turned out … How cool! Not everything is as bad as I thought,” Kasatkina said.

The 25-year-old, who lost in the first round of the US Open, dispelled theories that her sexuality has been influenced by Western culture or what some in Russia describe as ‘LGBT propaganda.’ 

“I grew up with no gay boys or lesbian girls around me. Nothing affected me. The maximum that happened was the Tatu group (Russian music group). I don’t think orientation can be promoted at all. It’s either this or that. Nothing influenced me, but I still like girls in the end.” She stated.

“It took me a long time to accept myself because society is pressing. Even if you begin to understand something, you think that it is something wrong. You begin to suppress it yourself, through force to meet with those whom you do not want to meet. It doesn’t make you feel any better, just disgusting. And you start hiding, leading a double life. And at some point, you already cease to understand who you are. Not so long ago, I came to the conclusion that I do not care at all.” 

Kasatkina confirmed that she has been out to her family for roughly two years and received their full support when she told them. Her partner Natalia, who also took part in the interview with Sobchak, said she endured a tougher experience due to the ‘conservative’ views of her parents. 

Whilst there has been mainly a positive reaction to Kasatkina, some have criticized the tennis star. One of the most peculiar came from Russian politician Biysultan Khamzaev who suggested she only came out to boost her chances of potentially changing her nationality. 

“So let’s write it down. Now I am writing to the immigration service of some country: guys, I’m for girls, so give me a passport,” she joked when asked about the allegation.

“It’s a shame, of course, when deputies (a term for politicians in Russia) make such comments about their citizens, who have done nothing wrong – they just admitted who they are. If this is enough to block a person from entering the country, it is sad.” She added. 

Kasatkina says she has ‘no fear’ about travelling back home. She describes herself as ‘proud to be Russian’ but is prepared to potentially switch her nationality if it helps her tennis career. Although there is no concrete suggestion that she will do so. 

Heading into the final quarter of the season, Kasatkina has recorded 37 wins against 17 losses on the Tour this year.

NOTE: quotes via sports.ru/sport-express.ru

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Brandon Nakashima wins his first ATP title in his home city San Diego

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Brandon Nakashima beat Marcos Giron 6-4 6-4 in an all-American final to win his first ATP Tour title in his third final in his home city at the San Diego Open. 

 

Nakashima has moved 21 places this week moving up  to world number 48 in the ATP Ranking and number 6 in the ATP Next Gen Race to Milan. The US player reached the semifinal at last year’s Next Gen ATP Finals. 

Nakashima converted the only break point in the fifth game to claim the first set 6-4. 

The first set did not feature a single deuce game, before four games went to deuce in the second set. Nakashima went up an early break in the first game, but he dropped his serve for the first time in the match at deuce in the fourth game for 2-2. Nakashima won eight points from 2-2, including a break in the fifth game to take a 4-2 lead. Giron held serve at 3-4 in the seventh game. Nakashima won 12 of the last 13 points on serve, including a love hold to close out the match. “It feels like a dream to win my first ATP title in my home town. To be able to capture my first title here. It’s unbelievable. Amazing atmosphere here tonight. I just really want to say thank you for coming out and showing your support. No matter the score out here today. I always knew there were going to be some tough moments. I knew it wasn’t going to come easy against my friend Giron. I had to battle for every game. At the beginning of the second set, a couple of tight games. I lost my serve, but I think I regrouped pretty well in the next game. I was happy to close it out on my serve ”, said Nakashima.

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Lorenzo Sonego claims the title in Metz

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Lorenzo Sonego beat seventh seed Alexander Bublik 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 after 87 minutes in the final of the Moselle Open in Metz to win the third title of his career and the first in 2022 without dropping a set in the whole week after beating Hubert Hurkacz in the semifinal. Sonego won his first tournament on hard-court.

 

Sonego, who was playing the fifth final of his career, saved three break points at 2-2 to hold serve in the fifth game of a hard-fought first set. Bublik saved a set point on return at 4-5 down with a backhand passing shot. 

Sonego won four consecutive points from 3-3 in the tie-break with two mini-breaks to claim the opening set 7-3 after 57 minutes. 

Sonego broke serve in the third game at 15 to take a 2-1 lead, as Bublik made a volley error on the break point. The former Vienna finalist earned a double break at 30 in the fourth game to take a 4-1 lead with a passing shot. Sonego closed out the win with a hold at 15 on his first match point. 

Sonego has extended his lead in the head-to-head matches against Bublik to 4-0. 

“I improved my tennis every day, and I am really happy for this match and this tournament. I like the atmosphere here. It was unbelievable today, yesterday and this week. It’s really tough to play against Alexander, because he is an unbelievable player with an amazing serve, good talent, and it is always tough to play him”, said Sonego. 

Sonego has reached his first ATP Tour final since Eastbourne in June 2021.  With this title he has moved up to world number 44 in the ATP Ranking. 

Bublik had won his first ATP title on French indoor courts in Montpellier last February. “Big congratulations to Lorenzo. It’s always a pleasure to lose against you, as I told you at the net. Thanks to my team, thanks to everyone for supporting me and I was happy to be back in the finals in France”, said Bublik.

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In-Form Liudmila Samsonova Storms To Tokyo Title

Tokyo is the second tournament this year the Russian has won without dropping a set.

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Image via https://twitter.com/WTA_insider

Liudmila Samsonova has continued her rapid surge on the Tour by defeating China’s Qinwen Zheng 7-5, 7-5, to win the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. 

 

The world No.30 dropped serve only once and hit four aces as she edged her way past rising star Zheng who is the first Chinese teenager to reach the final of a Tour-level singles event. Overall, Samsonova won 68% of her service points en route to becoming the first Russian player to win the tournament since Nadia Petrova in 2012. 

“It’s amazing, I don’t have too many words right now. I need a little bit of time,” said Samsonova, who beat Grand Slam champions Elena Rybakina and Garbine Muguruza earlier in the draw. 
“It was a really tough match. She is playing amazing. It was a nervous match, we were fighting every point. It was tough.”

Samsonova is becoming a formidable force in the women’s game and has now won 18 out of her past 19 matches. Last month she also won titles in Washington and Cleveland before reaching the last 16 of the US Open for the first time in her career at the age of 23. She is now 4-0 in tournament finals and didn’t drop a set in Tokyo this week. 

“I played a high level in all my five matches. I am incredibly happy about how I managed it,” she said.

There is also a reason for Zheng to celebrate with her run in Tokyo securing her place in the world’s top 30 for the first time on Monday when the rankings are updated. Making her the first Chinese player to do so as a teenager. She is also only the second teenager to reach the final of a WTA 500 event or higher this season after Coco Gauff at the French Open. 

Samsonova will also rise to a ranking high on Monday to just outside the world’s top 20. 

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