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“Yes I did 41 years ago, still no men though” – Martina Navratilova reacts to Daria Kasatkina proudly posing with her partner at Silicon Valley Classic after coming out as gay

Martina Navratilova supports Daria Kasatkina after coming out as gay
Martina Navratilova supports Daria Kasatkina after coming out as gay

Recently crowned Silicon Valley Classic champion Daria Kasatkina made for a happy sight for tennis fans worldwide as she posed with her girlfriend at the post-match ceremony for the first time since coming out as gay.

Her biggest supporter has turned out to be none other than tennis legend Martina Navratilova. The American icon shared Kasatkina's joyful picture on her social media handle with a smiling emoji.

:) twitter.com/dilfniil/statu…

One fan was quick to thank the veteran and credited her for leading the way.

“Thanks, Martina! You led the way,” the fan said.
@Martina Thanks, Martina! You led the way. 🙏🏻❤️

Navratilova responded by saying that she came out four decades ago, but expressed concern over the lack of openly gay male players.

“Yes I did 41 years ago, still no men though,” she tweeted.
@RosemaryLundell Yes I did- 41 years ago:), Still no men though 🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️

Navratilova, who came out of the closet more than four decades ago, is widely regarded as the first prominent athlete to come out as gay during her peak years. Speaking to ESPN, Donna Lopiano, executive director of the Women’s Sports Foundation noted that Navratilova’s revelation exploded the barriers in sporting history.

“Martina was the first legitimate superstar who literally came out while she was a superstar. She exploded the barrier by putting it on the table. She basically said this part of my life doesn’t have anything to do with me as a tennis player. Judge me for who I am,” said Lopiano.

Navratilova paved the way for many athletes to open up and be comfortable with their sexuality.

There are many well-known female tennis players who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community. They include Billie Jean King, Helen Jacobs, Gigi Fernandez, Liza Raymond, Casey Dellacqua, Rennae Stubbs, Amelie Mauresmo and now, Daria Kasatkina.


“I think I made the right step; with the situation in the world, all this stuff that is tough, when if not now” – Daria Kasatkina on revealing her sexuality

Daria Kasatkina poses with the trophy after clinching the Silicon Valley Classic title.
Daria Kasatkina poses with the trophy after clinching the Silicon Valley Classic title.

Not long ago, Daria Kasatkina revealed that she is in a relationship with Russian figure-skater Natalia Zabiiako. Speaking to Russian blogger Vitya Kravchenko, Kasatkina admitted the hardships of not being able to live a free life.

“So many subjects are taboo in Russia,” Kasatkina said. “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. Living in the closet is impossible. It is too hard, it is pointless. Living in peace with yourself is the only thing that matters, and f**k everyone else.”

The Russian recently reaffirmed that she made the right decision by coming out and admitted to being happier since she did.

"I'm really happy about it. As I saw, it was not just a good thing for me, also it helped other people. I feel more free and happy. I think I made the right step. With the situation in the world, all this stuff that is tough, when if not now?"

The World No. 9 has since received an abundance of support from her peers. Naomi Osaka was one of the many who appreciated Kasatkina for standing up to her beliefs.

"I do think we have to rally to support her because it is a bit of a dangerous situation," Osaka said. "But I think in all of that it's really incredible that she's coming out and she's standing for what she believes in. I'm always in support of that."

Coco Gauff echoed those sentiments, saying there is no judgment regarding anybody’s identity in women’s tennis.

"I think in tennis, at least with the girls around, we're all very supportive of each other no matter the background or identity," Gauff said. "I don't think there's any judgment when it comes to that."

Kasatkina, who won her fifth career WTA title at the Silicon Valley Classic, will now feature at the National Bank Open in Canada ahead of the US Open.

Rafael Nadal and wife Maria Francisca Perello spotted with infant son. click here for pictures.

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Edited by Anirudh
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