Who is Daria Kasatkina's girlfriend? Meet Natalia Zabiiako, the former Russian figure skater who is dating the tennis player

Who is Natalia Zabiiako, Daria Kasatkina's new girlfriend?
Who is Natalia Zabiiako, Daria Kasatkina's new girlfriend?

Daria Kasatkina sent shock waves across the tennis world by coming out of the closet on Sunday, marking a landmark moment for the LGBTQ+ community in Russia. The World No. 12 is now part of a very small group of athletes from the country who have openly declared they are gay, and has garnered widespread support from fans across the world for her bravery.

The revelation came during an interview she gave to YouTube blogger Vitya Kravchenko. Kasatkina remarked that it would have been impossible to stay in the closet forever and that she had made the decision so as to live in peace with herself.

"Living in the closet is impossible. Not for the long run, no. It is too hard. Of course, it is up to you to decide how to do it and how much you tell," Daria Kasatkina said. "Living in peace with yourself is the only thing that matters, and f**k everyone else."

During the course of the interview, the Russian also admitted that she currently has a girlfriend, although the identity of her partner was not revealed. But hours after the video was posted, the 25-year-old took to social media to give fans their first glimpse of her significant other -- Natalia Zabiiako.

Here's everything you need to know about Zabiiako, a rather prominent name in Russian sports:

Who is Natalia Zabiiako?

Natalia Zabiiako is a figure skater who predominantly competes in the "pair skating" category. Born in Estonia in 1994, Zabiiako represented the country in the sport from the age of 15 until 2014, which is when she decided to change her nationality to Russian.

The 27-year-old's career took a major boost from the move, as she went on to scale great heights representing her new country. Zabiiako won the silver medal at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games hosted in PyeongChang, which is the only Olympic medal she has won till date.

She also won bronze medals at the 2018 European Figure Skating Championships and the 2019 World Figure Skating Championships, partnering with compatriot Alexander Enbert in both events.

At the ISU World Team Trophy, Zabiiako and Enbert were part of the Russian contingent that took home the bronze medal. But in 2020 the pair ended their professional partnership due to medical issues being suffered by Enbert.

If the latest reports are to be believed, Zabiiako will now be representing Canada after making a nationality switch once again. On the relationship side of things, the figure skater was engaged to Russian movie director Danil Grinkin in 2018, but the relationship eventually fell through.

What next for Daria Kasatkina?

Daria Kasatkina reckons it is important for celebrities in Russia to openly talk about their sexuality
Daria Kasatkina reckons it is important for celebrities in Russia to openly talk about their sexuality

Unfortunately, Daria Kasatkina is likely to receive a lot of pushback from people in Russia for coming out of the closet, where the subject is still taboo. But the World No. 12 is ready to face the negativity; she remarked during the aforementioned interview that it was important to get these discussions out in the open.

Kasatkina considers this a social responsibilty as a sports figure with some authority in the country, noting that celebrities openly talking about their sexuality will empower closeted youngsters to break free of the shackles themselves.

"It is important to talk about these things. It is important for young people who have a hard time with society and need support," Daria Kasatkina said. "I believe it is important that influential people from sports, or any other sphere really, talk about it. It helps."

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Edited by Anirudh
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