Russian tennis star Daria Kasatkina comes out as gay as Moscow looks to further tighten LGBTQ laws

Kasatkina made the revelation in an interview with YouTube blogger Vitya Kravchenko. When the interviewer asked Kasatkina if she had a girlfriend, the tennis star replied “yes.” She added that she believed “living in the closet” would not be sustainable long-term.

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Russia's Daria Kasatkina plays a shot during a semifinal match at the French Open tennis tournament in Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, on June 2, 2022.

Russia’s Daria Kasatkina plays a shot during a semifinal match at the French Open tennis tournament in Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, on June 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

“There is no point, it would always be going round in your head, until you say something. Obviously, each person decides how to open up and how much,” she said.

After the interview was posted, Kasatkina posted a picture of herself embracing Olympic silver medalist Natalia Zabiiako with a heart emoji and called the athlete her “cutie pie” in a subsequent Twitter post. Zabiiako also posted the photo on her Instagram page.

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Daria Kasatkina in action against Iga Swiatek of Poland during the Singles Semi-Final match on Court Philippe Chatrier at the 2022 French Open Tennis Tournament at Roland Garros on June 2nd 2022 in Paris, France.

Daria Kasatkina in action against Iga Swiatek of Poland during the Singles Semi-Final match on Court Philippe Chatrier at the 2022 French Open Tennis Tournament at Roland Garros on June 2nd 2022 in Paris, France. (Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Russian lawmakers have sought to broaden a law to completely ban the “promotion” of LGBTQ relationships in a positive or neutral light and ban showing LGBTQ content in films. Since 2013, the county has banned any discussion of LGBTQ relationships, which is deemed to constitute “promotion of non-traditional sexual relations” to minors.

Kasatkina recently made it to the French Open semifinal. She is ranked No. 12 in the world and lives and trains in Spain. She also called for the end of Russia’s invasion into Ukraine.

Daria Kasatkina of Russia hits a backhand during the quarterfinal match between Daria Kasatkina of Russia and Maria Sakkari of Greece on day five of the bett1open 2022 Berlin, Part of the Hologic WTA Tour, at LTTC Rot-Weiß e.V. on June 17, 2022 in Berlin, Germany.

Daria Kasatkina of Russia hits a backhand during the quarterfinal match between Daria Kasatkina of Russia and Maria Sakkari of Greece on day five of the bett1open 2022 Berlin, Part of the Hologic WTA Tour, at LTTC Rot-Weiß e.V. on June 17, 2022 in Berlin, Germany. (Boris Streubel/Getty Images)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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