Sport: Daria Kasatkina, Russia's number one women's tennis player, reveals she is gay

The former player Sergiy Stakhovsky denounces the lack of courage of the Russian players

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Daria Kasatkina and Natalia Zabiiako, who won a silver medal in team figure skating for Russia at the 2018 Winter Olympics. (Instagram: Daria Kasatkina) © Provided by ABC Grandstand Daria Kasatkina and Natalia Zabiiako, who won a silver medal in team figure skating for Russia at the 2018 Winter Olympics. (Instagram: Daria Kasatkina)

Russian tennis player Daria Kasatkina has announced she is gay and found "living in the closet" impossible.

The 25-year-old, a semi-finalist at last month's French Open, said she was inspired to come out after Russian footballer Nadya Karpova revealed she was gay.

"Living in peace with yourself is the only thing that matters, f*** everyone else," Kasatkina told Russian blogger Vitya Kravchenko after telling him that she has a girlfriend.

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"I believe it is important that influential people from sports, or any other sphere really speak about it.

"It is important for young people who have a hard time with society and need support."

Kasatkina is the highest-ranked Russian female player and was defeated in the French Open semifinal by world number one and eventual champion Iga Świątek.

The announcements from people like Kasatkina and Karpova come with an added element of risk after Russian politicians proposed extending a ban on the promotion of "non-traditional" sexual relationships to minors, to include adults as well.

Russia's existing "gay propaganda" law, passed in 2013, has been used to stop gay pride marches and detain gay rights activists.

"For young people facing problems in public, it is very important when athletes or other well-known personalities talk about it," Kasatkina said, according to SBS.

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Kasatkina and Russian figure skater Natalia Zabiiako both posted a photo on Instagram of them embracing with a love heart in the caption.

Australian tennis coach and commentator Renae Stubbs and American player Amanda Anisimova were among those who wished Kasatkina well in the comments.

While Kasatkina and other Russian and Belarusian players were not allowed to compete at Wimbledon this month, they are still eligible for Women's Tennis Association (WTA) events, although national affiliations have been removed from players like Kasatkina and top-ranked Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka.

"Individual athletes should not be penalised or prevented from competing due to where they are from, or the decisions made by the governments of their countries," the WTA said after the All England club announced its ban.

"Discrimination, and the decision to focus such discrimination against athletes competing on their own as individuals, is neither fair nor justified.

"The WTA will continue to apply its rules to reject discrimination and ensure that all athletes are able to compete at our Tour events should they qualify to do so."

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Reuters/ABC

Tennis - WTA - San José: Kasatkina Pas Difficulty by Townsend .
© Panoramic Daria Kasatkina Opposed to the American qualified Taylor Townsend, Daria Kasatkina qualified for the quarterfinals of the WTA tournament of San José With two -round success. After having dropped Elena Rybakina, Daria Kasatkina did not stop on such a good path . The Russian, seeded number 7 in San José, qualified in an expeditious manner for the quarter -finals by dominating Taylor Townsend.

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