US Open: LGBTQ+ players make tennis history in Grand Slam

Greet Minnen throwing her hands up in the air in celebration.

Queer history was made at the US Open when two openly gay players faced off in the Grand Slam for the first time.

Daria Kasatkina and Greet Minnen took to Court 17 during the third round of the US Open at Flushing Meadows, to play for a place in round four.

The Saturday (2 September) match resulted in a dramatic 6-3 6-4 win for Kasatkina after an intense clash between the two athletes.

It is believed that this is the first time two openly gay tennis players have met in a competitive single match in a Grand Slam main draw.

Daria Kasatkina preparing to hit the tennis ball with her racket.
Daria Kasatkina preparing to hit the tennis ball with her racket. (Getty)

While fans on social media noted that queer athletes had gone head-to-head in the past, including tennis legends Billie Jean King against Martina Navratilova, many did not come out until after their matches.

Despite the loss, Minnen was in high spirits following the match, saying it was a “pleasure” to make history with the Russian tennis star.

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The Belgian star also made history following the doubles tournament after competing against her former partner Alison Van Uytvanck during a World Tennis Association (WTA) Tour event in Karlsruhe in 2019.

Following Van Uytvanck’s win against the Minnen, the pair kissed at the net in a pivotal moment for LGBTQ+ visibility in tennis.

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Van Uytvanck and Minnen also played doubles at Wimbledon in 2019 – similarly marking a historic moment for the LGBTQ+ community as the first openly gay players to team up at a major tournament.

Kasatkina has been outspoken about her sexuality since coming out in July 2022, saying that she “felt much better” after coming out.

“I put this pressure out of my shoulders because when you have to think about tennis but also to think about some deep things inside your head, it’s just not good.

“I remember after saying all these things, I just felt much better. That was one of the best decisions of the [past] year and I’m happy with the outcome.

“And thanks to the people who were next to me, supporting me.”

Kasatkina is set to compete against Aryna Sabalenka on Monday (4 September).

The US Open continues until Sunday 10 September.

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