Naomi Osaka has offered her support to Daria Kasatkina and expressed hope that the Russian won't face any dangers back home following her decision to come out as gay. Kasatkina, 25, came out as gay last month. Russia is not really a country very open to the LGBTQ+ community but Kasatkina found the courage and strength to open up about her orientation.
The tennis community has been very supportive toward Kasatkina and four-time Grand Slam champion Osaka is the latest player to offer her support to the Russian. "I thought it was really amazing how she's doing that," Osaka said, per the WTA website.
"I do think we have to rally to support her because it is a bit of a dangerous situation. 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."
Osaka, Cori Gauff offer their support to Kasatkina
Gauff also applauded Kasatkina on her decision to come out, saying it has probably helped others in similar position to open up.
"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.
I'm grateful that she felt comfortable enough sharing that part of her life. She didn't have to do that. But I can only imagine how many people in her situation feel inspired by that." Meanwhile, all three players - Kasatkina, Osaka and Gauff - kicked off their North American hard court swing this week in San Jose.
At the tournament, Kasatkina revealed that she is now feeling "more happy and relaxed." In San Jose, Kasatkina is joined by her girlfriend Nataliia Zabiako. On Wednesday, Kasatkina saw off Taylor Townsend 6-4 6-0 to progress into the San Jose quarterfinal.