Daria Kasatkina reveals latest on her safety as gay player in Saudi Arabia

Previously, Kasatkina - an openly gay player - opposed going to Saudi Arabia.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Daria Kasatkina reveals latest on her safety as gay player in Saudi Arabia
© Getty Images Sport - Elsa

World No. 11 Daria Kasatkina says she has been assured by the WTA and Saudi Arabia that she can feel perfectly safe if she comes to the Kingdom for the WTA Finals. 

When rumors started to swirl around about the WTA Finals going to Saudi Arabia, Kasatkina - who came out as gay in the summer of 2022 - strongly opposed the idea of playing tennis in the Kingdom. 

Earlier this month, the WTA announced that they reached a three-year deal with Saudi Arabia for them to host the WTA Finals in Riyadh. After the announcement was made, it was understood that the WTA consulted with players and made sure the messaging was right before they publicly confirmed the deal. 

Kasatkina, who was one of the loudest in her criticism of the WTA giving the WTA Finals to Saudi Arabia, is now also open to playing there.

“I’ve been given guarantees that I’m going to be fine,” Kasatkina told BBC Sport.

Daria Kasatkina
Daria Kasatkina © Getty Images Sport - Elsa
 

Kasatkina hopes she can have a positive impact in Saudi Arabia

Over the last couple of months, several top WTA players explained that they could use the WTA Finals to spark a positive change in Saudi Arabia. 

“If I qualify, it means that I am top eight in the world - it’s great news for me,” Kasatkina highlighted.

“We see that the Saudis now are very into the sport, they want to develop the sport. And as long as it gives the opportunity to the people there, and the young kids and the women to actually see the sport - so that they can watch it, they can play it, they can participate in this, I think it’s great."

Daria Kasatkina
Daria Kasatkina © Getty Images Sport - Tom Pennington
 

Currently, Kasatkina is the 11th-ranked player on the Race to the WTA Finals. 

If Kasatkina makes the WTA Finals this year, she will be making her second appearance at the tournament. Previously, Kasatkina made her WTA Finals debut in 2022 and failed to make it past the group stage after going 1-2. 

Daria Kasatkina
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