Daria Kasatkina feels “freer and happier” after coming out.

SAN JOSE, California — Daria Kasatkina was blown away by the positive reaction from fans after coming out as gay in an interview with a vlogger last month.

“I don’t know how the social media filter works but I just heard very good things,” Kasatkina told WTA Insider at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic. “Not only from the west, but also people from my country.

“I’m really happy about it. As I saw, not only was it a good thing for me, it helped other people too. This is great and I feel great. I’m happy about it and about myself and that’s the most important thing.”

Kasatkina said she received the expected messages of support from her close friends following her announcement, but was surprised that so many in the gaming community who she didn’t know well had also reached out.

“I think in tennis, at least with the girls around, we’re all very supportive of each other regardless of background or identity,” said Coco Gauff. “I don’t think there’s a judgement.

“I am grateful that she felt comfortable enough to share this part of her life. She didn’t have to do this. But I can only imagine how many people in their situation feel inspired by it.”

Former No.1 Naomi Osaka offered her own words of support and called for more.

“I found it really amazing how she does it,” Osaka said. “I think we need to rally to support them because it’s a somewhat dangerous situation. But I think through all of this, it’s really incredible that she’s coming out and standing up for what she believes in. I always support them from that.”

Kasatkina said she felt no change in her treatment. Her friend, Olympic figure skater Natalia Zabiiako, was at the front of her player box this week in San Jose.

“Yes, I feel freer and happier,” she said. “I think I made the right move. With the situation in the world, all these things that are difficult, if not now? Let’s put everything in the same pool.”

San Jose: Kasatkina ousts Wimbledon champion Rybakina in opener

2022 San Jose

Kasatkina was a finalist in San Jose last year and is back in the quarterfinals after edging out Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina and Taylor Townsend in their first two games. Kasatkina, currently ranked 12th, is in the midst of her best season. Last spring she reached the semi-finals in Rome and Roland Garros back-to-back.

“That’s the point where I have to realize that I’m grown up and mature enough,” Kasatkina said. “I’m not 18 anymore. I can’t count on being young and I’ll have time. No, I’m 25, I have to act now. I have to show everything I have in these years. I think that. ” It’s already the time to give more than to take.”

As the season transitions to hard courts, Kasatkina is looking to finish the season in the top 8 and make her WTA Finals debut. She is currently #6 on the Porsche WTA Race to the Finals Leaderboard.

“The first part of the season was very intense and the second part will be even more intense,” said Kasatkina. “This is the point that decides who is the best, who deserves to get into the Final Eight. Whoever meets this challenge wins this golden ticket to get there.

“Tennis is about mental toughness. At the end of the year, at the end of the swings, the strongest wins here. That’s what tennis is about, so you have to push it out. You have to work hard and ask a lot of yourself without killing yourself .”

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