WATCH: Daria Kasatkina struck one of the shots of the year so far with this tweener in a second-round win over Marketa Vondrousova in Paris.


As she nears the one-year anniversary of her coming out, Daria Kasatkina is more excited that ever to show her Pride. Asked this week by former WTA pro and current Eurosport tennis correspondent Laura Robson at Roland Garros for her thoughts on Pride Month, Kasatkina reflected on what the opportunity to be able to celebrate and love openly means not just to her, but to all.

"It's great. I'm not used to it because I'm from somewhere where [being gay] is not a very nice thing," she told Robson. "I think it's important to let the people know that we're all equal and we're all the same. There's no difference. We're all people. So I think it's very important."

Pride Month, which celebrated the LGBTQ+ community, is typically held in June in countries like the United States and France, where Roland Garros is played, annually; while Kasatkina says the tennis calendar is a hinderance to her hopes of going to a Pride parade, for example, in Europe this month, she'll be celebrating in her own way.

"I'm not sure if I'm going to participate, because I'm a bit busy," she said with a laugh, "so I'm going to support from my hotel room, and from the tennis court. But I think it's very nice and very important."

Kasatkina came out in an interview with a Russian blogger last July, revealing she was in a relationship with former figure skater Natalia Zabiiako—an interview in which she also expressed support for Ukraine in the aftermath of its invasion by her homeland of Russia.

The couple has since been a dominant force in the tour's popular culture, vlogging together at nearly every tournament to give fans a behind-the-scenes look at professional tennis from both the player and fan perspective.

Since then, Kasatkina has spoken openly about how coming out lifted a weight off of her shoulders, and revealed that she received many positive messages from fans, fellow players, and even some back home in Russia, where the LGBTQ+ community faces a hostile social climate, and is silenced by laws that severely limit expression of non-heterosexual relationships.

"I feel more free and happy," she told WTA Insider last summer in San Jose. "I think I made the right step. With the situation in the world, all this stuff that is tough, when if not now?"


Seeded No. 9 in Paris and defending a semifinal showing from 12 months ago, Kasatkina got Pride Month started right on Friday with a 6-0, 6-1 win over American Peyton Stearns in the third round.