Russia's highest-ranked women's tennis player, Daria Kasatkina, said in a video interview released Monday that she is dating a woman.
The French Open semifinalist's comments come as the Russian parliament discusses tightening already stringent restrictions on public discussions of LGBTQ relationships.
In the interview on YouTube with Russian blogger Vitya Kravchenko, Kasatkina said "yes" when asked if she has a girlfriend.
Kasatkina added that she believes that "living in the closet" would not be sustainable long-term. "There is no point, it would always be going round in your head, until you say something. Obviously, each person decides how to open up and how much," Kasatkina said.
Soon after the interview was released, Kasatkina posted a picture on Instagram of her embracing Olympic silver medalist figure skater Natalia Zabiiako with a heart emoji and called Zabiiako "my cutie pie" in a Twitter post. Zabiiako, who won her Olympic medal with the Russian team in 2018, posted the same picture on Instagram, also with a heart.