The Australian Open is well underway in 2019, and LGBTQ athletes and conversations have been a part of center stage.
Out pro tennis player Alison Van Uytvanck drew a tough first-round draw, losing in that round to third-ranked Caroline Wozniacki, 6-3, 6-4. Van Uytvanck is still alive in the women’s doubles tournament, with her partner, Alexa Guarachi from Chile.
Strangely enough, Wozniacki was matched up in the women’s singles against another out player, Johanna Larsson, in the second round. Larsson fell to Wozniacki, 6-1, 6-3.
In the qualifiers, Dutch player Richèl Hogenkamp lost in the qualifying round in straight sets.
Before the main tournament of the Australian Open began, out sports commentator Nick McCarvel hosted a conversation in Melbourne about LGBTQ inclusion in tennis and across professional sports. McCarvel has made LGBTQ inclusion an important part of his work since coming out very publicly on Outsports.
The event featured out former tennis player Rennae Stubbs, out former NBA player Jason Collins and current No. 5 tennis player Kevin Anderson. It benefitted Stand Up Events.
You can watch their conversation on Facebook here.
“Our point of this event was to ‘move the conversation forward’ and I really think we did,” McCarvel told Outsports. To date no active Grand Slam male player has come out publicly, though (as evidenced above), many women have been out. Other out women’s players have included legends Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova.