They’ve played with each other “plenty,” as McCarvel said in our recent #LGBTennis Instagram Live chat. However, they’ve also had to play against each other once in a WTA event. In the first round. And as soon as they saw the draw, they knew it wouldn’t be fun.
The match took place during a tournament in Karlsruhe, Germany, about an hour east of Stuttgart.
“It was tough,” Van Uytvanck told McCarvel. “We were like how are we going to handle this. ... It was tough.”
After the initial shock of being matched up against one another in the first round, Van Uytvanck said the couple settled into a routine.
“It wasn’t that weird before the match. We were just talking normally. We were even warming up together. ... And the level was actually quite good. We didn’t expect it to be, but it was a good level.”
Van Uytvanck won the match, 6-4, 1-6, 6-1. After the match they met at the net for the customary hug or handshake. Instead, they embraced for a kiss on the lips.
Minnen is currently ranked No. 104 in the world, hoping to crack the top-100 when play resumes. Van Uytvanck is currently ranked No. 57 in the world. Van Uytvanck famously ousted defending champ Garbine Muguruza from Wimbledon
In the LGBTennis conversation with McCarvel, they also talked about being out and proud role models for other LGBTQ athletes and hoping to inspire others to live their true lives. Plus, they gave insights on the added steps they have to take when they play in a country that bans homosexuality. Yes, it’s a thing.
McCarvel’s next #LGBTennis conversation is with Brian Vahaly on June 18 at 5:30 p.m. ET.
You can watch the conversation here.