On Friday the Dutch-American doubles team of Demi Schuurs and Nicole Melichar came out on top in the Doha finals, narrowly beating Jelena Ostapenko and Monica Niculescu in a three set 2-6, 6-2, 8-10 match. This is their second title together, and their first finals appearance since winning the Internationaux de Strasbourg in September 2020.
The pair currently sit just outside the WTA doubles top 10 ranking as #11-12 in the world.
“Thanks to my girlfriend, my family, my team and all the sponsors. Thanks to you for all the support,” Schuurs wrote on Instagram after the win, shouting out her girlfriend Camille Kuijer.
Schuurs shared that she came out at as a teenager, and is proudly part of the LGBTQ representation in the WTA that also includes couple Alison van Uytvanck and Greet Minnen. “When I was new on the pro circuit, I was shy because you don’t know how people might think of you. They see someone wearing boys’ clothes, and later find out that I have a girlfriend, so it made me wonder what they might be thinking of me. This is something that totally changed because now, they know who I am, what I do, what I have. They know that I’m polite to everyone, and they see that I’m no different from anyone else,” Schuurs said, speaking to David Kane during last year’s WTA Pride Month coverage.
“I think that’s something special about me, that I wear boy’s clothes. I feel good in them, so I do it. It’s something that makes me happy. I think it’s good when athletes aren’t shy and show who they are in their personal life. It helps people realize that this is a normal thing, which is important because when I was younger and had to tell my parents, family, friends, that I had a girlfriend and had fallen in love with a girl, I remember feeling so nervous and shy. Afterwards, I wondered why I felt that way, because all of those people just want you to be happy, and to be able to live your life.”
Does Demi Schuurs have any advice for other LGBTQ athletes?
“If I had to tell something to other people, I would tell them to do what they want and what makes them happy, and don’t be shy to tell other people.”
Follow Demi Schuurs on Instagram by clicking here.