It’s time to break out the Pimms and strawberries, Wimbledon is back – and we’ve found some glorious gay tennis players to brighten up these gloomy grey summer days. Whether you’re looking for inspiration or just a good giggle, these trailblazing LGBTQ players are sure to bring a smile to your face.
It might have taken them seven years to finally meet, but Delhi-born Divij Sharan and British player Samantha Murray Sharan achieved their couple goals by playing together at Wimbledon this weekend. The pair won the doubles tournament, bringing home victory in their first match together, and have since spoken about the significance of their historic win.
They’re following the footsteps of other prominent openly gay athletes, including trailblazers Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova and Amelie Mauresmo. King was a Grand Slam champion and pioneer for women’s tennis, known for her 1973 ‘battle of the sexes’ exhibition match with self-proclaimed male chauvinist Bobby Riggs. Navratilova came out as bisexual in 1981, while Mauresmo revealed her sexuality after retiring in 2014.
While there are no out gay men competing at Wimbledon this year, there are two out lesbian female players, Johanna Larsson of Sweden and Richel Hogenkamp of the Netherlands. They competed together at Wimbledon this year, securing their place in the second round of the competition, and hope to inspire others to speak out about their identities. In the past, male players like Gottfried von Cramm have also come out as gay.