Russian tennis player Daria Kasatkina has announced that she is a lesbian and has a partner.
Kasatkina is the best chess player in Russia and the 12th racket of the world.
In a video interview with a blogger, she also criticized the fact that there are so many “taboo topics” in Russia.
“For young people who face problems in public, it is very important that athletes or other famous people talk about it,” she said.
Same-sex relationships are generally frowned upon in Russia.
Kasatkina praised Russian soccer player Nadezhda Karpova for opening the door after becoming the first Russian athlete to compete in June.
At the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, there was a move towards greater openness, Kasatkina said, but it faltered as Russia closed ranks after invading Ukraine.
“The road has been blocked. Road works,” said Kasatkina.
The 25-year-old athlete has won four WTA titles.