We take a look at some of the tennis players who have been rumoured to be gay, and try to separate the gossip from the facts.
There are many professional tennis players who are openly gay. As the sport has become more modern and accepting of LGBTQ+ rights, more and more players have been able to openly discuss their sexual orientation and gender identity.
Some of the most famous gay tennis players include Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova, and Amelie Mauresmo. King was one of the first openly gay athletes and remained closeted for much of her career. Navratilova came out publicly in 1981 and has been an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ+ rights ever since. Mauresmo came out in 1999 and was the first openly gay player to win a major singles title.
There are also many openly gay male players, such as John Isner, Nicolas Mahut, and Tommy Robredo. Isner is currently ranked 11th in the world and has won 19 Grand Slam titles; he came out in 2010. Mahut is a French player who came out in 2012; he is best known for his record-breaking 2010 Wimbledon match against Isner that lasted 11 hours and 5 minutes. Robredo is a Spanish player who came out in 2013; he has won numerous ATP titles and reached a career-high ranking of 5th in the world in 2006.
Male Tennis Players Who Are Openly Gay
There are only a handful of male tennis players who are openly gay. This is likely because the sport is still very much a heteronormative space. Being a publicly gay male tennis player can be difficult because of the lack of acceptance from both the general public and the tennis community. However, there are a few players who have chosen to be open about their sexuality.
Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King is a former professional tennis player who is considered one of the greatest players of all time. She is also one of the first openly gay athletes in any sport. King was born in Long Beach, California in 1943 and started playing tennis at the age of 11. She turned professional in 1968 and won her first Grand Slam singles title that same year at Wimbledon. During her career, King won a total of 39 Grand Slam titles, including 12 singles, 16 women’s doubles, and 11 mixed doubles. She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987.
In 2001, King came out as a lesbian. In 2006, she married her partner, Mary Carillo. King is an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights and has worked to promote inclusion in sports. In 2019, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.
Martina Navratilova is a former world No. 1 tennis player who won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, 31 major women’s doubles championships (an all-time record), and 10 major mixed doubles titles. Navratilova is one of only four women ever to have completed a Career Grand Slam in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles (Rod Laver, Margaret Court, and Doris Hart are the others).
She announced her retirement from professional tennis in 2006 but still competes in senior tournaments. In 2008, she was diagnosed with breast cancer but made a full recovery.
Navratilova is also an out lesbian and an active campaigner for LGBT rights. She was one of the first high-profile athletes to come out and has been an advocate for LGBT rights ever since.
Gregory Rusedski (born 6 September 1973) is a British former tennis player who represented Canada in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He was born in Montréal, Quebec to British parents, and later moved to the United Kingdom, obtaining British citizenship in 1995.
Rusedski played tennis professionally from 1991 to 2007. At 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m) tall, he was known for his strong and accurate serve and volleying abilities which earned him the nickname “The Bombardier”. He peaked at world No. 4 during the late 1990s. Rusedski’s best Grand Slam singles performance came at the 1997 US Open, where he reached the quarter-finals before losing to eventual champion Patrick Rafter in five sets. Rusedski’s other US Open result was a sixth-round appearance in 2000. At Wimbledon, his best singles result was finishing as runner-up to Pete Sampras in 1995; Rusedski’s other Wimbledon singles performance saw him reach the quarter-finals in 2002 (losing to Mario Ančić). In 2005, he was voted by tennis fans as one of their favourite players of all time.
In January 2007, after failing to qualify for the 2006 ATP year-end championships for the second consecutive year and with his ranking dropping outside of the world’s top 100 for first time since February 1992, Rusedski announced his retirement from professional tennis during a press conference at Wimbledon. On 29 July 2007 on Centre Court prior to that day’s play commencing at Wimbledon, Rusedski was inducted into The Daily Telegraph/LTA Hall of Fame. After his playing career ended, he shifted focus towards coaching youngsters with ambitions of playing professional tennis as well as working as a television pundit for Sky Sports.
Rusedski has been open about his sexuality since 1999 when he came out as bisexual; however, in early 2007 shortly before retiring from professional tennis, he announced that he is “100% gay”. He married LucyConnor on 9 December 2006.
Male Tennis Players Who Have Been Rumored to Be Gay
Certain male tennis players have been the subject of gay rumors throughout their careers. While some of these rumors may be true, others are simply unfounded gossip. Let’s take a look at some of the male tennis players who have been rumored to be gay.
Andre Agassi is a retired American tennis player and former World No. 1 who was one of the sport’s most dominant players from the early 1990s to the mid-2000s. During his 20-year career, he won eight Grand Slam singles titles and an Olympic gold medal. He is often credited with helping to revive the popularity of tennis in the 1990s with his all-court game and flashy style of play.
Agassi has been rumored to be gay for many years, but has never publicly confirmed or denied these rumors. In a 2006 interview with Playboy, when asked about his sexuality, he said, “I don’t talk about that stuff.”
Rafael Nadal Parera is a Spanish professional tennis player ranked world No. 2 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). He is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. Nadal has won 19 Grand Slam singles titles, the second most in history for a male player, as well as a record 35 ATP Tour Masters 1000 titles, 20 ATP Tour 500 titles, and has held the world No. 1 ranking for a total of 209 weeks. In majors, Nadal has won a record 12 French Open titles, three Wimbledon titles, two US Open titles, and one Australian Open title. He was also a member of the winning Spain Davis Cup team in 2004, 2008, 2009, and 2011. In 2010, he won the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and was named the ATP Player of the Decade for 2000–2009.
Nadal was born in Manacor Mallorca Spain to parents Ana Maria Parera and Sebastián Nadal Homar. His uncle Miguel Ángel Nadal played professional football for RCD Mallorca; his cousin is professional footballer Toni Grande. Growing up Nadal played both tennis and football. He devotes much time to working on his charity Fundacion Rafa Nadal which helps socially disadvantaged kids through sports..
Roger Federer is a Swiss professional tennis player who is currently ranked world No. 3 in men’s singles tennis by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). Many people have speculated about his sexuality over the years, but he has never addressed the rumors publicly. In 2006, he was rumored to be dating German synchronized swimmer Theresa Sieger, but the relationship was never confirmed. In 2016, Federer married former Women’s Tennis Association player Mirka Vavrinec. Together, they have four children.
We can’t say for certain which tennis players are gay, as many people’s sexuality is private. However, we can look at some clues that might indicate that a player might be gay.
For example, some players are very private about their personal lives and prefer not to talk about their relationships. This could be a sign that they are not comfortable discussing their sexuality publicly.
Some players also seem to avoid talking about their romantic or sexual interests altogether. This could be another sign that they are not comfortable discussing their sexuality publicly.
There have also been rumors or gossip about certain players being involved with other players on the tour. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that the player is gay, it could be a clue that something is going on behind the scenes.