Monday, January 27, 2020

Goran Ivanisevic and Conchita Martínez Selected for International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2020


Two great careers. But ironic (sad?) that Goran Ivanisevic, who is now on Team Djokovic and has a history of using gay slurs, would be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the same time as Conchita Martinez, who may not have been officially out while winning Wimbledon and ranking a career-high of No. 2 in the world, but was definitely "out adjacent" thanks to her relationship with No. 1 doubles player Gigi Fernandez, which was a source of pride for many a LGBTQ fan back in the day. 

The Associated Press wrote in 1995:
Tennis player Gigi Fernandez came out when she appeared on stage with Martina Navratilova during the gay rights March on Washington in 1993. Fernandez’s relationship with defending Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez has been an open secret on the women’s tour among other players, writers and fans. So, too, have been the sexual orientations of at least half a dozen other players among the top 50, though none have talked about it. 
When asked if she’s a role model for other gay athletes to come out, Navratilova turned around and said, “I don’t see any line forming behind me.”
I'd like to say we've come a long way since then, baby. But with still zero out male players and currently just one notable woman -- Alison Van Uytvanck of the Netherlands, who is in a relationship with second-tier Belgian player Greet Minnen -- sometimes it feels more like two steps forward, one and a half back. Note that the Wikipedia page for Conchita, who is back to coaching Garbine Muguruza, still makes no mention of her personal life.

Some may recall that Ivanisevic "apologized" back in the day, which -- surprise -- only made things worse.

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