Van Uytvanck hoping Wimbledon run has positive impact
LONDON (AP) — Alison Van Uytvanck is hoping her run to the second week of Wimbledon can give young gay people more confidence.
The Belgian, who in March said that she was in a relationship with another woman, advanced to the fourth round at the All England Club for the first time with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Anett Kontaveit on Saturday.
The 47th-ranked Van Uytvanck had only won one match in her four previous main-draw appearances at Wimbledon, but announced her presence with a second-round victory over defending champion Garbine Muguruza on Thursday.
“I didn’t come out because I wanted to be a role model,” Van Uytvanck said. “I’m just happy that I could hopefully get younger people to have confidence to just come out.”
Van Uytvanck has reached the second week of a Grand Slam before — she was a quarterfinalist at the French Open in 2015.
However, outside of that tournament and this one, she has only amassed three Grand Slam wins.
Her partner Greet Minnen — who is also a Belgian tennis player, ranked 546th — has been courtside throughout the tournament.
“We’re a good team,” Van Uytvanck said. “She’s also a tennis player. ... So it’s really good she understands the game.”
There was also a timely element to Van Uytvanck achieving her career-best performance at Wimbledon.
While she was on court, tens of thousands of people had begun participating in a parade celebrating Britain’s LGBT community in the city center.
With a fourth-round match against 14th-seeded Daria Kasatkina of Russia to come on Monday, Van Uytvanck wasn’t ready for any celebrations.
“Somebody told me it’s the Pride (parade) today,” Van Uytvanck said with a laugh. “But I will just get some rest.”
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