Wimbledon giant slayer happy to come out as gay

Agence France-Presse
Belgian journeywoman Alison van Uytvanck says she wants to 'to be free' after stunning defending champion Garbine Muguruza

SHOCKER. Belgium's Alison van Uytvanck posts her first triumph over a top 10 opponent. Photo by Ben Stansall/AFP

LONDON, United Kingdom – Wimbledon giant-killer Alison van Uytvanck said Thursday, July 5, she was comfortable coming out as gay, saying “it is not a disease.”

The 24-year-old Belgian stunned defending champion and 3rd seed Garbine Muguruza 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 to make the 3rd round at the All England Club for the first time.

She then told reporters that she was happy to have come out as gay and talked about her relationship with fellow player Greet Minnen.

“We just decided to not make it personal and not keep it for ourselves. I’m happy,” said Van Uytvanck, the world number 47.

“I just feel like we don’t have to be ashamed of this, and that’s why I also want to be free. 

“I’m not sick. I don’t have a disease. But I just feel like it’s good that I could come out as a gay person.”

Van Uytvanck is just one of 3 openly gay players on the women’s tour.

The others are Sweden’s Johanna Larsson and Richel van Hogenkamp of the Netherlands.

Cilic knocked out

The journeywoman Van Uytvanck pulled off the shocker to record her first-ever win over a top 10 opponent.

Muguruza’s defeat leaves just top seed Simona Halep, number 7 Karolina Pliskova and 10th seed Madison Keys as the remaining top-ranked contenders after two rounds.

In the men’s event, 3rd seed and last year’s runner-up Marin Cilic was knocked out by Argentina’s Guido Pella.

Fourth seed Alexander Zverev was teetering on the brink of defeat when he trailed Taylor Fritz of the United States by two sets to one when their second round tie was suspended for the night.

Elsewhere, Rafael Nadal overcame two time warnings and Novak Djokovic shrugged off a knee problem to battle into the 3d round.

“I knew that if I let her play, I would lose so I thought, let’s go for it,” said Van Uytvanck, who has made the 3rd round for the first time.

“I may have looked calm but inside I was dying.”

Muguruza admitted it had not been her day.

“She played big, took risks and it worked for her but my level was not where I wanted it to be,” said the deposed champion.

“It’s a little bit sad.”

Nadal handed time violation

Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 champion, was tested by world number 77 Kukushkin, who was made to pay for converting just two of 13 break points.

He was also hit with two time violations – one before the match had even started as he sat courtside.

“I didn’t know but I don’t see a clock here. I don’t see a countdown. It’s more difficult for me to understand what’s going on,” said 11-time French Open champion Nadal, who is chasing an 18th major.

For Djokovic, meanwhile, victory was his 60th at Wimbledon.

He hit 15 aces and 31 winners in a commanding win over 33-year-old Zeballos, who was a top 40 player in 2013 but was playing at Wimbledon ranked a lowly 126.

Former world number one Djokovic shrugged off a knee injury he suffered in the match.

“It’s most likely a twitch in the muscle or something like this that has affected the knee a little bit. Hopefully it’s nothing that will concern me,” said Djokovic.

Three-time major winner Stan Wawrinka was unable to follow up his first round defeat of 6th seed Grigor Dimitrov when he lost 7-6 (9/7), 6-3, 7-6 (8/6) to Italian qualifier Thomas Fabbiano.

Fifth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro, who made the semifinals in 2013, eased past 36-year-old Feliciano Lopez, a 3-time quarterfinalist, who was playing in a record 66th consecutive major.

Del Potro’s 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 win set-up a 3rd round clash with France’s Benoit Paire.

John Isner, the US 9th seed, saved two match points, fired 64 aces and 88 winners to defeat Belgian qualifier Ruben Bemelmans 6-1, 6-4, 6-7 (6/8), 6-7 (3/7), 7-5.

Nick Kyrgios, seeded 15, unleashed 42 winners to see off Robin Haase of the Netherlands 6-3, 6-4, 7-5.

Kyrgios next faces Japan’s Kei Nishikori who put out Australian lucky loser Bernard Tomic 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (9/7), 7-5.

French Open champion Halep reached the 3rd round with a 7-5, 6-0 win over China’s Zheng Saisai and next plays Hsieh Su-Wei of Taiwan. – Rappler.com