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“It would be totally normal and I think people would be accepting” – Taylor Fritz on a male player coming out of the closet
No player in the ATP Top 100 singles rankings has come out of the closet in recent years and many, including Taylor Fritz, find that odd
A few weeks back, French doubles tennis specialists Fabien Reboul and Maxence Broville, ranked No 53 and No 903 in the world doubles rankings respectively, lit up the Internet with photos of themselves kissing one another and also spoke about their love for one another.
While some voices on social media welcomed the first case of a male player coming out, neither player confirmed the news or whether it was anything more than an inside joke between the two. Tennis Majors understand they didn’t want to feed the story.
The issue of gay players on the ATP Tour has been a perplexing one for many. While several female tennis players have come out of the closet, there is no player in the ATP Top 100 in singles in recent years who has confirmed he is gay (the last one being American Brian Vahaly, who peaked at No 64 in singles in 2003 but came out only after he retired from the sport).
Fritz : “Maybe people just don’t want to be in the spotlight”
Taylor Fritz, the top-ranked American men’s singles player at No 9 in the world, is among those who is not able to figure out why a high-ranked male player has not come out of the closet. Fritz believes that he and his peers would be accepting of any player who is gay.
“I’m not sure if there are homosexual tennis players in the top 100. I don’t know. Maybe people think behind close doors we know or something. Statistically speaking, they should be. Statistically. But not that I know,” Fritz said in an interview to Clay Tennis.
“I think is odd, because I feel like a player would be accepted. Myself and my friends, other players on tour wouldn’t have any issues with it, it would be totally normal and I think people would be accepting. I couldn’t tell you why (no one has came out). Obviously anytime that would be a lot of big news and maybe people just don’t want to be in the spotlight, maybe they don’t want the distraction of getting all the attention and stuff like that.”
“I’m doing it for me” – Fritz on aiming to win a Grand Slam
Being the top-ranked American singles player on the ATP Tour, Fritz will be hoping to end a 20-year drought for an American man to win a Grand Slam next season (the last one being Andy Roddick who won the US Open in 2003). The 25-year-old Fritz says that he does not feel any extra pressure to break that drought but is motivated to win a Grand Slam for himself more than anything else.
“It’s been pretty tough to win Slams in this era (laughs),” Fritz said. “If there are people putting pressure over me, I don’t really feel that. I have very high expectations for myself, and all the pressure that I feel is always pressure that I’m putting on myself. I’m doing it for me.”