While many eyes were focused on the glorious queer spectacular that was the FIFA Women’s World Cup, lesbians were also making history at Wimbledon. Over the weekend, Belgian players Alison van Uytvanck and Greet Minnen became the first lesbian couple, to play doubles together in a grand slam tournament.
Van Uytvanck and Minnen have been together for about three years, and this is the second time they have made a splash at Wimbledon. Last year, the couple dominated the news after van Uytvanck kissed Minnen after a winning a match.
Van Uytvanck and Minnen won their first doubles match, beating out British team Katie Swann and Freya Christie. They lost in their second round to Chinese team Chan Hao-Ching and Latisha Chan.
“We [would like to] see more people coming forward and saying ‘It’s OK.’ I think people would have more confidence,” van Uytvanck said to The Guardian. “That would be something good, men would appreciate that. More people would come out — it would help to make it easier.”
Tennis has not been the most inclusive sports when it comes to LGBTQ players, with only a handful of players—including legend Billie Jean King—coming out over the years. The lesbian couple said that, in their cases, the response to their coming out had been “more positive than negative. We represent something different,” Minnen told The Guardian.
The lesbian couple hopes that their historic doubles match will help others come out, especially men in the sport.
“Women are coming out more easily than men,” van Uytvanck said to Time. “I hope we are something that people can look up to, like a role model to come out.”
“I just hope it will be even better in the next few years,” Minnen also said, “and everyone can talk about it.”
At least two other out queer women, Johanna Larsson of Sweden and Richel Hogenkamp of the Netherlands, also competed in Wimbledon this year.