Thursday, June 2, 2011

Everyone is curious about Francesca Schiavone

The top search phrase leading to the Sapphist Gazetteer this week is "francesca schiavone girlfriend." Alas, I have no idea whether the adorable Italian tennis champion has a girlfriend—much less whether she is a lesbian—but I can say that we in the lesbian realm appreciate how cute she is. Look at the smile! So alive. And let's congratulate her on making it to the finals of Roland Garros, the French Open. Good luck on Saturday, Francesca! For two thoroughly charming tribute videos, click here (with nothing less than a Lou Rawls soundtrack) and here.

BTW, the only out active player I know of is Amelie Mauresmo. She retired two years ago, but she is attempting to come back to professional tennis. ESPN reported that she had been granted a wild card spot in mixed doubles at the French Open this year but was not allowed to play because "she is no longer in the sport's anti-doping program." Not sure what that means, but we'd love to see her back on the tour.

In the meantime, you can get your lesbian tennis fix by watching our beloved Martina Navratilova doing French Open commentary on the Tennis Channel. The Tennis Channel recently aired a wonderful documentary about Martina's amazing life story, "Farewell to a Champion." It's worth tracking down on your DVR. Personally, I was moved to tears. And my admiration spiked. Also, ESPN not long ago produced a terrific film "Unmatched" in its "30 for 30" series on the legendary rivalry between Martina and Chris Evert. In this clip, Martina talks specifically about how hard it was being out at that time. Chris Evert was the all-American girl next door, and Martina was portrayed as the bad guy. "Here I am this big, muscular lesbian from a Communist country," she said. "And the headline was, 'The good vs. the bad'. Here I was this villain, and it hurt."
But in the end, Martina, you are the hero.

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