Tennis is one of the world’s most gay-friendly sports. But the sport is still in search of that elusive top gay male player to come out. There is no shortage however of out gay women. Here are some of the most famous lesbian tennis players: Helen Jacobs, Rennae Stubbs, Amelie Mauresmo, Hana Mandlikova, Casey Dellacqua, Lisa Raymond, Gigi Fernandez, Venus Williams.
Billie Jean King ( 1943) is an American former World No. 1 professional tennis player. King won 39 Grand Slam titles, including 12 singles ( 6 Wimbledon’s titles) , 16 women's doubles, and 11 mixed doubles titles. She married Larry King in Long Beach, California, on September 17, 1965. By 1968, King realized that she was interested in women,and in 1971, began an intimate relationship with her secretary, Marilyn Barnett . King acknowledged the relationship when it became public in a May 1981 'palimony' lawsuit filed by Barnett, making King the first prominent professional female athlete to come out as a lesbian.
Martina Navratilova (1956) is a retired Czech and American tennis player . In 2005, Tennis magazine selected her as the greatest female tennis player for the years 1965 through 2005. She won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, 31 major women's doubles titles (an all-time record), and 10 major mixed doubles titles. She reached the Wimbledon singles final 12 times and won it a record nine times During the early 1980s, she was involved with basketball player Nancy Lieberman and author Rita Mae Brown. From 1984 to 1991, Navratilova had a long-term relationship with Judy Nelson, whom she met at a tournament in Fort Worth in 1982. Their split in 1991 included a much-publicized legal wrangle. On September 6, 2014, Martina proposed to her longtime girlfriend Julia Lemigova at the US Open. They married on December 15, 2014
William Tilden II (1893 –1953), was an American male tennis player. He is often considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Tilden was the World No. 1 player for six years from 1920 through 1925. He won 14 Major singles titles including 10 Grand Slams(3 Wimbledon’s titles). He also won a record seven US Championships titles. During his lifetime he was a flamboyant character who was never out of the public eye, acting in both movies and plays, as well as playing tennis. He also had two arrests for sexual misbehavior with teenage boys in the late 1940s; these led to incarcerations in the Los Angeles area. He was shunned in public and his photos removed from the walls of his home club, the Germantown Cricket Club. California did not repeal its sodomy law until 1976. Because he lived in an era when homosexual sex was illegal and was not tolerated socially, some suspect that Tilden was a victim of the homophobic society of the era. More shocking than Tilden's being caught was the revelation that "sports and homosexuality were not mutually exclusive".
Bobby Blair (1964) publisher of the Florida Agenda and Guy Magazine, was a member of the 1983 US Junior Davis Cup Team. He reached the finals of The USTA Boys 18 and under National Clay Courts Championships in the summer of 1983 where he lost a three-set marathon match to future world top-ten player Aaron Krickstein. Blair became All American in 1986 and was ranked among the top-five Division One singles players in the United States. He counts career wins over several former top-10 players in the world including Wimbledon Champion Pat Cash, French Open Finalist Mikael Pernfors, Karl Novacek, Emillio Sanchez and grand slam doubles champion Rick Leach. He recently published a coming-out memoir, Hiding Inside the Baseline. Billie Jean King had this to say: “Bobby Blair is committed to providing a safe and confidential support team for LGBT athletes around the globe and by sharing his own experiences and showing how important it is to live your truth, he strive to make a major impact in the lives of those he reaches through his foundation and his new book.”