Belgian tennis couple blazing a trail for LGBT community

Having pulled off one of the greatest wins of her career a year ago at Wimbledon - storming past defending champion Garbine Muguruza to reach the third round - Alison Van Uytvanck headed straight for her partner. Beaming after the victory, they shared a kiss in front of the delighted Court 2 spectators as the sun started to set on a warm evening in south-west London. 

It was an image that would quickly be seen across the world, as Van Uytvanck and her girlfriend Greet Minnen defied the conventions of a still stuffy sport to openly express their love. 

Not that making a point about their sexuality was in any way what motivated the embrace. "It was pure instinct. I just saw Greet and wanted to hug her," Van Uytvanck, the world No. 52 from Belgium, told the Telegraph.

Her girlfriend Minnen - also from Belgium, and ranked No. 154 - agrees: "I know it was a big deal but we just didn’t think about it. She had just made the biggest win of her career and so I was so happy and not thinking in that moment."

The fact that a homosexual relationship is still "a big deal" in tennis is at odds with the rest of society, and reflects the taboo nature of the topic within the sport. It remains a curiosity - as explored in a Telegraph special report earlier this year - that there has never been an openly gay active male player in the modern era. Even on the women's tour - supposedly liberated by LGBT trailblazers like Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova - there are less than a handful of openly gay players in the world's top 200 besides Van Uytvanck, 25, and Minnen, 21, as we head towards the second grand slam of the year at the French Open. 

Read more via the Telegraph