SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Daria Kasatkina has been overwhelmed by the positive reaction from fans after coming out as gay in an interview with a vlogger last month.
"I don't know how the social media filter works, but I've just heard very good things," Kasatkina told WTA Insider at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic. "Not just from the west but also people from my country.
"I'm really happy about it. As I saw, it was not just a good thing for me, also it helped other people. That's great and I feel great. I feel happy about it and about myself and that's most important."
Kasatkina said she received the expected messages of support from her close friends after her announcement, but was surprised that so many she did not know well in the player community also reached out.
"I think in tennis, at least with the girls around, we're all very supportive of each other no matter the background or identity," Coco Gauff said. "I don't think there's any judgment when it comes to that.
"I'm grateful that she felt comfortable enough sharing that part of her life. She didn't have to do that. But I can only imagine how many people in her situation feel inspired by that."
Former No.1 Naomi Osaka offered her own words of support and called for even more.
"I thought it was really amazing how she's doing that," Osaka said. "I do think we have to rally to support her because it is a bit of a dangerous situation. But I think in all of that it's really incredible that she's coming out and she's standing for what she believes in. I'm always in support of that."
Kasatkina said she's felt no change in how she's been treated. Her girlfriend, Olympic figure skater Natalia Zabiiako, has been front and center in her player box this week in San Jose.
"Yeah, I feel more free and happy," she said. "I think I made the right step. With the situation in the world, all this stuff that is tough, when if not now? Let's put everything into the same pool."
A finalist in San Jose last year, Kasatkina is back in the quarterfinals after ousting Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina and Taylor Townsend in her first two matches. Currently ranked No.12, Kasatkina is in the midst of her best season. This past spring, she made back-to-back semifinals, in Rome and Roland Garros.
"This is the point when I have to realize that I am an adult and mature enough," Kasatkina said. "I'm not 18 anymore. I cannot rely that I am young and I will have time. No, I'm 25, I have to act now. I have to show everything I've got in these years. I think this is already the time to give more than take."
As the season turns to hard courts, Kasatkina is looking to finish the season in the Top 8 and make her WTA Finals debut. She is currently No.6 on the Porsche WTA Race to the Finals Leaderboard.
"It was very intense the first part of the season and it's going to be even more intense the second part," Kasatkina said. "This is the point that decides who's the best, who deserves to go to the Final Eight. Who will pass this challenge will win this golden ticket to go there.
"Tennis is about mental strength. At the end of the year, at the end of the swings, this is where the strongest one wins. This is what tennis is about, so you have to squeeze it out. You have to work hard and ask a lot of yourself without killing yourself."