Ukrainian refugee Dayana Yastremska falls just short in Lyon Open final
Tennis player fled home in war-torn Odessa following Russian invasion
Ukrainian refugee Dayana Yastremska took Zhang Shuai to three sets Sunday in the final of the Lyon Open that the Chinese tennis player eventually won 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
The 21-year-old Yastremska only fled her home in war-torn Odessa, Ukraine, last week following the Russian invasion.
She spent two nights sheltering in an underground car park from missile strikes before escaping with her 15-year-old sister Ivanna through Romania while their parents stayed behind in Odessa.
My beloved Ukraine, I really wanted to win this one for you!! 💙💛🥺I gave my absolute best throughout this week because that’s what Ukrainians do!Thank you for all the support I received this week, it means the world to me. I am forever grateful!🇫🇷<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StandWithUkraine?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#StandWithUkraine</a> 🇺🇦 <a href="https://t.co/qdJVsWkf8d">pic.twitter.com/qdJVsWkf8d</a>—@D_Yastremska
The 140th-ranked Yastremska had a remarkable run to her fifth career final after being given a wild card to play at the tournament. She beat second-seeded Sorana Cirstea 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4 in the semifinals.
She had six aces and won 74.5 per cent of her first serve points in the final against Zhang.
Zhang rebounded after dropping the first set and fought back from a break down on two occasions in the final set to turn back the Ukrainian wild card. Zhang, 33, won the match in one hour, 46 minutes.
The title was the first in more than four years for Zhang, who emerged victorious in Guangzhou in both 2013 and 2017. She is the first woman from China to win a tour title since Zheng Saisai won in San Jose in 2019.
WATCH | Russian tennis star Andrey Rublev makes plea for no war in Ukraine:
With files from Reuters