Dayana Yastremska pledges prize money to Ukraine aid effort after losing Lyon Open final | Tennis News

Dayana Yastremska spent two nights sheltering in Ukraine in an underground car park from missile strikes before escaping last week with her 15-year-old sister Ivanna through Romania while their parents stayed behind in Odessa

Last Updated: 06/03/22 5:27pm


Dayana Yastremska finished as runner-up at the Lyon Open

Ukrainian refugee Dayana Yastremska pledged her Lyon Open prize money to her country’s aid effort, after losing Sunday’s final a week after fleeing the country amid the Russian invasion.

The 21-year-old Yastremska, who fled her home in Odessa following Russia’s invasion, took Zhang Shuai to three sets on Sunday, with the Chinese player winning 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Yastremska 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.

The 140th-ranked Yastremska had a remarkable run to her fifth career final after being given a wildcard to play at the tournament, beating second-seeded Sorana Cirstea 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4 in the semi-finals.

In an emotional speech after the match, Yastremska said she would pledge her €14,545 (£12,000) runner-up prize to her country’s humanitarian appeal.

“The prize money I’ve earned here I’m going to give to the Ukrainian foundation to support Ukraine,” Yastremska said.

“If Ukrainian people are watching me, I want to say you guys are so strong, you have an amazing spirit.

“I tried to fight for Ukraine and I want to say thanks to every single person from Ukraine for standing by the Ukraine and showing the people that we have a really strong spirit.”

The eighth-seeded Zhang won her third career title, twice coming from a break down in the final set to claim victory after an hour and 46 minutes.



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