Ukraine's Yastremska into Lyon semi-finals, 'motivated' to win title

Ukraine's Yastremska into Lyon semi-finals, 'motivated' to win title

EPA

Agency Report

Ukraine's Dayana Yastremska reached the Lyon WTA semi-finals on Friday, a week after escaping the Russian bombing of her Odessa home city and said she is "motivated" to win the title for her country.

The 21-year-old eased past fifth-seeded Italian Jasmine Paolini 6-4, 7-6 (7/3), dedicating her win to her grandmother who was celebrating her birthday back in Ukraine.

"I feel so much support from everybody," said Yastremska who is into her first semi-final since Hamburg last July.

"Maybe in a tough moment I can hear and especially feel how people are supporting me here, and that's another win for Ukraine."

Yastremska, who has won three WTA titles but none since May 2019, also played doubles in Lyon with 15-year-old sister Ivanna on Monday.

She has played every match with a Ukraine flag draped around her shoulders.

"I'm really happy to have reached the semi-finals because it's been a long time since I've been there," she added.

"It was very difficult to play, very moving especially the second set which was really very close but I always remained very motivated to win."

Yastremska arrived in Lyon on Saturday and spoke of being "woken up by bombs" when Russia invaded Ukraine last week, before embarking on an arduous journey to France.

Her father and mother remained in the Black Sea port city of Odessa after saying goodbye to their daughters when they crossed the Danube by boat to reach Romania.

"I'm happy to play here in Lyon with the support of the public which helps me. When I arrived in Lyon I was really very tired emotionally and mentally but I feel the energy is coming back and of course I want to win every match."

On Saturday, she will face either Hungary's Anna Bondar or Romanian second seed Sorana Cirstea.

AFP

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