Lyon: Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska reached the Lyon WTA final, just a week after escaping Russian bomb attacks on her home city of Odessa.
The 21-year-old, with a Ukraine flag draped over her shoulders when she walked on court and playing in her country’s blue and yellow, beat Romanian Sorana Cirstea 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 6-4 after two and a half hours.
Today, the world number 140 will face China’s Zhang Shuai, who beat France’s Caroline Garcia 6-2, 7-5 for the title.
It will be her first final since Adelaide in 2020.
Yastremska arrived in Lyon last Saturday and spoke of being “woken up by bombs” when Russia invaded Ukraine last week, before embarking on an arduous journey to France.
She and her family had spent two nights sheltering in an underground car park from the attacks on the Black Sea port city of Odessa.
Her father and mother remained behind after saying goodbye to Yastremska and her 15-year-old sister Ivanna when they crossed the Danube by boat to reach Romania.
Yastremska has won three WTA titles but none since May 2019.
Her win on Saturday came the day after Ukrainian number one Elina Svitolina was knocked out of the Monterrey WTA tournament by Colombia’s Maria Camila Osorio in the quarter-finals.
Svitolina pledged to dedicate her prize money at the tournament to the Ukraine military.
Meanwhile, the Ukraine men’s team reached the Davis Cup World Group after beating Barbados in a play-off on Saturday in a tie switched to Turkey for security reasons.