Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska who escaped Russian bombings just over a week ago, fell short of a remarkable title victory yesterday after being beaten by Zhang Shuai of China in the final.
The 21-year-old, who arrived in Lyon last Saturday and spoke of being “woken up by bombs” when Russia invaded Ukraine three days earlier, was beaten 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the decider. Zhang Shuai twice fought back from a break down in the third set to clinch her third WTA title.
Yastremska said she would use her prize money of about £12,000 to aid Ukraine.
She said: “It’s been a tough week.”
Yastremska, draped in her country’s flag, tearfully addressed the Lyon crowd and sent a message to her compatriots who remain in Ukraine.
She said: “If Ukrainian people are watching me, I want to say ‘you guys are so strong, you have an amazing spirit, and I tried to fight for Ukraine’.”
“Thanks to the public for the support. I’ve been fighting all week, not only for myself but also for my country.
“Everybody was supporting me a lot. I felt so much power from the people here.”