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Yastremska, Ukraine's Fairytale Qualifier in Tennis, Praises Home Country's Resilient Players
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Yastremska, Ukraine’s Fairytale Qualifier in Tennis, Praises Home Country’s Resilient Players

Dayana Yastremska continued her impressive performance at the Australian Open on Wednesday, becoming the first female qualifier in 45 years to reach the semi-finals. She also took the opportunity to raise awareness about the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Reaching the final stage of the first Grand Slam tournament of the year was not a targeted objective for the 23-year-old athlete. Instead, she has prioritized controlling her emotions after facing personal difficulties, which she prefers not to discuss.

“I was simply attempting to have a good time playing here,” stated Yastremska during a press conference following her 6-3 6-4 win against Czech teenager Linda Noskova.

New assaults on Ukraine increase the burden on the shoulders of the 93rd ranked player in the world. She recently shared at a tournament before the Australian Open in Brisbane that her grandmother’s house was struck by a missile right before one of her matches.

She has shown no fear at Melbourne Park, defeating players with higher rankings such as former Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka and current Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova.

She exclaimed that the girls are capable of playing an incredible game at any level.

“I was simply focusing on my own actions and playing style. I believe this approach is effective.”

As Yastremska exited the court, she wore a blue and yellow outfit to represent her country’s flag. She then wrote a message on the camera expressing her pride for the resilient people of Ukraine.

She went on to express that the fighters should be greatly respected.

She informed the reporters that she believes it is her duty to be here. She finds it difficult to put into words, but she is determined to send a message to Ukraine and show her pride in doing so.

Following the conflict between Moscow and Ukraine, Ukrainian athletes on the tour have declined to shake hands with competitors from Russia and Belarus, which has served as a base for Russian aggression.

Nonetheless, Yelyzaveta Kotliar, a junior from Ukraine, caused a commotion by exchanging handshakes with her Russian adversary following her defeat in the first round match this week. Yastremska referred to it as a naive error.

“You know, Ukrainians, we have our position. We are not shaking the hands. But I think she’s still a little bit young. Not so experienced,” Yastremska told reporters.

“I am confident that she supports Ukraine, but she may have become overly emotional and confused.”

Yastremska is prioritizing her musical aspirations alongside her tennis career. She is collaborating with two individuals and plans to release a song in February that will represent three nations.

“I hope you will hear it soon.”