Ukrainian tennis player Dayana Yastremska has broken down in tears after losing the Lyon Open final in tough scenes as she made a classy act for her country during the invasion from Russia.
Just one week after leaving her parents behind in Ukraine and fleeing to France with her younger sister, Yastremska proclaimed she could "deal with everything" after booking her place in the Lyon WTA final.
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Unfortunately for Yastremska, she came up short against an in-form Zhang Shuai 6-3, 6-4.
Following the match, like she has done all week, Yastremska took to the microphone draped in the Ukrainian flag.
And having admitted she had found it tough to sleep all due to the crisis unfolding in her homeland, she broke down in tears during her speech.
She also pledged her prize money to a foundation back in her homeland to help out those impacted by the war.
"The prize money I earn here I'm going to give to the Ukrainian Foundation to support Ukraine," Yastremska said, before she broke down in tears.
"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'.
— wta (@WTA) March 6, 2022
Yastremska took to social media following the match and thanked everyone for the support.
"My beloved Ukraine, I really wanted to win this one for you!" she wrote.
"Gave my absolute best throughout this week because that’s what Ukrainians do!
"Thank you for all the support I received this week, it means the world to me. I am forever grateful!"
My beloved Ukraine, I really wanted to win this one for you!! 💙💛🥺I gave my absolute best throughout this week because that’s what Ukrainians do!Thank you for all the support I received this week, it means the world to me. I am forever grateful!🇫🇷#StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/qdJVsWkf8d
— Dayana Yastremska (@D_Yastremska) March 6, 2022
Tennis world follows Ukraine's star's amazing run
Yastremska's incredible run in France has captured the world's attention, with the 21-year-old motivated by the crisis unfolding in her homeland and the love of her country.
Yastremska and her sister were forced to flee their hometown Odessa after the city was bombed by Russian forces during President Putin's invasion.
The images of the two sisters that were posted to social media made headlines around the world, with Yastremska dedicating each and every one of her victories to her parents and her country.
After beating Cirstea to book her place in the Lyon final, the defiant Ukrainian said she refused to let her spirit be broken.
"I can deal with everything. My spirit is pretty strong right now - that's why I think I can deal with everything," Yastremska said after the match.
"I'm Ukrainian, and Ukrainian people are very strong. You can see that now during the war," added the former World No.21, who dropped to her knees at the moment of victory.
"Every win from now on goes to my country. Compared to what's going on, it has no big meaning."
Following the match, it was revealed Yastremska had received a wild card entry to Indian Wells.
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