Dayana Yastremska has written a personal message on the camera after creating history at the Australian Open on Wednesday.
The Ukrainian became the first qualifier to make the last four of the Australian Open in almost half a century after ending the giant-killing run of Czech teenager Linda Noskova.
The inspired 23-year-old produced another fearless display of shot-making to outclass Noskova 6-3 6-4 in the third women’s quarter-final at Melbourne Park.
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As has been customary in recent times, Yastremska was given a pen to sign a camera after the match.
But instead of signing her name, she wrote: “I’m proud of our fighting people from Ukraine.”
Yastremska’s message of support to Ukraine. Credit: Instagram
She later reposted the message on her Instagram account.
“The Ukrainian fighters, I’m very proud of them,” Yastremska said.
“They really deserve a huge respect. I always try to write something for Ukraine, about Ukraine.
“It’s my mission here. If I do well, I can get to express. I’m just trying to give the signal to Ukraine that I’m really proud of it.”
It continues a trend for the qualifier, who wrote “Glory to Ukraine” after her first-round win over Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondroushova.
The Ukrainian tennis players have attempted to make a stand at the Australian Open, speaking out at the lack of talk about their nation’s ongoing conflict with Russia, which is approaching its third year.
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Yastremska will play either Chinese 12th seed Zheng Qinwen or Russia’s Anna Kalinskaya — who clash on Wednesday night — for a most unlikely place in the title match.
Not since local Christine Dorey in 1978 has a qualifier made the four of the women’s Open.
“It’s nice to make a history because at that time I still wasn’t born because I was 2000,” Yastremska said after blasting 19 winners to Noskova’s six.
“So it’s next generation and I’m super happy, really happy tired.”
Noskova had taken out three seeds, including world No.1 Iga Swiatek in the third round, during her equally surprising charge to a maiden grand slam quarter-final appearance.
But the 19-year-old found herself on the back foot from the get-go on Rod Laver Arena.
Yastremska, the world No.93 but ranked as high as 21st four years ago, held to love in the opening game of the match and broke Noskova twice to take the first set in 36 minutes.
The Ukrainian received a code violation in the fourth game of the second set for exceeding the allotted 25 seconds between points.
Unfazed, she crunched down her fastest serve of the match, a 182km/h thunderbolt, on the way to holding for 2-2.
She then broke Noskova in the seventh game and refused to let a rare foot-fault call against her while trying to serve out the match shake her focus.
Yastremska appeared to ace Noskova to go 5-4, 30-0 up only for the umpire to intervene.
The Ukrainian dropped the next two points before staying strong to prevail after one hour and 19 minutes.
– With AAP