Dayana Yastremska says she is enjoying playing a “thousand times more” having fled war in her homeland Ukraine.
Yastremska, 21, and her 15-year-old sister Ivanna spent two nights sheltering in an underground car park before being sent to safety in France, where she is playing in the Lyon Open.
And she followed up an emotional win on Wednesday, where she draped herself in the Ukrainian flag, by making it through to the quarter-finals with a 6-2 6-3 win over Spanish qualifier Cristina Bucsa.
“Today definitely was a little bit easier with my emotions,” Yastremska said on the WTA Tour website. “I could keep them under control, so I’m very happy with that.
“Yesterday I tried to recover myself as fast as possible to prepare for my match, and I’m still very nervous because I really want to win the matches for my country. This tournament is very emotional for me, but I’m very happy with the win.
“To be honest, I’m very happy that I’m here, that I’m in a safe place with my sister, and I’m happy to do the thing that I love, playing tennis.
“Every point that I’m playing here, I’m enjoying a lot, and especially with the situation that we have now, I’m enjoying it like a thousand times more. I’m going to try my best to win my next match.”