A young Ukrainian player whose training base was bombed caused the US Open’s first major shock by knocking out seventh seed Simona Halep.
20-year-old Daria Snigur won the Wimbledon junior title three years in a row, but this was by far the biggest result of her senior career.
The Kyiv native broke down in tears and formed a heart with her hands around a ribbon on her chest in the colors of the Ukrainian flag after beating Halep 6-2, 0-6, 6-4.
“It means that Ukraine will always be in my heart,” Snigur said. “It’s a victory for Ukraine, for all Ukrainians, for my family, for my team.”
Snigur’s father is in New York with her, but her mother is at home in Kyiv, where the youngster can no longer train after the center where she trained was bombed during the war.
“The situation is obviously bad,” she said. “I try to do the best for Ukraine, I try to support my country. It’s not that easy because the war is going on. Sometimes it’s impossible to play but I try to do my best because I want to live in Ukraine.
“Before the war I trained in Kyiv, but Russia bombed my base, so I trained with my coach in Riga before the US Open, but I don’t have a base where I can train every time.
“I think (Ukrainian) people enjoyed my match because I have a lot of messages. I didn’t understand what happened. I’ll try to understand it tomorrow because I think it was the best match of my career.”
Coco Gauff has had an excellent season, advancing into the second round with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Leolia Jeanjean.
Halep aside, it was generally a good day for the outlandish names as third seed Maria Sakkari retaliated for her Wimbledon loss to Tatjana Maria with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-0 win.
Former champion Bianca Andreescu defeated Harmony Tan 6-0, 3-6, 6-1 and Wimbledon finalist Ons Jabeur started her campaign with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Madison Brengle.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/tennis/simona-halep-ukraine-kyiv-coco-gauff-ons-jabeur-b2155302.html Ukraine’s Daria Snigur stuns seventh seed Simona Halep in the first round of the US Open