Ukraine’s Yastremska sisters out of Indian Wells but not down after defeat

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Irina-Camelia Begu and Monica Niculescu of Romania defeated Dayana and Ivanna Yastremska 6-1 6-1 in the first round of doubles at Indian Wells. The sisters, twenty-one and fifteen years old, received a wildcard into the doubles draw after fleeing their home in Odessa, Ukraine following the Russian invasion.

Dayana and Ivanna Yastremska
Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine & Ivanna Yastremska of Ukraine after their first-round doubles match at the 2022 BNP Paribas Open WTA 1000 tennis tournament

Flags from both teams’ home countries were visible in the stands, but the Ukrainian flag also appeared as a ribbon some fans wore and as the background of a “I Stand With Ukraine” poster the sisters later autographed. One woman in the audience had draped herself in a Ukrainian flag and held up white cardboard sign on which she wrote “We Love” next to a drawing of a heart and the flag.

Dayana and Ivanna Yastremska

Throughout the match, the sisters were relaxed and smiling as they enjoyed being able to play tennis in front of the welcoming crowd that cheered loudly for every point.

Dayana and Ivanna Yastremska

Despite not walking away with the win, the sisters stayed after the match in a small outside stadium. They took selfies with fans and chatted in Ukrainian with some people who came to cheer them on. (photos: Jimmie48)

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