‘Don’t Cry’- Serena Williams’ Compassion After Dayana Yastremska’s Australian Open Heartbreak Revisited

Published 01/24/2024, 1:02 AM EST

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Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska is currently on an incredible run at the first Grand Slam of the season in Melbourne. She came through the qualifying rounds and then defeated two major champions on her way to the SF of the Australian Open. Her incredible performance in her QF match reminded the fans of her fond memories of playing against the former world no.1, Serena Williams at the same venue 5 years ago.

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Facing one of the greatest tennis players of all time in her main draw debut was a memorable experience for the Ukrainian. Although she was in tears after losing the match, little words of encouragement from Serena Williams did wonders for her for the rest of the season.

Serena Williams heaped praise on the Ukrainian tennis player

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Serena Williams was in a great form in the 2019 Australian Open. She had dropped only 9 games on her way to the fourth round. Although Williams lost to Karolina Pliskova in the QF that year, she didn’t forget to show her compassion to the Ukrainian teenager who was in tears after losing to her by 6-2,6-1 in the third-round at the Rod Laver Arena.

Dayana Yastremska grew up idolizing Serena Williams. After the match, Williams hugged her and told her, “Don’t cry. You did amazing. Don’t cry.” Talking about approach of the 18-year-old Ukranian, Williams said, “As she was walking towards the net, I could tell she was quite upset.”

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Praising Yastremska, Williams continued, “I kind of liked that. It shows she wasn’t just there to play a good match, she was there to win. She wanted to win. That really broke my heart. I think she’s a good talent. It’s good to see that attitude.

The American tennis superstar then met her opponent in the locker room after the match and talked about a time violation during the second set which she felt was unfair to Yastremska. These words of encouragement did wonders for the Ukrainian as she went on to win 2 titles and reached close to the Top 20 before heading to the 2020 season. 

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Dayana Yastremska’s dream run continues at the Australian Open

The 23YO Ukrainian defeated Linda Noskova by 6-3,6-4 at the QF of the Australian Open at Rod Laver Arena today. She has now secured eight straight wins in Melbourne within a few weeks. Here’s what she said after the match, “Super happy and super tired. First quarterfinals, has to be like so special, but it feels I’ve just done (only a) small part of what I had to do. So, moving forward and looking forward for my next match.”

Yastremska added, “I thought I had lost this match like 25 times. Sometimes, you get these kinds of thoughts, I was down 3-5 and she had set point (first set). So, I accepted that I lost it already and that helped me to continue to play. I felt like I have another chance to win.”

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The No. 93 in the world has now become the fifth qualifier in the Open Era to reach a Grand Slam semifinal and the second to do it in the AO. Dayana Yastremska will now face her next opponent in the SF on Thursday. Can she continue her dream run in two more matches? Share your thoughts in the comment box.

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Written by:

Sayantan Roy

496Articles

One take at a time

Tennis has been my passion since my childhood. My sheer love and enthusiasm for the racket sport has been a major influence in me wanting to build a career in sports journalism. Additionally, being a die-hard Real Madrid fan makes me more connected to my tennis idol-Rafael Nadal, who himself is a huge Los Blancos fan and a contender to become its next President.
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Edited by:

Shudh Mukherjee

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