Dayana Yastremska has spoken powerfully about the feelings that she has been dealing with in trying to play tennis while her homeland of Ukraine is being invaded by Russia.
Speaking with Eurosport, Yastremska opened up about her emotional struggles on and off the court with her country suffering greatly at the hands of its neighbour. Her compatriot, Elina Svitolina, gave her equally moving thoughts in an interview last week.
The United Nations says around 1 million people have fled Ukraine as a result of the conflict with Yastremska and her younger sister, Ivanna, among them having exited through Romania. Yastremska is currently playing in a tournament in France.
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"It was the hardest match of my life emotionally and what I felt inside," said Yastremska, who saw off Ana Bogdan in three sets at the Lyon Open on Tuesday.
"There are no words to describe it because, as I said on the court, my heart stays in Ukraine and my mind has to be on the court and fighting. It is very hard to find the balance. It was very hard to be able to deal with the emotions.
"In your head, there are a lot of thoughts, and with my family in Ukraine, a lot of people are fighting there. Of course this win, compared to what is going on in Ukraine, is nothing. But at least I'm trying my best also to fight for my country.
"Where I can do that, where I can fight, is a tennis court. So I'm also trying to show the maximum support from my side. My sister right now is the closest person who is with me, and she is also a big support, especially yesterday in the match. I could see how nervous she was; even after the match, she was so emotional.
"She started to cry a little that she wants to be back home with her family. I can understand that she is still small and we miss our parents, of course, and we miss our city. Way before the war started, we had completely different plans for each of us, but now we have to stick with each other. We have to be together and we have to move on.
"As my father said, you never know how it is going to happen. So we have to build our future. Maybe 15 minutes before we started this interview, my father texted me and my mother texted my sister that the siren has started in Odessa. So they will need to go to the underground. We never thought it could happen.
"So after Dubai [in mid-February], we were going to go home, we were going to practise for a while and then we were going to leave for France. But you see how things can happen and change in life. Just in a couple of hours."

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Yastremska shared her story of how she left Ukraine - and how her parents stayed behind in the war zone.
"On the 24th [February], my father and I had to leave for Lyon, and my mother would stay with my sister. But on the 23rd we went to sleep, we were packed, everything ready to leave, and on the 24th in the morning the war started, bombs and everything. Late on the evening of the 24th, our father took the decision that early in the morning of the 25th we were going to drive to Romania through Izmail [in south-western Ukraine]. We were going to pass the border there and we were going to leave with the van to Lyon somehow.
"On the 24th they cancelled all the flights, they closed everything, even through Moldova. It was impossible to drive and take the car as well [due to a river crossing]. It was very dangerous because they started to bomb and you don't know from where it was going to arrive. If you're not experienced with everything that was going on, you won't understand how it feels for real when you go out to the supermarket with your younger sister and somewhere not so far away, there are the bombs - this sound and everything going super crazy.
"So the decision was taken very late on the 24th - my mother probably had to go with us. But when we arrived ready through Izmail, to the Ukrainian border with Romania, mother decided, we all decided, she was going to stay with my father because we didn't want him to leave alone. We were crying a lot because when we were in the boat passing the river to Romania, we could see our parents there and we were really crying because we didn't know where we were going to see them for the next time.
We didn't know how it was going to end. It's a tough, tough moment.

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"It was a big pleasure for us to meet the mayor of the city [Lyon], and during the stay there, we got a lot of support. We got a lot of nice words and I could see how French people really want to support Ukraine, how they know almost everything about it, and it was a really good conversation. I'm very thankful for the mayor for all he has said, particularly about them trying their best to support and to send to Ukraine something that Ukraine needs.
"I was pretty shocked when the war started and how all the world has been supporting Ukraine. How many people are going outside for the protests. How much solidarity is being shown, and it is crazy because for us Ukrainians now, it is very hard - and I can imagine how hard it is for the people in Ukraine fighting. This support, it means a lot to Ukraine.
"The more opportunity I have to talk to the world to show them what is going on in Ukraine, I will do that because we really need the support. I hope that everybody is understanding that what is going on there now is something very dangerous, and I wouldn't wish anybody or any country to experience that."
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