Week 9 Winner’s Circle
- WTA 250 Lyon: Zhang Shuai
- WTA 250 Monterrey: Leylah Fernandez
It has been hard to ignore the continuing war between Russia and Ukraine, and that was the backdrop to Dayana Yastremska’s run to the final. Any division over her sometime antics of taking medical time-outs whenever momentum shifts in her matches were all forgotten as she scrapped her way to the final, having escaped Ukraine just a week ago with her younger sister to be able to compete.
China’s Zhang Shuai had to come from a set down, and twice back from a break down in the final set to outlast the 21-year-old Ukrainian to claim her first title in four years, and her first title outside China.
Spare a thought for Yastremska – the wildcard was forced to shelter in an underground garage with her family for two nights just a week ago. Along with 15-year-old sister Ivanna, they were granted wildcards in the singles and doubles respectively, with the elder Yastremska making her first final in two years.
Elina Svitolina was also standing up for Ukraine, while competing in Monterrey as the top seed. With her first round against Anastasia Potopova, she refused to play against any Russian or Belarusian players, which resulted in both tours removing the nationality classifications on any athletes from those countries from the sites.
Svitolina’s run ended at the quarter-finals, but Monterrey belonged to defending champion Leylah Fernandez. Her run to the US Open, where she was downed by Brit Emma Raducanu heralded that the future of the WTA tour was in good hands, but her start to the year had been tough with no back-to-back wins until this week.
ATP Rankings as at 7 March
WTA Rankings as at 28 February
|2||–||Barbora Krejcikova||Czech Republic||5073|
|8||–||Karolina Pliskova||Czech Republic||4,242|