Daria Snigur dedicated her shock win over Simona Halep on her US Open Grand Slam debut to her native Ukraine on Monday.
Snigur, ranked no. 124 in the world and a US Open qualifier, she beat seventh seed Halep in the first round in three sets 6-2 0-6 6-4 at Louis Armstrong Stadium.
Then, when the emotions seemed to catch up with her, she had a message for her countrymen back home.
“This is a victory for Ukraine, for all Ukrainians, for my family, for my team,” he said on the court after the game.
“The situation is bad, of course. I try to do the best for Ukraine, I try to support my country.
“It’s not that easy because the war continues. Sometimes it’s impossible to play, but I try to do my best because I want to live in Ukraine.”
Despite being drawn to the second-biggest court for her Grand Slam debut against arguably the most popular player in tennis at the moment, Snigur never looked daunted, facing a top-10 opponent for the first time in her career. career
Playing in just her third WTA-level match, she raced to a nerve-wracking one-set lead, dominating Halep with her unorthodox style.
However, two-time Grand Slam winner Halep showed her experience by winning the second set in just 24 minutes and setting up a decisive final frame.
But, showing a resolve that belied his experience, Snigur didn’t budge. The 20-year-old was leading 5-1, just one game away from victory, when Halep began to struggle.
The Romanian reduced the score to 5-4, but when Snigur served for the match, Halep’s backhand could only find the net to wrap up a memorable victory.
When she realized she had claimed her first tour-level win, her hands went to her shocked face and the tears began to flow.
“I’m very happy. I’m very, very, very nervous,” said Snigur, who was the 2019 Wimbledon junior champion. “But I tried my best.”
Last week, Snigur played in the “Tennis Plays for Peace” event for the relay of Ukraine in between their qualifying rounds for the US Open. The event raised $1.2 million, according to the United States Tennis Association.
Snigur is one of five Ukrainians in this year’s draw.