Katie Volynets’ beautiful Australian Open win over ninth-seeded Russian Veronika Kudermetova on Thursday would have felt a bit sweeter for her prolonged household in Ukraine, who take delight in her achievements amid an ongoing warfare.
Born within the United States after her mother and father moved there and having taken up the game as a five-year-old, Volynets scored a 6-4 2-6 6-2 win to grow to be the primary American qualifier to succeed in the third spherical in girls’s singles at Melbourne Park since 1993.
Volynets, who continuously visited Ukraine as a baby to satisfy her cousins and grandparents and was most lately within the war-torn nation after Wimbledon 2021, stated she nonetheless loved particular help there.
“I have a lot of cousins in Ukraine and actually they watch every match. They usually write me and I communicate with them. It’s really special,” Volynets stated.
Volynets’ household is usually in Kyiv and Dnipropetrovsk the place Russian missiles have rained down since Moscow’s invasion, which the latter phrases a “special military operation”.
“It’s really a difficult time. Before, everyone used to be able to move about the country however they want to and go on with their days and now it’s just day-to-day,” Volynets stated.
“I really feel for them. To have their support through all of this is incredible. Whenever I come out on the courts, I hope I’m supporting them as well because they’re watching and I stay strong for them.”
Volynets stated, nonetheless, that she would put politics apart in terms of her relationships with fellow professionals.
“Having said that, I always worry about my family, of course, in Ukraine. But I don’t hold anything against the players and I just try to focus on tennis,” she stated.