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Without a flag, with many tears: Savalanka “is happy and feels relieved”

The tennis player celebrated her first Grand Slam title in Melbourne and dedicated it to her coach who cried in the stands, but the flag and name of Belarus were absent from the event

Five years ago, when she first played in a Grand Slam tournament, Aryna Savalanka was the object of ridicule from the Australian audience when Played opposite local goddess Ashley Barty. Today (Saturday) she was the one who had the last laugh, when she celebrated the first Grand Slam title in her career at Broad Labour Arena. Savalanka came back from a deficit in the final against Yelena Rybakina and won 6:4, 3:6, 4:6 before celebrating with the coveted trophy. The 24-year-old Belarusian became the first tennis player to win a Grand Slam while she was actually without a flag. Because of Belarus’s part in the invasionRussia to Ukraine and the ongoing war, the tennis player lined up under a neutral white flag and the name of her country was also absent from the engraving on the trophy itself. The tennis player broke down in tears after the last stroke and then dedicated the victory to her team, and especially to coach Anton Dobrov who cried in the stands and ran to him at the end. “There was a moment last year when he said to me, ‘I think I’m done, I have nothing more to contribute to you,’ and I replied: ‘No, you’re not the problem, we just have to get through these difficult moments together and come back stronger.’ , you deserve it.”

Sabalanka also said: “I need a few more days to digest what happened here. Right now I am mostly happy and proudis very. A lot of things are running through my head, I’m not on Earth right now. There is also a sense of relief, I am in the top 10 and I did not take a Grand Slam and it was difficult. Now I’m relieved, I’m happy. I’m proud of myself and everyone.” When asked how she will celebrate, the happy Savalanka replied: “I’ll probably eat everything I couldn’t eat for the last week.” The loser Rivakina congratulated the winner and added: “I hope we have many more fights like this. I had chills as everyone cheered us on. I look forward to coming here next year. It’s been an amazing two weeks for me and I hope for the same results and even better”.

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