Dayana Yastremska, the reigning champion of the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open, faced an early exit on Tuesday in a grudge match against her Russian opponent, Mirra Andreeva.
Yastremska, the Ukrainian player who had claimed victory in the tournament during its last staging in 2018, set the tone for a tense encounter by refusing to pose for pre-match photos with Andreeva.
This decision was followed by an announcement to spectators that the players would not engage in the customary handshake before the match.
In a closely contested battle, Andreeva emerged victorious with a scoreline of 6-4, 6-3. She capitalized on Yastremska’s struggles with her serve, breaking it at crucial junctures in both sets.
As the match progressed, Yastremska’s frustration became evident, culminating in a tense atmosphere on the court. When the match concluded after one hour and 22 minutes, neither player approached the net nor exchanged glances.
This outcome mirrored a previous encounter between the two players in Lausanne in July. On that occasion, Yastremska had called for WTA sanctions against Andreeva after the 16-year-old had shown support for Russian President Vladimir Putin on social media, causing tensions between the two athletes.