Kostyuk wins 1st title, dedicates it to Ukraine

Products You May Like

AUSTIN, Texas — Marta Kostyuk won her first career WTA title at age 20 by beating Varvara Gracheva 6-3, 7-5 in the ATX Open final on Sunday, then dedicated the victory to her home country of Ukraine.

The eighth-seeded Kostyuk and the unseeded Gracheva, a 22-year-old Russian, did not meet at the net for the traditional postmatch handshake; Kostyuk has said she will not do so after facing any opponents from Russia, which began its invasion of Ukraine more than a year ago, or Belarus, which helped launch the attack.

“Being in the position that I am in right now, it’s extremely special to win this title,” Kostyuk said during the trophy ceremony at the inaugural edition of the hard-court tournament in the Texas capital, “and I want to dedicate this title to Ukraine and to all the people that are fighting and dying right now.”

When Gracheva sailed a forehand long to end the match after 1½ hours, Kostyuk — who had trailed 5-3 in the second set and saved a set point at 5-4 — dropped to her knees at the baseline, put her hands on her face and sobbed.

“Obviously,” said Kostyuk, who was the junior champion at the 2017 Australian Open, “it’s a very special moment.”

Both players were participating in a tour-level title match for the first time, and they combined for 13 breaks of serve — eight by Kostyuk — and 14 double faults. Both won fewer than 50% of points on serve.

There were only two aces, both by Gracheva, including one that gave her a set point at 5-4, 40-30. But she wasted that chance to force a third set by pushing a forehand wide. The 88th-ranked Gracheva, who eliminated No. 1 seed Magda Linette and 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens earlier in the tournament, put another forehand into the net to face a break point. Kostyuk converted it by ending a 16-shot exchange with a forehand volley winner.

Kostyuk, who came into the day ranked 52nd, then held to 6-5 with the help of an underhand serve, before capping a four-game, match-closing run with yet another break.

She is the third first-time champion on the women’s tour in 2023.

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Russische tennisser Daniil Medvedev toont vertrouwen en aanpassingsvermogen op Roland Garros
Novak Djokovic wint eerste ronde van Roland Garros in rechte sets
Alles wat je moet weten over de French Open 2024
Novak Djokovic’s kansen bij Roland Garros in twijfel getrokken na verlies in Geneva Open
French Tennis Federation Announces Record Number of Members