Meet Marta Kostyuk


The fifteen-year-old wonder has emerged as a star in Melbourne by winning two rounds of the Australian Open. After beating 25 seed Shuai Peng and Olga Rogowska both in straight sets, Marta Kostyuk will now meet fellow Ukrainian – and the favorite to win the entire tournament, Elina Svitolina in the third round.

Here are a few snippets from Kostyuk’s press conference yesterday…

Q. What do you think makes you such a great player so young? What’s been the key to your success?
MARTA KOSTYUK: Well, I heard a lot of times that I’m talented, and I know that, but I know that only talent will not help me to play good.

So I can say that I’m working pretty hard. My preseason was quite long and very tough mentally, because I didn’t play tournaments for two months. I was only practicing. So it was tough. But it was worth it. So, yeah.

Q. Thoughts on your next round?
MARTA KOSTYUK: Well, I will just enjoy it. I think I’m going to play on big court again, but I will just try to show my best tennis, because I’m pretty sure, like, all my opponents, she will struggle a little bit, and I will try to use this. That’s what I’m going to do. I know a little bit how Elina is playing, but I still didn’t go to the details.

Q. Is it a match that you’ll feel more nervous? Because it is Elina, from your country?
MARTA KOSTYUK: Well, no, actually. I still didn’t think about that match. I’m still, with emotions, I’m still with this match, and it’s my sixth match here. I feel like with every match, I’m doing better and better.

Q. You have talked about struggling to control your emotions in previous matches. How were you with that today?
MARTA KOSTYUK: Well, actually today was the worst in all the matches.

Q. Really?
MARTA KOSTYUK: Yeah. Yeah, I was nervous, but, you know, on this big court, you know, because of all the people, you don’t really — like, still you can show something or whatever. Because no one is going to hear you and look at you, because you still can let it go a little bit, because on small courts, everyone sees you, opponent sees you, you’re like, okay, it’s fine, it’s fine, next point, no emotions. Here you can still…

Q. How did the code violation affect you? What did you think of that call?
MARTA KOSTYUK: Well, I was so — I was so mad. I wasn’t upset. I was so mad, because I didn’t see what mom was showing me. I just look at her. I showed, like, I didn’t do right shot, and I turned so I didn’t see what she was showing me.

Then when the referee said code violation, I was, like, What? I didn’t even see her, like — like, I swear I didn’t see what she was showing me. I was so mad, because I knew that I would be fined for this, you know. I was, like, look at mom (index finger to forehead).

Yeah, I was so mad, but actually when I’m mad it’s helping to be like…

Q. I read in an interview this week you didn’t even like tennis when you were growing up. How has your relationship changed?
MARTA KOSTYUK: It’s not like I didn’t like it. I actually said that I wasn’t enjoying it, you know. So, I mean, I was loving tennis. I keep loving it.

But I never — like, I always want to win, no matter what. If I was losing, it was, like, tragedy, you know. It was, like, I don’t want to play anymore. Why I’m playing? So it was like — but then when I was small. Then when I was growing up, when I was losing more, you just — you don’t take it that close.

No, well, now I start to enjoy it finally.



  • catherine · January 17, 2018 at 11:21 am

    Marta looks a little bit like a sharper faced Kerber on court – she even plays like her.

    At 15, you can’t say. But I thought she looked good. Very smooth mover.

    Her English isn’t too bad either.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 17, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Catherine, when the player shows this kind of talent, winning ability and wit and humor on the biggest stage of the sport at the age of 15 I think it's safe to say we know where Kostyuk is heading. She's got a one way ticket to the same place Shapovalov is going.

  • catherine · January 17, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    Yes – On what I saw I’d say she’s head and shoulders above other girls her age in talent and attitude.

    I just hope she has the right people around her.

    Elina will probably send her back to school but that’ll be ok.

  • Michael in UK · January 17, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    Having read your view Catherine I will follow her progress with interest.

    On Eurosport UK in his daily review Mats Wilander just described Shapovalov v Tsonga match as by far the best of the tournament so far, and that for most of it Shapovalov was the better player, but experience won out in the end for Tsonga.



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