Varvara Gracheva and Marta Kostyuk knocked out the two remaining Americans in the draw at the ATX Open in their respective semi-finals on Saturday. The path each took to reach the last round was also different. Kostyuk, the eighth seed ousted fourth seed Danielle Collins 6-4, 6-3 in the first semi-final of the day.
The Ukrainian needed an hour and 24 minutes to get the win. Kostyuk won 64% of her first-serve points to Collins’ 68%. However, she won 59% of her second-serve points to Collins’ 46%. Kostyuk saved five of the six break points she faced while converting four break points on Collins’ serve.
In terms of winners and unforced errors, Kostyuk had four more winners than her opponent’s 13 and four fewer unforced errors than the latter’s 21.
ATX Open: Will it be Marta Kostyuk or Varvara Gracheva on Sunday?
After the win, Kostyuk said, “Obviously a special moment, very emotional.
I lost four semi-finals prior to this match today, and I didn’t know what to expect. Danielle is a great player, a great champion. Very happy that the match turned out this way today”. This is the first time Kostyuk’s made it to the final of a WTA event.
Joining her as a first-time finalist in Austin was Gracheva. Gracheva defeated Katie Volynets 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 in almost two hours and 30 minutes. Gracheva came from 2-4 down in the decider to beat Volynets. The match had 17 breaks of serve with eight coming on Gracheva’s serve and nine on Volynets’.
Gracheva also finished the match by winning 64% of her first-serve points to Volynets’ 51%. The 22-year-old won 101 points to her 21-year-old rival’s 94. Speaking post-match, Gracheva noted, “Honestly, [the key was] being more positive with myself, because I went a lot into the emotions.
Katie, she has a great game, she just doesn’t miss, and to work out the points when you’re a little bit down mentally, it’s just impossible”. The ATX Open final will be the sixth time Varvara Gracheva and Marta Kostyuk will play each other.
It will, however, be their first match after almost two years. The last time they played each other, at the 2021 Chicago Open, Gracheva won the encounter. Overall though, Kostyuk has a 3-2 winning record against Gracheva. Photo Credit: WTA Twitter