Marta Kostyuk, 20, dedicated her career-first WTA title in Austin to those “fighting and dying” in Ukraine. On Sunday, Ukraine’s Kostyuk defeated Russian tennis player Varvara Gracheva 6-3 7-5 in the Austin final. After the final was over, there was no handshake between Kostyuk and Gracheva.
Also, Kostyuk and Gracheva didn’t pose together with their trophies. “Everyone who is in the stands and everyone who is watching, especially in Ukraine, I want to say ‘Slava Ukraini.’ Being in the position that I’m in right now it’s extremely special to win this title.
I want to dedicate this title to Ukraine and all of the people who are fighting and dying right now,” Kostyuk said, per Hindustan Times.
How Kostyuk defeated Gracheva?
In the first set, there wasn’t much consistency on either side when it came to own service games.
In the first five games of the set, a total of five breaks were seen as Kostyuk led 3-2. In the sixth game, the first hold of serve was seen as Kostyuk opened a 4-2 lead. After one hold of serve, three consecutive breaks of serve were seen in the remainder of the first set as Kostyuk won the opener with a 6-3 score.
At the start of the second set, Gracheva claimed an early break but Kostyuk quickly broke back. After blowing an early break, Gracheva managed to break Kostyuk again and eventually open a 5-3 lead. On the verge of losing the second set, Kostyuk responded by claiming back-to-back breaks and winning the next four games to complete a straight-set win.
“Very surreal. I was just playing match by match, and I think this is how you win tournaments, I guess! It’s not so easy to talk right now, but obviously I’m extremely happy. I’m just happy to be healthy and happy to play tennis and see the crowd enjoy my game,” Kostyuk said of winning her first WTA title.