Five facts about the fast-rising Marta Kostyuk

Tennis


Roger Federer is on an eight-match unbeaten run at the Australian Open but there is one 15-year-old Ukrainian who is on a longer winning streak at the year’s first major. Guess who? Marta Kostyuk. The girls’ champion at the Australian Open last year, Kostyuk beat Olivia Rogowska 6-3, 7-5 on Wednesday to enter third round — and take her unbeaten streak to 11 at the Grand Slam. She will next face fourth-seeded countrywoman Elina Svitolina.

Here are five lesser-known facts about the fast-rising Kostyuk:

* World No. 522 Kostyuk advanced to the main draw after winning three qualifying matches. She’s the first player born after 2002 to win a Grand Slam match. Speaking after qualifying for the main draw, she had said, “Age is nothing to me, I don’t think about my age when I play, but to be young is sometimes an opportunity. The older girls can get a bit tight when I start to win.”

* Kostyuk got a wild card for the qualifiers by virtue of being the 2017 girls’ winner. Interestingly, her career prize money before this tournament stood at $6,733. She’s assured of $113,000 (approx.) by virtue of making the third round this time.

* Kostyuk defeated world No. 27 Shuai Peng in the opening round to become the youngest player to win a main-draw match at Melbourne Park since Martina Hingis in 1996. While her win was spectacular, the celebration that was followed was even more breathtaking.

* Kostyuk is also the youngest player to reach the third round at any Slam since Mirjana Lucic-Baroni did so at the 1997 US Open. Speaking about how she plans to play against Svitolina, she said, “I will just enjoy it. I think I’m going to play on big court again. 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.”

* Kostyuk is managed by Ivan Ljubicic, who is Federer’s current coach.

With inputs from ESPN Stats and Information Group



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