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Australian Open: Tough lessons for Marta Kostyuk

21 January, 2018, 01:40 | Author: Greg Wolfe
  • Petra Martic blog

Fourth seed Elina Svitolina ended the first Grand Slam odyssey of 15-year-old Marta Kostyuk in straights sets today.

Asked what she takes from this experience on the Rod Laver Arena, Kostyuk replied: 'Well, a lot. "I always love coming to the Australian Open, but I never went further than the third round", said Svitolina, who won five of her 10 career titles last season. Svitolina had five aces, while Kostyuk had nine double faults.

For a place in the quarterfinals, she is set to play Denisa Allertova of Czech Republic, who defeated Magda Linette 6-1, 6-4.

Having received a wildcard into the qualifying draw, Kostyuk earned several impressive wins over higher-ranked players before upsetting 25th seed Peng Shuai in her first-ever tour-level match despite being born in 2002, at the age of 15.

"It was sad that I was playing a Ukrainian girl, it's always hard playing someone from your own country, but I'm happy that I'm still alive in this tournament".

I was going down with the energy more and more with every match, because it's quite exhausting, you know, everything.

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Svitolina made a slow start in the searing heat but her serve was rock solid after the first game reverse and she broke three times to clinch the set when Kostyuk, on one knee, flopped a forehand into the net. "She has a bright future", Svitolina said of the youngster after reaching the fourth round in Melbourne in her sixth participation.

In the opening match on Rod Laver Arena, Petra Martic celebrated her 27th birthday with a 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 over Thai qualifier Luksika Kumkhum.

"That was really ugly", Martic said of the heat.

Alize Cornet, who needed a medical timeout and a doctor to take her blood pressure as she struggled with heat stress in her 7-5, 6-4 third-round loss to Elise Mertens, was among those suggesting the extreme heat policy needs reviewing.

"Other than that, it's just, you just need to be mentally tough and ready to just suffer out there".

Second seed Caroline Wozniacki overcame a late temper tantrum to forge into the fourth round of the Australian Open with a 6-4 6-3 win over Kiki Bertens on Friday.


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