Marta Kostyuk on Aussie Open qualifying nerves: 'I was going to cry'

by: Kamakshi Tandon | January 08, 2019

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Marta Kostyuk didn't seem to have any problem with nerves when she reached the third round of the Australian Open as a 15-year-old in 2018, but it was very different in her return to Melbourne Park.

Now 16 years old and ranked No. 116, she won her qualifying opener in straight sets against Jana Cepelova.

"I feel it wasn’t my best match, I’m happy I got through this because I’ve never felt so nervous before a match," she was quoted as saying by the Australian Open website. "I was walking onto the court, I thought I was going to cry because I was so nervous."

But Kostyuk, who did not win another match at a WTA event or Grand Slam for the rest of the season, is happy to be back where she first made her tour breakthrough. "It was so special when I came here the first day [of] practice," said the Ukrainian player. 

A year ago, she was ranked No. 521, receiving a wild card into the qualifying following her win in the junior championships. Now, she is in on her own ranking and looking to do it again, saying, "It means I have to go through this experience by myself again and I’m happy I have the chance. I’ve done it before."

Players need to win three matches to qualify for the Australian Open.


This Week on Tennis Channel and Tennis Channel Plus

ATP/WTA Sydney (1/5 to 1/12)
• Stefanos Tsitsipas, Frances Tiafoe, Simona Halep and Sloane Stephens headline the Sydney International. Watch live coverage on Tennis Channel Plus.

WTA Hobart (1/5 to 1/11)
• Watch the action from the Hobart International featuring Caroline Garcia, Belinda Bencic and Maria Sakkari.

ATP Auckland (1/6 to 1/11)
• See John Isner and Fabio Fognini live on Tennis Channel Plus beginning Monday, Jan. 7 at 6:00 pm ET.

FAST 4—Sydney (1/7)
• The game’s best compete in the always entertaining Fast4 format, with appearances by Nick Kyrgios, Grigor Dimitrov and Milos Raonic. Live coverage begins on Monday, Jan. 7 at 3:30pm ET.

World Tennis Challenge—Adelaide (1/7 to 1/9)
• Watch Borna Coric, CoCo Vandeweghe and Victoria Azarenka live from Adelaide starting Monday, Jan. 7 at 3:00 am ET.

AO Qualifying Rounds (1/8 to 1/11)
• Australian Open officially begins with qualifying action. Tennis Channel Plus has fall the action live! Coverage begins Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 6:00 pm ET.

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