Marta Kostyuk has long been a thoughtful, passionate speaker about various issues on tour, but the continued Russian-Belarusian attacks on Ukraine has given the her new focus and fire as she plays at Wimbledon for something greater than herself.
“I feel like things have become more stable, you know,” she said after a three-set win over Katie Swan. “I understood where my area is, what I need to focus on and what I need to achieve.”
Kostyuk, who celebrated her 20th birthday on Tuesday, was one of the first tennis players to speak out against Russia’s unprovoked act of aggression—pushing for the tours to reclassify Russian and Belarusian players as neutral athletes. Though they have been banned from participating in team competitions like Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup, Russians and Belarusians have continued playing tour events.