WATCH: Kostyuk needed three sets to get past Sorana Cirstea and kick off her Middle East campaign.


I’ve heard of “dancing into the next round,” but this is ridiculous!

Marta Kostyuk kept things light after a hard-fought opening round encounter with Sorana Cirstea, treating the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open crowd to some dance moves as she waited on her post-match interview.

Just as the Ukrainian readied to explain how she edged through the 6-2, 1-6, 6-2 win, the Stadium Court’s DJ persisted in playing Selena Gomez’s verse from “Taki Taki” the 2018 DJ Snake bop featuring Ozuna and Cardi B.

Looking relaxed despite battling for just under two hours, Kostyuk busted out a mix of Gomez’s choreography with a little freestyle of her own before the music ultimately faded away.

The 20-year-old has endured an emotional year since Russian military forces invaded her home country last year. Kostyuk has since become the de facto spokeswoman for her contingent, frequently advocating for stricter measures against Russian and Belarusian athletes who continue to compete as neutral athletes.

Kostyuk’s 2023 nonetheless began with the auspicious news that she would sign an exclusive head-to-toe deal with Wilson as the brand relaunches its apparel brand. Looking fresh and chic to start the season, she scored an Australian Open upset over No. 28 seed Amanda Anisimova en route to the third round of singles and partnered Elena-Gabriela Ruse to reach the semifinals in doubles.

Looking to dance into the quarterfinals in Abu Dhabi, the unseeded Kostyuk will need to get past No. 2 seed Belinda Bencic on Wednesday.