A versatile player, who can use the entire court and closet at net, Kostyuk showed all-court acumen and stubborn spine in Washington, DC. Kostyuk fought off three match points edging 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(5) in a Washington, DC thriller this month then backed it up beating WTA Finals champion Caroline Garcia.
Clearly, the world No. 37 is a player going places.
Fittingly, we caught up with Kostyuk at a tennis court in the commuter capital of New York City—the iconic Grand Central Terminal—where the Wilson brand ambassador hit with some members of the media in an appearance for her racquet, clothing and shoe sponsor Wilson. Kostyuk helped conduct a clinic at the famed Vanderbilt Tennis Club located on the fourth floor of Grand Central Terminal above thousands of scurrying commuters hustling to make their trains on time.
Kostyuk, who will play singles and doubles in New York, was kind and gentle dialing down her game hitting with the media but still showed the snap and bite on her crosscourt forehand.
For the first time next week, Kostyuk will play the US Open clothed head-to-toe in Wilson while wielding her trusty Wilson Blade.
We caught up with Kostyuk after hitting for this interview. Kostyuk, who was taught tennis by her mother, Talina, a former pro, said she’s never had a tennis hero and when she watches tennis these days, like many fans, she enjoys the Carlos Alcaraz vs. Novak Djokovic rivalry.
Tennis Now: Marta, you’ve had a break-out year winning your first WTA title in Austin, beating Elena Rybakina, defeating Maria Sakkari at Wimbledon and recently a big win over Bianca Andreescu in DC. Which win or moment has been most meaningful for you and which has done most for your confidence?
Marta Kostyuk There are things that people remember for a long time, but for tennis player’s it’s different. Because we play every week, the scenery changes, the way you feel changes and you kind of forget, which I don’t think is the best thing, but it’s what we do. We forget.
So I kind of still try to carry it with me when I feel down. I tell myself: It’s fine, I still have those wins. I still have those moments and I have some not on my best days. So I think that’s also important to remember. And I just try to carry [the good wins] with me on my worst days.
Photo credit: Matthew Calvis
TN: You’re a fun player to watch because you have variety and can use the whole court, like against Bianca you were both drop-shotting at times, playing angles. When you’re playing your best tennis what is going right for you on court?
Marta Kostyuk When I’m playing well, the decisions I make are structured ones and I see the court very well. I feel the ball well and I would say that’s the biggest difference when I’m playing well.
TN: You’re playing head-to-toe in Wilson using the Wilson Blade. What does that mean to you?
Marta Kostyuk I’m really happy to be on the Wilson advisory team and helping them make the pieces better. It’s my first US Open [head-to-toe wearing Wilson] so we’ll see how it goes. Hopefully good (laughs). I’d say it’s been a good experience and I’m really happy and excited to be part of the Wilson advisory team.
TN: Do you ever hit with other Ukrainian players.
Marta Kostyuk Alexandr Dolgopolov was the first [top] player I met through hitting at the same club. I think I’ve hit with everyone pretty much. I was hitting with Elina [Svitolina], Anhelina Kalinina, Tsurenko. At Fed Cup, we all hit with each other. So I don’t have any restrictions.
Q: What do you love most about tennis?
Marta Kostyuk It’s never the same. Everything is different, every day.