23 - 31 Oct. Cluj-Napoca

Marta Kostyuk: “Seeing what Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez did in US Open, that gave me confidence I can do the same”

Marta Kostyuk’s quotes after winning against Emma Raducanu (6-2, 6-1) in the Transylvania Open quarter-finals

On Emma mentioning they used to play in juniors: I played twice, once I won, once I lost, it was 6-7 years ago. I don’t remember anything from then. I don’t remember how she played. Both of us have a decent career, we changed, we improved. First of all, I don’t remember how she played, second of all, I don’t think it was the same tactic.

Playing the semifinal here: It’s my 3rd semifinal of this year, it doesn’t feel like the 1st one. Now just trying to focus on the next match against Simona. It’s going to be a big fight. It’s a great feeling and now I’m focusing on the next one.

What did she make of Emma’s run at the US Open: I have to be honest, it was a bit rough for me to watch, both of their runs (n.a. Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez). I’m trying to be the best I can be, I want to be where they are. I am sure it’s going to happen soon, I didn’t feel nice looking at them playing finals (laughs). It was very inspirational, it gave me strength. I realized that I can do the same. Leading is something that is never easy, when you are the first it’s always extra pressure and more expectations. When you watch tennis and when you play someone two different things. When Emma came up, no one could really understand how she plays, what’s her week side. It was tough to figure out because she played so well. When I read her comment after yesterday’s match, it gave me strength. I was like, okay, she remembers me I have to go with it because I don’t remember killing her on the court. When I saw the head to head is one all and not like me destroying her, I was still very focused, I knew I needed to figure out every quick on the court how she plays.

On not having an easy summer: It’s never one thing that helps, but little pieces you put together. It left a footprint on my brain, it was motivating me to not stop. The last couple of weeks were very tough for me, I was struggling with my health, with my confidence. Now I feel things are falling into place, I’m trying to use it as much as I can, and hopefully, I get the title (smiles).

On playing Simona: We played outdoors, which is different, the courts are super slow in Indian Wells. It was an advantage for her, that’s where she feels comfortable. This is a little bit different surrounding, it’s indoor, balls are faster. I will use as much of it as I can. I have some tactics from the last match, I will try to fight as hard as I can.

On Paula Badosa’s run at IW: Paula had a very consistent year, very impressive. I am lucky to be close with her, we share how we are feeling. I was very happy for her. I hope she can win the WTA finals, I will cheer for her. I was always feeling don’t belong in the top 100 even when I was, all the wins from people that are close to me it gives me confidence that I can do it as well.

She was the 1st from her generation to breakthrough: When I was younger, three-four years ago, I was the first to play well in 35 years (n.a. her run in Australian Open). When I was breaking records every week, I knew it will end somewhere, I can’t break records the whole year. At some point, I didn’t handle the pressure from myself. The first one to breakthrough was Coco, not me. I liked to be the first one everyone, it gave me a lot of experience and knowledge and how to react in some moments. It’s an extra experience, I try to grow every day, it’s not about numbers for me.

If she was surprised how quick it went tonight: Even though I followed a bit her US Open run, I couldn’t figure out how she plays. I watched her match against Polona 3rd set, I couldn’t understand how she plays, how she would react to my shots. I knew I had little time to figure it out, after the first couple of games I kind of got it, I tried to do what I felt like doing. I can’t be surprised of the quickness of the result.

How is she feeling physically to face a new challenge in the semifinal: I feel great, I needed to adapt today to the time of the match. All the matches before I played first, so I had to change my routine. When you win matches you don’t feel as bad as when you lose them (laughs)

On facing Simona: I look forward to it, I love playing Simona, she is a very nice person. I hope it will be a great fight.

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