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Marta Kostyuk bows out of Australian Open with lesson from ‘god’ Elina Svitolina

Fifteen-year-old Ukrainian tennis starlet Marta Kostyuk described her Australian Open third round conqueror Elina Svitolina as a ‘god’ after losing in straight sets

tennis Updated: Jan 19, 2018 13:04 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse, Melbourne
Australian Open,Marta Kostyuk,Elina Svitolina
Marta Kostyuk lost to Elina Svitolina in straight sets in their Australian Open 3rd round match.(REUTERS)

Teenage sensation Marta Kostyuk was in tears after her Australian Open adventure ended Friday but she was determined to make the best of it.

Fourth seed Elina Svitolina breezed past her Ukraine compatriot 6-2, 6-2 in just 59 minutes, leaving the 15-year-old sobbing on her mum’s shoulder, but she wasn’t down for long.

“How much you have to pay Svitolina to have one-hour lesson? I got it for free,” she told reporters.

“I learn that you can play against everyone,” Kostyuk added of facing the world number four.

“I had the chances, but because I thought, like, she is incredible, she’s a god, I cannot do anything against her, that’s the problem.”

Kostyuk had been labelled the “future of tennis” by some observers after becoming the youngest Australian Open second-round winner since “Swiss Miss” Martina Hingis in 1996.

But she produced a nervous, error-strewn third-round display against Svitolina and that, she said, was why she was inconsolable as she returned to the locker room.

“Well, because I know that I could play much better. It was, like, honestly I played really, really bad today.

“Credit to her, of course. I’m not saying she’s bad player. I’m just saying I played bad. I didn’t show even maybe even 10 percent of what I can.”

Kostyuk has shown maturity beyond her years this week on and off court and will stay on in Australia to play Fed Cup for Ukraine next month.

But the crying?

“I also can be a kid, you know,” she said. “It’s not like I’m always like this, serious. I’m still 15.”

First Published: Jan 19, 2018 13:04 IST