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Marta Kostyuk 17-01-18

Interviews

Q. Last year you won the juniors here, and now you're into the third round and you're only 15 years old. Does it seem like a fantasy, like it's not true?
 MARTA KOSTYUK: Well, it's actually first win when I feel like something is going on, something different, you know. Because actually it's -- if I will lose today, it would be my fourth Grand Slam second-round loss (smiling). Because I lost three second rounds in juniors.

 It was, like, well, this is probably first slam when I will not be upset that I lost second round.

 So, yeah, it feels a little bit different than other wins.

Q. Last year you won the juniors here, and now you're into the third round and you're only 15 years old. Does it seem like a fantasy, like it's not true?
 MARTA KOSTYUK: Well, it's actually first win when I feel like something is going on, something different, you know. Because actually it's -- if I will lose today, it would be my fourth Grand Slam second-round loss (smiling). Because I lost three second rounds in juniors.

 It was, like, well, this is probably first slam when I will not be upset that I lost second round.

 So, yeah, it feels a little bit different than other wins.

Q. Are you still planning to play in the juniors? Because I think you can play 10 pro tournaments at 15.
 MARTA KOSTYUK: 12. I got two more because I finished up 5.

 Well, I don't know, because I think, yes, but I will play only doubles and I think I'm getting wildcard because I had to withdraw. Because I think there is a rule in juniors that I cannot play only doubles. So I decide to withdraw, and if they give me wildcard, if Tennis Australia is giving me wildcard to doubles, then I play, if not, then I don't.

Q. But overall are you done with juniors now totally?
 MARTA KOSTYUK: Yes. Yes (smiling) (fist pump).

Q. When you first took up tennis, I understand it was so that you could see more of your mother. Back then could you have ever imagined this would be where you would be sitting?
 MARTA KOSTYUK: Well, first time I mentioned, like, big wins for the first time, it was actually April of last year. It was, like, I was trying to fall asleep and then I started to think because I knew that I would probably get the wildcard as a winner in juniors next year.

 So I was kind of imagine this, but, like, it was like really big wins. I was in the bed, I thought, oh, my God, this is going to happen. Oh, my God. But then I stopped myself, because it's super big goal, you know. If I will not reach this, then I will put myself under pressure.

 So, yeah, that was first time. Then next time I didn't really think like this anymore.

Q. Is it like you imagined?
 MARTA KOSTYUK: Ah, yes, close. Close. Close enough.

Q. I read in an interview this week you didn't even like tennis when you were growing up. How has your relationship changed?
 MARTA KOSTYUK: It's not like I didn't like it. I actually said that I wasn't enjoying it, you know. So, I mean, I was loving tennis. I keep loving it.

 But I never -- like, I always want to win, no matter what. If I was losing, it was, like, tragedy, you know. It was, like, I don't want to play anymore. Why I'm playing? So it was like -- but then when I was small. Then when I was growing up, when I was losing more, you just -- you don't take it that close.

 No, well, now I start to enjoy it finally.

Q. From outside you looked pretty calm out there for such a young player and such a big stage. How was it feeling inside? Can you talk about your foot?
 MARTA KOSTYUK: Oh, I was lucky that I played finals on Rod Laver last year. So I kind of knew how is it to play on the big court.

 Well, I was tight. Was pretty tight in the beginning, but not in the shots; more in the serve.

 So I was struggling, because it's different. Serve is the most difficult to get used to in different, you know...

 It was, no, it was fine. It was quite a lot of people there, so I like to play with the crowd.

Q. And your ankle? You seemed to have some issues.
 MARTA KOSTYUK: I had my muscle on the side was tired. It was hurting after qualifications, because I had three three-set matches. I put the tape on on the side, and then they did, like, ankle tape, but it did blister, like, huge blister. That's why I'm taping it.

 So usually when I'm outside of the court, I just put on the blister but when I play I put also on the ankle. But it's not really ankle problem anymore.

Q. By getting through to the third round I think you're guaranteed about $142,000. As a 15-year-old, how do you envisage going from prize money so far of about $6,000 in total to getting a big lump sum today?
 MARTA KOSTYUK: Well, I already know a little bit where I'm going to spend this, but I didn't really think, because, you know, like some big investment or something. Now I'm still keeping money. It's like I got it and I go and spend.

 Maybe I will get the presents for my family, first of all, of course. Because I have big family. And then for myself a bit. Yeah.

Q. Did you already have the opportunity to talk to your school friends? Did you check your WhatsApp after the match?
 MARTA KOSTYUK: Well, I take the phone, and I had to eat at the same time. My mom told me leave the phone and eat properly. Because I didn't have normal breakfast, that's why I felt quite bad today on court. And I was quite hungry and at the same time I had to check. Once I enter WhatsApp, I had to put the phone, and I think, no, I didn't still reply to a lot of people.

Q. Are you happy with 12 tournaments, or would you prefer that rule didn't exist?
 MARTA KOSTYUK: Last year I was playing a lot of juniors, like, I wanted to finish this part. So my first tournament from Brisbane was two weeks ago, so I still have, after this tournament, I still have 10 tournaments, which is okay. But from my next birthday to the birthday, it will be, of course, far enough. I think it will be 14 or 16. No, 16 tournaments.

 I mean, imagine I can play only 16 tournaments in one year. When people are playing 20. So it's struggle, struggle.

Q. Do you go to school, like actually school?
 MARTA KOSTYUK: No, I do, like, home school, but I have to go to school and write tests. Once I'm in Ukraine, which happens twice a year or more or less, I don't know, I have to go and actually -- I don't even have time to practice times to do the school.

Q. What do you think makes you such a great player so young? What's been the key to your success?
 MARTA KOSTYUK: Well, I heard a lot of times that I'm talented, and I know that, but I know that only talent will not help me to play good.

 So I can say that I'm working pretty hard. My preseason was quite long and very tough mentally, because I didn't play tournaments for two months. I was only practicing. So it was tough. But it was worth it. So, yeah.

Q. Thoughts on your next round?
 MARTA KOSTYUK: Well, I will just enjoy it. I think I'm going to play on big court again, but I will just try to show my best tennis, because I'm pretty sure, like, all my opponents, she will struggle a little bit, and I will try to use this. That's what I'm going to do. I know a little bit how Elina is playing, but I still didn't go to the details.

Q. Is it a match that you'll feel more nervous? Because it is Elina, from your country?
 MARTA KOSTYUK: Well, no, actually. I still didn't think about that match. I'm still, with emotions, I'm still with this match, and it's my sixth match here. I feel like with every match, I'm doing better and better.

Q. You have talked about struggling to control your emotions in previous matches. How were you with that today?
 MARTA KOSTYUK: Well, actually today was the worst in all the matches.

Q. Really?
 MARTA KOSTYUK: Yeah. Yeah, I was nervous, but, you know, on this big court, you know, because of all the people, you don't really -- like, still you can show something or whatever. Because no one is going to hear you and look at you, because you still can let it go a little bit, because on small courts, everyone sees you, opponent sees you, you're like, okay, it's fine, it's fine, next point, no emotions. Here you can still...

Q. How did the code violation affect you? What did you think of that call?
 MARTA KOSTYUK: Well, I was so -- I was so mad. I wasn't upset. I was so mad, because I didn't see what mom was showing me. I just look at her. I showed, like, I didn't do right shot, and I turned so I didn't see what she was showing me.

 Then when the referee said code violation, I was, like, What? I didn't even see her, like -- like, I swear I didn't see what she was showing me. I was so mad, because I knew that I would be fined for this, you know. I was, like, look at mom (index finger to forehead).

 Yeah, I was so mad, but actually when I'm mad it's helping to be like...

Q. Serving for the match, your first serve went everywhere.
 MARTA KOSTYUK: There was a problem. There was the sun, so you throw the ball and sun, so you hit the sun, actually (smiling).

 When it was match point, I just said, Okay, now I am going to throw the ball and just serve like normal. It doesn't matter. I see the ball. You saw the result.

Q. Where do you live? You said you don't go back to Ukraine that much.
 MARTA KOSTYUK: In Zagreb. I'm practicing there. Like last six months I was practicing there.