At the ATX Open in Austin, Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk defeated Russia’s Varvara Gracheva to win her first singles title. There was no post-match handshake. Kostyuk, who was seeded eighth in the tournament, beat Dalma Galfi, Madison Brengle, Anna-Lena Friedsam, and Danielle Collins to reach the title match. In one hour and 32 minutes, she defeated Gracheva 6-3, 7-5.
When Kostyuk won the match, she fell to her knees. She made a gesture toward Gracheva as the 20-year-old walked toward the net, implying that there would not be a handshake after the match. Before acknowledging the audience, Kostyuk did shake the hand of the chair umpire. After the game, there was also a separate photoshoot for the players.
Given the ongoing tensions that exist between Russia and Ukraine, Kostyuk’s decision not to shake Gracheva’s hand is not surprising. The Ukrainian has also failed to shake hands with a Russian or Belarusian opponent before. She refused to shake Victoria Azarenka’s hand after their US Open second-round match last season. In the end, both players ended up hitting the net with their rackets.
Marta Kostyuk has spoken out a lot about the conflict in Ukraine and said earlier this year that she would continue not to shake hands with players from Russia and Belarus.
After the final, Marta Kostyuk described how “very surreal” it felt to win her first WTA singles title. Additionally, the 20-year-old stated that she was pleased to be in good health and to watch the audience enjoy her performance.
Kostyuk described it as “very surreal.” I just played match by match, and I think this is how tournament winners probably win! It’s hard to talk right now, but I’m obviously very happy. I’m just glad to be healthy, to play tennis, and to watch the crowd enjoy it.
The accomplishments of Marta Kostyuk in Austin will propel her to a career-high ranking of 40th in the WTA rankings. The 20-year-old has reached the quarterfinals of the Adelaide International 1 and the third round of the Australian Open, where he has won 11 of 15 main-draw matches thus far this season.
Following the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Kostyuk will compete in the second WTA 1000 tournament of the 2023 season.
In recent times, Tommy Paul has been getting attention. The American, whose junior high ranking was No. 3 and won the boys’ French Open in 2015; he won the Stockholm Open in 2021, his first ATP Tour title.
In the past 18 months, Paul has also won as many as six games in the top 10. In Indian Wells, in 2021, he beat Andrey Rublev to win. The 25-year-old defeated Carlos Alcaraz in Montreal and Rafael Nadal at the Paris Masters in 2022, as well as Matteo Berrettini in Acapulco and Alexander Zverev in Indian Wells.
Tommy Paul recently prevailed against World No. 5 Taylor Fritz in the 2023 Mexican Open semifinals in Acapulco. In the recently concluded tournament in Acapulco, Paul narrowly missed winning his second title of his career against Alex de Minaur in the final (3-6, 6-4, 6-1).
Despite this, he has had a significant start to his 2023 campaign, reaching his first Grand Slam semifinal at the Australian Open and reaching a career-high ranking of No. 1. 18.
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