Australian Open 2018: 15-year-old Marta Kostyuk through to third round

Kostyuk is the first 15-year-old into round three since 2005. Pic Getty

Bencic first watched Kostyuk play Wednesday, and she was impressed. It made tennis completely unenjoyable.

"Ivan is always helping me when he sees me". "If I was losing, it was a tragedy".

I can not say that it's something, like, I don't feel like I did something incredible because the match was fast, and I was playing point by point. Serving for the set, the 15-year old survived a marathon game, sealing the set with a strong serve and forehand error for Rogowska.

Things will get harder for her now.

Marta Kostyuk's incredible record at Melbourne Park continues. However, playing in her maiden Grand Slam, nobody could have expected these results.

Her ranking? No. 521.

The opening game of the match featured what would be a theme of the match: break points, Kostyuk saving both to hold.

Also Ukrainian, she beat local wildcard Olivia Rogowska 6-3, 7-5. While her win was spectacular, the celebration that was followed was even more breathtaking.




The stats weren't pretty - 45 unforced errors to just 22 winners - but Kostyuk handled the pressure well. Speaking after qualifying for the main draw, she had said, "Age is nothing to me, I don't think about my age when I play, but to be young is sometimes an opportunity". But thanks to her impressive run, she has ensured that everyone will know her name come the end of this year's competition. While serving for the match, she clubbed a ball off the frame of her racket that almost hit a spectator in the crowd. Unable to take advantage of what may be her only chance to reach the third round of a major, the Aussie will be bitterly disappointed as she heads back to the ITF Tour.

A home-schooled former gymnast, she gave up gymnastics when she was 11 to focus on tennis. The impact on her game has been immediate. "I wasn't feeling well on the court - fourth set was a disgrace", said Dimitrov, who took Rafael Nadal to five sets in a marathon semifinal in Melbourne previous year. "And Roger, we speak twice. Not like, 'Hey, how are you.' That was nice".

With this achievement, Kostyuk became the youngest player since Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in 1997 to reach the third round of a Grand Slam.

It's remarkable for a teenage sensation to break through the ranks since the WTA limits young players to only 10 tournaments.

Bencic hopes Kostyuk "keeps enjoying all of this and remembers the feeling how it is when you're excited first time, first Grand Slam, and to keep it this way".

Next opponent Martha Kostiuk in Melbourne will be the highlight of her compatriot Elina Svitolina. "I can't wait to get into an ice bath".

"I already know a little bit where I'm going to spend this, but I didn't really think, because, like some big investment or something", she said. He had never played anyone ranked better than No. 69 before facing the third-seeded Dimitrov on Wednesday.

The Ukrainian has won her way through to the third round of the Australian Open at just 15 years of age. "I will try to use this".

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