WATCH: Tearful Kostyuk Dedicates San Diego Runner-Up Trophy To Family In Ukraine

WATCH: Tearful Kostyuk Dedicates San Diego Runner-Up Trophy To Family In Ukraine

by Nurein Ahmed

Marta Kostyuk is one of the tour's brightest stars, whose exceptional talent came to the fore from a very young age.

This season, Kostyuk has emerged as a potential star after achieving a number of firsts. For instance, in January, she reached her first-ever Grand Slam quarterfinal at the Australian Open before she was eliminated by another special player, Coco Gauff.

That result earned the highly talented Ukrainian a place in the world's Top 30, peaking at No. 28 for the first time. Despite her progress being scuppered by illness in the Middle East, Kostyuk quickly found her footing when she traveled to the United States.

Instead of heading to Austin to defend her solitary WTA title so far in her career, she elected to test herself in a much bigger field against higher-tier opponents at the San Diego Open. And that decision proved to be the right one, even though she fell short in the end.

The 21-year-old scored a maiden Top 5 win by beating Jessica Pegula and went on to headline the championship match against Great Britain's Katie Boulter last Sunday.

Kostyuk took the first set of the final, playing some great tennis, but Boulter, who looked imperious all week, had the greater firepower and accuracy down the stretch to win the match in three sets.

After the match, a tearful Kostyuk dedicated her runner-up trophy to her family in her native Ukraine, who are still embroiled in a war with Russia. The World No. 32 acknowledged their "sacrifices" more so in the current testing circumstances.

"First of all everyone in the stands... Slava Ukraini. I don't want to make it too sad, I want to say thank you to my family back home. It's been a difficult last couple of nights for Ukraine. My family is in Ukraine right now."

"I don't know what's gonna happen tomorrow. There's no one who sacrificed more for my career than them. I want to dedicate this small trophy to them."


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