2022 WTA Tour Players to Watch: Marta Kostyuk

UKRAINIAN teenager Marta Kostyuk snuck into the WTA Tour’s Top 50 last month, reaching her career-high ranking after a memorable season. The European young gun has been a name that has kept popping up over the last few seasons as a prodigy, so it would be easy to forget that she is only 19-years-old. Starting on the professional Tour as a 15-year-old, Kostyuk has risen steadily to be a star of the future.

Marta Kostyuk

Height: -

Weight: -

DOB: 28-06-2002

Marta Kostyuk started her first professional season as a 15-year-old, squeezing inside the Top 500, before ending 2017 as the 518th ranked player on Tour. Though she did not play any WTA Tour tournaments, she increased her ITF-level experience with an 8-3 record. In 2018, Kostyuk made her debut on the WTA Tour, fittingly at the Australian Open. There, she fought through qualifying where she upset then world number 128 and now world number three Barbora Krejcikova in the final round of qualifying. The qualifier took down 25th seed Shuai Peng in her first ever main draw match, and reached the third round before her highest ranked compatriot – Elina Svitolina – showed her class with a 6-2 6-2 victory.

From there, she did not make it through qualifying in any of the other Grand Slams, only winning one more main draw match for the season after her Australian Open run. Critically though, Kostyuk got to experience playing on not only hard court, but clay and grass as well where she was at least able to defeat higher ranked opponents.


After her starring effort at the Australian Open on debut, many expected Kostyuk to step even further in 2019-20, but then the global pandemic hit. With limited tournaments and reduced chances to increase her ranking and therefore gain automatic entry into tournaments, Kostyuk played just 14 matches over the next two seasons on the WTA Tour, winning six. Her best effort was reaching the quarter finals at Strasbourg on the clay in 2019, where she knocked off Saisai Zheng in the process.

Kostyuk had a slow start to the 2020 season, unable to get past the first round of an event until the world number 137 was handed a wildcard at the US Open. There, she knocked off Daria Kasatkina and 31st seed Anastasija Sevastova to reach the Round of 32 at Flushing Meadows. Much like the time she ran into Svitolina, Kostyuk was halted by Japanese star and eventual Grand Slam winner, Naomi Osaka. Though she lost, Kostyuk took it up to the Top 10 player, going down in three sets, 6-3 6-7 6-2, saving 16 of a possible 21 break points, but her serving efficiency (49.2 per cent) was the worst of her WTA Tour career. It was the longest match thus far for her, reaching two hours and 33 minutes.


Most WTA Tour players can pinpoint a breakout year in their career, and for Kostyuk, that was 2021. The young gun turned 19, and played 36 WTA Tour matches – more than her entire career to-date. She finished with a 20-16 record, and whilst her ace percentage dropped (3.9 per cent), she was able to hold more consistently (66.1 per cent). Her first tournament in Abu Dhabi was symbolic of what was to come, reaching the semi-finals with wins over Sara Sorribes Tormo and Tamara Zidansek.

Though knocked out in the first round of the Australian Open and the Miami WTA 1000 events, she reached a semi-final on clay in Istabul, then achieved her greatest run at a Grand Slam to-date, breaking through to the fourth round at Roland Garros. She stunned world number 13 Garbine Muguruza in straight sets, 6-1 6-4 as the then-ranked 81st in the world. She also claimed wins over Saisai and Varvara Gracheva before going down to reigning champion Iga Swiatek in the Round of 16.

A second round appearance at Wimbledon – which featured a first round victory over Dutch 17th seed Kiki Bertens – was followed by a quarter final at Chicago after a two-month break. She was bundled out in the first round of the US Open after unluckily copping eventual semi-finalist Maria Sakkari first up. Kostyuk also made it to a second round at Indian Wells before losing to 11th seed Simona Halep, and capped off her year at Cluj-Napoca where she dominated US Open winner and fellow teenager Emma Raducanu 6-2 6-1 in a quarter final. The Ukrainian faced Halep for the second time in three weeks the following match, and was blown away, 6-0 6-1.


Marta Kostyuk seems like the teenage star no one is talking about. She has quietly made her way up into the Top 50 this year after some delays through the pandemic, and whilst she is yet to win a title, has had some big wins in Grand Slam events. Though she still does not have the consistency, her strong serving and reliability to hold has helped set her up for a big year next year as she gains even more experience on the senior Tour.


>> Maria Camila Osorio Serrano
>> Ann Li

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