Marta Kostyuk earned her maiden career's WTA title after defeating Varvara Gracheva 6-3 7-5 in Sunday's final of ATX Open in Austin. The 20 years-old Ukrainian was a favorite before the match-up against the Russian, who same as Kostyuk has reached her first ever final in WTA level competition.
The match started well for Kostyuk, who prevailed in first set, which took quite a weird turn of events. Only one out of nine games ended up with a hold from the serving player - despite from 6th game won by Kostyuk within own serve, all other games ended up with breaks. The decisive one happened in 9th game, just after Kostyuk did not manage to serve out the victory in this set. The Ukrainian produced three setpoints in the longest game of the set and clinched the set after 5 deuces.
Second set brough a little bit more serving consistency from both players. Gracheva was trying to fight back and moved in, achieving the break advantage twice in 3rd and 5th game. The world's number 88 was really close to force the decider, as she had a set-point in 9th game, while serving and being 5-4 40-30 up. Kostyuk managed to survive in this game, breaking her opponent back and reaching her first ever final victory by winning 4 games in a row and crossing the finish line with a score 6-3 7-5.
"Very surreal. I was just playing match by match, and I think this is how you win tournaments, I guess! It’s not so easy to talk right now, but obviously I am extremely happy. I am just happy to be healthy and happy to play tennis and see the crowd enjoy my game." - said the first ever ATX Open champion in the post-match interview.
Both finalists move up in the WTA rankings after their succesful run in Austin. Kostyuk reaches out the top 40 for the first time in career, advancing from 52th place. Gracheva climbes up to 66th, gaining 22 places in new Monday's ranking.