No.8 seed Marta Kostyuk won her first Hologic WTA Tour singles title at the inaugural ATX Open on Sunday, defeating Varvara Gracheva 6-3, 7-5 in a championship match between two first-time WTA singles finalists.
"Very surreal," Kostyuk said, after the championship final. "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'm extremely happy.
"I’m just happy to be healthy and happy to play tennis and see the crowd enjoy my game."
Breakthrough week: Coming into this event, World No.52 Kostyuk had gone 0-for-4 in WTA semifinals, and she was the highest-ranked player in the current WTA rankings to have never reached a tour-level final.
The 20-year-old turned those stats around this week in Austin, culminating with a victory over 22-year-old Gracheva in the final. Kostyuk saved a set point at 5-4 in the second set en route to the 91-minute win.
Stat corner: Kostyuk now holds a 4-2 advantage in her head-to-head with World No.88 Gracheva (she leads 2-1 at WTA tournaments and 2-1 at ITF Challenger events).
Kostyuk has compiled a 15-6 win-loss record for the year thus far (including main-draw and qualifying results) and she is projected to hit a new career-high ranking inside the Top 45 on Monday.
MARTA'S MOMENT ♥️@marta_kostyuk has won her maiden Hologic WTA Tour title in Austin 🏆#ATXOpen pic.twitter.com/jxK6bQAEOx— wta (@WTA) March 5, 2023
Match moments: A nine-minute opening game, won by Kostyuk on her fourth break point, set the tone for the opener, which started with five consecutive service breaks.
Kostyuk then held serve for 4-2 to take charge, and she notched the one-set lead after Gracheva double faulted on Kostyuk’s third set point. In the first set, Kostyuk had 11 winners, to just one by Gracheva.
Gracheva was more potent with her groundstrokes in the second set, where she edged ahead by a break at 3-2. Gracheva held that advantage up to 5-4, where she fired an ace to garner a set point.
But Kostyuk withstood that set point, and two points later she ended a rally with a winning volley to break for 5-5. Kostyuk then followed an underarm serve with a passing winner to hold for 6-5, and she broke Gracheva one more time to claim a fourth straight game and clinch the title.
Earning the win with this EPIC championship point 💥@erinroutliffe & @dila_11 seal the deal in Austin, defeating No.1 seeds Melichar-Martinez/Perez!#ATXOpen pic.twitter.com/UXCjjeHHZZ— wta (@WTA) March 5, 2023
Doubles final: No.2 seeds Erin Routliffe and Aldila Sutjiadi claimed the inaugural ATX Open doubles title after squeaking past No.1 seeds Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Ellen Perez 6-4, 3-6, [10-8] in an 88-minute final.
Melichar-Martinez and Perez fought back from 8-3 down to 8-8 in a gripping match-tiebreak. But a forehand winner by Sutjiadi gave her squad their first championship point at 9-8, where she and Routliffe prevailed in a dramatic rally to take home the victory.
It is the third career WTA doubles title for both Routliffe and Sutjiadi, but their first as a team. Sutjiadi has won two titles this season, having also won the Auckland trophy alongside Miyu Kato.
This is Routliffe's first title since she partnered Jessica Pegula to win the CitiOpen in Washington D.C. last summer.