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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday January 23, 2024

For Marta Kostyuk, the excruciating experience of missing a very makeable forehand on set point in the opening set of her first Grand Slam quarterfinal was overshadowed by the fortitude she displayed to overcome her mistakes and remain competitive over the course of her 6-7(6), 7-6(3), 2-6 loss to Coco Gauff on Tuesday in Melbourne.

Tennis Express

The 21-year-old may have lost on the scoreboard, but she feels she won where it matters most, in her mind.

“I won for myself today, and I think it's the most important thing,” she said in her post-match press conference. “It's just the beginning of the season. Looking forward for what's ahead. I think it's just a tennis match, you know. I'm here to grow, to learn, to be better. Yeah, very proud of myself.”

Of her mistakes in the opening set, Kostyuk said, in the end it’s not what decides a match. Everyone makes mistakes.

“For me, it's a win because I was playing one of the best girls in the world, managed to be still very close,” she said. “It feels far but also very close. This whole tournament I think is a big win for me.”

The Big Lesson?

Asked what her biggest takeaway from her first trip to a major quarterfinal was, Kostyuk said the following:

“I think the first one is dream big. It really is,” she said. “There is really no limit in human possibilities I think.”

Kostyuk said that in her head she came to some very important realizations, and added that she is looking forward to continuing her journey with a fresh cluster of knowledge in her back pocket.

“Also one of big lessons I had was just in my head,” she said. “Overcoming certain things that I couldn't overcome for some time.”

For the Ukrainian the goal is to win a Grand Slam someday, but just as important, she says, is living a balanced and fruitful life.

“It takes a lot of work, takes a lot of conscious living,” she said. “But I'm very happy to be on this journey and, you know, just looking forward to what else I can learn. I mean, there are obviously millions and billions of things that I don't know, but I'm just excited for what they are.

“It's just about learning and growing.”

Kostyuk says that she wants the best of both worlds, on the court and off. “If I will get a Grand Slam at the end of the day, I would be very happy,” she said. “I just hope I can embrace it and do other things on top of this – I mean, the journey is long, but I'm here for it.”