Marijana Veljović and Marta Kostjuk at the Australian Open. Kostjuk won the match against Timofejeva with a score of 6:2, 6:1. After the match, she spoke about her country, Ukraine. She mentioned that many people think the situation is over, but something incredible has happened. Ukraine has managed to resist for three days, including the city of Kiev. She considers it a miracle and believes that many people may have thought that the story is no longer a miracle and doesn’t need to be discussed. She is glad that other girls in the tournament are doing well and bringing up this topic. Kostjuk expressed the difficulty of conveying everything that is happening in Ukraine and the burden she feels as a duty to inform people, while other tennis players from different countries don’t have this burden.
Kostjuk also shared that sometimes the news is not great and it affects her mood and motivation to fight. She admitted to moments when she feels like giving up and not understanding why the world is the way it is. However, she tries to overcome these feelings in various ways. She emphasized that they just need to keep winning. Kostjuk wants her fellow tennis players to understand the situation and support them. She questioned how the whole tour can support them when the top three players, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, have made certain statements. Djokovic has expressed that politics should not interfere with sports and that he will always condemn war.
Kostjuk also criticized Srdjan Djokovic, Novak’s father, for wearing a Russian shirt during last year’s Australian Open. She felt that it put her in a difficult position and that such things should not be allowed, regardless of who is involved. She fears that her words might be taken out of context. Kostjuk also mentioned the aggression she receives from some of Djokovic’s fans, stating that no matter what she says, they will hate her for the rest of her life. She acknowledged that not all of Djokovic’s fans are aggressive, but she has experienced it herself.