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Australian Open star’s family left under attack from ‘flying missiles’ while trying to watch quarter-final


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Marta Kostyuk has spoken of the heartbreaking reality her family have been facing back in Ukraine while still watching her in action at the Australian Open.

Kostyuk faced off against Coco Gauff in a tense quarter-final on Tuesday with the crowd inside Rod Laver Arena gripped by the action.

The American eventually managed to get past the resolute 21-year-old in a three-hour contest.

But Kostyuk has admitted her focus was elsewhere before the last-eight clash having seen news about another missile strike from Russia on Ukraine.

Marta Kostyuk spoke of the horror her family are still facing

Marta Kostyuk spoke of the horror her family are still facing


And the world No 37 opened up on a bleak conversation she had with a close friend who was attempting to watch her match in Ukraine.

She said: “I walk off the court… before the match I was looking at the news and I kind of guess that most likely there would be a big missile shelling again.

“When I walked off the court, I look at this news again, and again, I don’t know how many missiles yet.

“It’s still too fresh. But yeah, I was texting with some people from Kyiv. I said, ‘How is it? How are you guys?’

“They said, ‘Well, we were looking between your score and where the missiles are flying’. So it’s still there. It’s still there. My parents are still there.

“My sister is still there. Yeah, it’s still there, you know. Still not gone.”

Russian and Belarusian tennis players have had to play under neutral flags since the invasion of Ukraine while Wimbledon banned them from competing in 2022.

Kostyuk has been outspoken about Russian players still being allowed to play on tour and criticised the sport for “promoting a murderous country”.

“I think if someone would have told us one month after the war began that this would last for two years, I think everyone would just die, like, literally,” Kostyuk added.

Marta Kostyuk lost in the quarter-finals

Marta Kostyuk lost in the quarter-finals


“(They would) Just say; ‘No, never, we will never withstand it, we will never survive this for two years’.

“Time goes by, and things happen. Yeah, it’s very exhausting to live in this state. Sport has always brought a lot of joy and happiness for people regardless of times. I don’t think it changed. I think it’s the same.


Marta Kostyuk has been outspoken against Russian players on tour

Marta Kostyuk has been outspoken against Russian players on tour


“I got a lot of messages, a lot of support from people who have been telling me, Wow, what a great tournament, such emotions, what a fight, what fighting spirit, you know, was so good to watch, like, we enjoy it so much.

“Obviously it’s good for people not to just change perspective but to look at something different rather than other than missile shellings.

“So hopefully, I really hope that Ukrainian sport will grow even in these circumstances. It’s incredibly difficult, but everyone is hanging very tight. And in support of other countries, I think it’s still possible for it to grow.”

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Written by: radioroxi

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