I can play against anyone, says 15-year-old Kostyuk
While admitting she was overawed by the occasion at Melbourne Park, teenage sensation Marta Kostyuk showed she can match it with the best following her Australian Open exit.
All eyes were on Ukrainian qualifier Kostyuk, who became the first 15-year-old since Nicole Vaidisova to reach the third round of a grand slam this week.
But the teen's dream run came to an end against countrywoman and fourth seed Elina Svitolina, who claimed a 6-2 6-2 win in sweltering conditions in Melbourne on Friday.
Kostyuk, who will take home 142,500 AUD following her third-round loss, was candid post-match as she told reporters: "I had the chances, but because I thought she is incredible, like, she's a god, I cannot do anything against her, that's the problem that I didn't use much.
"How much you have to pay Svitolina to have one-hour lesson - I got it for free. I know that I could play much better.
"When I'm playing against, like, big players for the first time, I cannot believe that I can beat them. It was for the first time I was playing against top five player in the world."
Question: What did you take from that experience today?@marta_kostyuk: Well, a lot. How much you have to pay Svitolina to have one-hour lesson, so I got it for free.#AusOpen pic.twitter.com/9OjX4YnznU-- #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018
She continued: "I understand I can play against everyone. It's not like a super big difference between all the players.
"I was a bit disappointed. I just feel like I can play against everyone and I can fight."
Svitolina was full of praise for her compatriot, adding: "She is a great fighter and she has a bright future. I am sure we are going to hear about her again in the future."