World number 55 Marta Kostyuk sent rival Raducanu to crash at the Transylvanian Open, shattering at 6-2, 6-1 in the tournament where the Queen of Flushing Meadows claimed her first full-fledged WTA victory earlier in the week.
Raducanu, whose father is Romanian, charmed the locals with a post-match interview in their native language immediately after the victory, only to endure a day to forget against clinician Kostyuk in the quarter-finals.
The winner never made it past the fourth round of a Grand Slam and was admirably transparent about how she felt when she watched her compatriots Leylah Fernandez and Raducanu, who are a year younger, reach the final of the US Open.
SCARY GOOD @ marta_kostyuk takes the No. 3 seed Raducanu in less than an hour. She will face Halep for a place in the final! ?? # TransylvaniaOuvertpic.twitter.com/pLJlSJwE84
Hmm. She played well, but let’s face it, it was an absolute shock to Raducanu. All over. It just goes to show how far she still needs to go to be a top player, and further proof of her outstanding success at the US Open.
“I have to be honest, it was a bit difficult for me to watch their two runs,” said Kiev-born Kostyuk.
“I try to be the best I can be, so obviously I want to be where they are. I’m sure it will happen soon but I wasn’t feeling very well.
“It was very, very inspiring because it gave me strength and I realized I could do the same.
“So that’s the thing they gave me, and I’m very grateful to them for that, because leading something is never easy. When you are [leading the pack], it’s always extra pressure. “
While Kostyuk is in great shape – this was his third victory over a top 30-ranked opponent of the season – Raducanu’s purple spot during his incredible feat in October may have been a distant memory in ‘another difficult encounter.
“It was a tough game for me,” she later admitted, adding on Instagram that she is “looking forward to what lies ahead” calling for “good vibes only”.
“I didn’t feel 100% physically. I was pretty tired and lethargic today, but sometimes you just have those days when you don’t feel your best.
“I knew that in practice this morning – I was very, very limited in what I could do. I did my best but was really, very, very lethargic on the pitch. “
Kostyuk attributed his momentum to a surprise breakthrough early on. “I don’t know how I won the first game,” she conceded.
“Emma had the upper hand over her serve and I think it all started from there. I won a game somehow and gained my confidence.
“Gradually I started to figure out how to play against her. But it’s today. Maybe in the next game with Emma, everything will be different. Everything went quickly.
Judging from her demeanor, Kostyuk won’t be too disheartened to have found herself on the verge of losing to seed Simona Halep in her semi-final on Saturday.
“I played against her in Indian Wells… but I lost,” she reminded herself. “I didn’t play very well. I hope I can get him a fight. Even if I fail, it will be an amazing experience. “
Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it using programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.