Kostyuk beats Gracheva for 1st WTA title Home favorite Jarry beats Etcheverry for Chile Open title Novak Djokovic withdraws after failed bid to play Indian Wells
Austin, Texas. Marta Kostyuk won her first career WTA title at the age of 20 when she defeated Varvara Gracheva 6-3, 7-5 in the ATX Open final and then dedicated the victory to her home country Ukraine.
No. 8 seeded Kostyuk and unseeded Gracheva, a 22-year-old Russian, did not meet at the net for the traditional post-match handshake; Kostyuk said she would not do so after facing opponents from Russia, which launched its invasion of Ukraine more than a year ago, or Belarus, which helped launch the attack.
“Being in the position that I am in now, it is very important to win this title,” Kostyuk said during the awards ceremony at the first hard surface tournament in the capital of Texas, “and I want to dedicate this title to Ukraine and all the people who are now fighting and they die.”
As Gracheva floated forward to end the match 1 1/2 hours later, Kostyuk, who was trailing 5-3 in the second set and kept a 5-4 set point, fell to her knees on the backline, put her hands on her face and sobbed.
“Obviously,” said Kostyuk, who was the 2017 Australian Open junior champion, “this is a special moment.”
Both players made their first appearance in a title game at tour level, and in total they made 13 service breaks (Kostyuk’s 8) and 14 double faults. Both scored less than 50% on serve.
There were only two aces, both from Gracheva, including one that gave her a 5-4, 40-30 set point. But she squandered that chance to force a third set with a right hand. Gracheva, who finished 88th, eliminated No. 1 seed Magda Lynette and 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stevens earlier in the tournament. Kostyuk converted it, completing the exchange of 16 shots with a winning right hand.
Kostyuk, who finished 52nd that day, then kept the score 6-5 with a backroom serve before ending the four-game streak with another break.
She is the third 2023 Women’s Tour Champion to win the title for the first time.
SANTIAGO, Chile. Home crowd favorite Nicolas Jarry beat Argentina’s Thomas Martin Etcheverri 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 6-2 to reach the final of the Chile Open, his first elite title since 2019.
The 27-year-old Chilean served a doping ban in 2020 and his rankings have plummeted. His run to the clay court title in Chile came a week after Jarry reached the semi-finals of the Rio Open where he lost a tough match against Carlos Alcaraz and is predicted to return him to the top 60 in the ATP rankings. .
“It’s really incredible, it means a lot to me, especially doing it for two weeks in a row,” Jarry said. “Winning the second tie-break was very important emotionally.”
Jarri and Etcheverri have only met once before, in the first round in Córdoba last year, which the Argentine won in three sets.
INDIAN WELLS, California. No. 1 Novak Djokovic has pulled out of the upcoming BNP Paribas Open after losing his application to enter the United States without vaccinations to play in the Southern California tournament.
The tournament announced its release on Sunday evening. Play in the ATP-WTA Combined Tournament will begin on Wednesday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden and run through March 19.
Sen. Rick Scott, D-Fl., tweeted that the Department of Homeland Security denied Djokovic’s request for a vaccine waiver that would have allowed him to play back-to-back in Indian Wells and Miami, which will run from March 19 to April 2.
On May 11, the United States will end its COVID-19 emergency declaration, allowing foreign air travelers to enter the country without being vaccinated.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion lost on Friday in the semi-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships.
With the departure of Djokovic, Nikoloz Basilashvili ended in a draw in Indian Wells.