Ukraine's Marta Kostyuk said Sunday it is important for players from the war-torn nation to keep winning at the Australian Open to ensure the conflict with Russia stays in people's minds.

The 21-year-old beat Russian qualifier Maria Timofeeva 6-2, 6-1, refusing to shake her hand afterwards, to set up a quarter-final clash against US Open champion Coco Gauff.

Her fellow Ukrainians, Elina Svitolina and qualifier Dayana Yastremska, are in fourth-round action on Monday.

Kostyuk, whose previous best effort at a major was reaching the last 16 at the French Open in 2021, earlier in the tournament accused people of forgetting about the conflict because they had got "used to it".

"I hope that the girls can keep on doing what they're doing and reminding as much as possible," she said following her win against Timofeeva.


Kostyuk had three months away from the tour until her return in Brisbane this month and said when she got back "I was, like, 'Wow, OK, everyone is back to normal life like nothing happened, ever'".

The 37th-ranked player added that the ability of Ukrainian players to continue to perform shows "there is no limit in human possibilities withstanding stress".

"For me personally, it was very difficult, but at the same time I've grown a lot as a person," she said. 

"The oddest things that have happened, they helped me to grow this quick. If there was never a war in my life, I don't think I would be able to grow this much as I grew in the last two years."

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Kallas said that training Ukraine’s forces on their territory would not be escalatory, adding that “Russia’s propaganda is about being at war with NATO; they don’t need an excuse.”

Kostyuk said it was important to "minimise" feelings of victimhood.

"I mean, very proud of all of us, honestly, for standing for so long and not losing faith and still fighting and fighting for our rights and fighting for everyone basically. I don't know. I think it just shows how strong Ukrainian people are."

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