“Really Weird”: Elina Monfils on Traveling Without her Coach at Tokyo Olympics 2021

Published 07/20/2021, 12:21 PM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 5, 2021 Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina in action during her third round match against Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcíkova REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes


It was a momentous occasion just a couple of nights ago when Elina Svitolina tied the knot with longtime partner Gael Monfils. After an intimate wedding, the Ukrainian has now set her sights on the Tokyo Olympics. Monfils heads to Japan as one of the outer favorites to secure a medal and will look to prove her critics wrong.

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Impressive Olympic debut for Elina Monfils

At the tender age of 21, the former World No.3 made her first appearance at the Olympic Games. It was back in 2016 at Rio, and the Ukrainian impressed one and all with her shot making. In Round-3, Elina pulled off the upset of the tournament, thrashing Serena Williams 6-3, 6-1.

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Following the win, many people expected Ukraine’s top player to take home a medal. However, Petra Kvitova humbled Svitolina in the quarterfinal stage, drawing the curtain on an eventful campaign. Five years hence, the skillful World No.6 has bucket-loads of added experience on the Tour. She will be hoping that Tokyo is her homecoming.

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Confusion brimming as Elina denied accompaniment of coach

Ahead of the 2021 Games, preparations for all the top athletes have begun. Funnily enough, a recent issue that Mrs. Monfils faced has raised questionable eyes. The Ukrainian has spoken out on the fact that she was told not to bring her coach along with her.

 

Tennis – WTA 500 – bett1 Open – Rot-Weiss Tennis Club, Berlin, Germany – June 16, 2021 Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina reacts after losing her round of 16 match against Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova REUTERS/Annegret Hilse

“I was told that I couldn’t take anyone,” complained Elina. “We have only Mikhail Filima, the captain of our team, by our side. I know that many players have arrived with their own coaches, physios and even psychologists. Thus, it’s really weird that I could not be accompanied by my own coach.”

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The decision left fans in confusion, questioning the indifferent treatment.

Nonetheless, Elina Monfils will be focused on her tennis and goes into the event as one of the firm favorites to bring home a medal for Ukraine at the 2021 Games. The road to success, however, will be a challenging one. The 2016 quarter-finalist has to topple Ashleigh Barty, Naomi Osaka, Aryna Sabalenka, and numerous other top players if she is to win the gold.

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Can Elina Monfils win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2021? We will find out soon enough.

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

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Sankalp Harikrishnan is a tennis and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football, and table tennis. Apart from his professional desires, Sankalp does voluntary service with his friends to feed hungry animals on a regular basis.

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