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‘She’s My Role Model’ – Gael Monfils Says Elina Svitolina’s Resilience Inspires Him

Published 04/10/2022, 3:30 AM EDT

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Gael Monfils confesses that his wife Elina Svitlolin is the reason he plays tennis. He last played at the 2022 Sunshine Double. Entering both the tournaments as a seeded player, the Frenchman received first-round byes. Going ahead, he reached the fourth round in Indian Wells and the third round in Miami.

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On the other hand, his Ukrainian wife Elina Svitolina has been having a tough phase mentally. Being largely affected by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis, Elina has been highly vocal about her stand on the matter. The 27-year-old announced that she will be donating all her tournament winnings to Ukraine. Making the announcement on 27th of February, Elina next played the Monterrey Open before finally entering the Indian Wells and the Miami Open.


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Gael Monfils goes all-heart for his wife Elina

Following her first-round losses in Indian Wells and Miami, Svitolina announced her withdrawal from the Fed Cup and a few other tournaments in Europe. She reasoned her decision asserting that she has been struggling with her back for a long time. Going further, the Ukrainian also said that seeing the brave attitude of her country people in the current situation gave her a major push to continue. However, she also accepted that she couldn’t continue.

Recently, Monfils, who is currently preparing in Monte Carlo for the Masters 1000 event, spoke about his wife. The 35-year-old, who has been a constant support of his wife Elina since the start of the crisis, went all-heart for her.


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Giving a glimpse of the strength of their relationship, Monfils said, “I’m in awe of Elina, she’s the reason I play.” 

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Following her quarterfinal loss to 5th seeded Camila Osorio in Monterrey, Svitolina’s participation at the Sunshine Double remained in doubt for a long time. However, having the aim of contributing to Ukraine, she finally announced her participation. Recalling the time, Monfils said, “If she hadn’t gone to Indian Wells and Miami, I wouldn’t have gone either.”

Elina Svitolina is unquestionably one of the most disturbed Ukrainian athletes. The former world no. 3 has been highly vocal about her stand on the crisis. She has also been the front runner in appealing for peace. Being disturbed by the situation has not just affected her mentally but has also had a major effect on her game. However, even after so much going around, Svitolina has come out as a strong player. 

Agreeing to the fact, Monfils said, “It’s exceptional how she can find so much strength in tough times. She’s my role model.”

(Quotes translated using Google Translator)


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Monfils and Svitolina on the tennis front

On the tennis front, both the players last played at the Sunshine Double. Following the early round losses in both the tournaments, Monfils and Svitolina will now try their luck on the red surface.


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Gael Monfils is set to kick-off his clay-court season at the Monte Carlo Open Masters. He last played in the tournament in 2016, being the runner-up. On the other hand, Svitolina will be on a break following her back problem but is expected to make a comeback in the clay season itself.

Watch this story-The Greatest Comebacks in Tennis

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Written by:

Ahmar Wasif


One take at a time

Ahmar Wasif is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. He is a national level tennis player and has a number of titles to his name. His experience on the court allows him to incorporate a deeper understanding in his coverage of the sport.
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