Gael Monfils spoke after beating Russian top seed Daniil Medvedev at a tennis tournament in the US
Elina (left) and Gael Monfils © Noam Galai / Getty Images for AYS Sports Marketing
Tennis ace Gael Monfils has said that his Ukrainian wife, world number 18 Elina Svitolina, and her family have faced a tough ordeal during the attack on Ukraine that made the Olympic Games bronze medalist cry.
Svitolina and Monfils have been competing at the Indian Wells Masters tournament in California, where the 26th seed caused a considerable upset with a comeback win over Daniil Medvedev on Monday to ensure the Russian contender’s brief dethronement of Novak Djokovic as world number one will end on Monday.
After one of the finest results of his career, the Australian Open quarterfinalist was inevitably asked about Svitolina, who he married in July.
“It’s not easy to see my second family, let’s say, battling,” the 35-year-old confided. “It’s not easy to see my wife a couple weeks ago crying every night.
Family is the message from Gael Monfils, married to Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, after his win over the Russian world no. 1 Daniil Medvedev. pic.twitter.com/GN2lvV64Ze
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“It was tough. Of course, I’m being there for her every day, for her, for the family.
“It’s tough to describe because I’m in it. It’s just kind of crazy, when you think about it.”
With the conflict in Ukraine about to enter a third week, Monfils described how he is supporting Svitolina.
“I try to be the shoulder, to be everything that she can lean on,” pledged the 35-year-old.
“Definitely to my second family, I do anything for them to make them happy, safe – everything that I can do.”