Honeymoon can wait for Svitolina, Monfils

TOKYO • Few athletes would have had a more eventful build-up to the Tokyo Olympics than Ukrainian Elina Svitolina and Gael Monfils of France.

Tennis' latest power couple got married last Friday but the honeymoon has had to wait as two days later they boarded the flight to Tokyo to participate in the Games.

World No. 6 Svitolina was back practising on Tuesday at the Ariake Tennis Park, where she will don Ukraine's colours for the women's singles at the Games and try to improve on her quarter-final showing in Rio de Janeiro five years ago.

"We are used to having so many competitions in a year so there is no time for rest," she told the International Tennis Federation.

"Now it's time to focus on tennis, and the Olympics of course. It's very special for any athlete to be here. The honeymoon is planned for November!"

In 2016, Svitolina ousted American great Serena Williams in the third round, but she failed to build on her landmark win by falling in the quarter-finals to Czech Petra Kvitova.

Back five years later in Tokyo, she has been sweating it out on court trying to get acclimatised to the hot and humid conditions.

She said: "So many exciting events in my life. Now it's so nice to be at the Olympics.

"It was unbelievable to have a wedding and right now, with the Covid-19 restrictions, it was unbelievable to have two families join together. We had an amazing time.

"But now we are here. We have to prepare and hopefully to play well here in Tokyo."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2021, with the headline 'Honeymoon can wait for Svitolina, Monfils'. Subscribe