Gaël Monfils motivated by his wife, the Ukrainian Elina Svitolina

Gaël Monfils spoke to his wife on Monday at the end of his match against Daniil Medvedev.

At the end of his match, Gaël Monfils addressed tender words to his wife. The French tennis player, who managed to qualify for the round of 16 at the expense of Russian Daniil Medvedev, was asked about the war in Ukraine, the country of his wife, Elina Svitolina. “It’s not easy to see my in-laws suffer. It was hard to see my wife crying every night,” he said on Monday.

“I try to support her. I am there for her, for her family. I would do anything for them,” concluded the athlete. Following his victory, Gaël Monfils declared at a press conference that he was “not very political in general”. “In fact, I am a support of my wife. A misfortune befalls his country. I am a support, a shoulder, I do my best to support her. The rest, we are here to play. I’m happy to have won my match, that’s all. Many want to put signs but I am a support for my wife, nothing political. Just the husband supporting his wife,” he said.

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“I don’t blame any of the Russian athletes”

Elina Svitolina has multiplied the publications on her Instagram account in support of the Ukrainians. The tenniswoman, who has announced that she will pay all her future tournament winnings to Ukraine, has launched a fundraiser to help her homeland, invaded since February 24 by Russia.

“I believe that the current situation requires a clear position from our organisations: ATP, WTA, ITF. We – Ukrainian players – ask them to follow the IOC recommendations to accept Russian or Belarusian athletes without displaying any symbol, color, flag or national anthem. Accordingly, I would like to announce that I will not play in Monterrey or any other match against Russians or Belarusians until our organizations have made this necessary decision. I don’t blame any of the Russian athletes. They are not responsible for invading our homeland. I would like to pay tribute to all the players, especially Russians and Belarusians, who have courageously asserted their position against the war. Their support is essential”, wrote Elina Svitolina on her Instagram account a few days after the start of the war.