Elina Svitolina Australian Open 2018

‘She cried every night!’ – Gael Monfils reveals how Russia-Ukraine war affected wife Elina Svitolina

Gael Monfils admitted that the Russia-Ukraine conflict has taken it’s toll on him and his wife Elina Svitolina, saying “she cried every night” and he “tries to be the shoulder to lean on.”

Both the world in general and the sporting world has rallied behind Ukraine after Russia began a full scale invasion a few weeks ago.

As a result of such actions, Russia has had numerous heavy sanctions and restrictions placed upon them, whilst Ukraine has received aid of all forms from all over the globe.

Relating specifically to tennis, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) ruled that Russian and Belarusian players must compete as ‘neutral athletes.’

Moreover, all three of tennis’ organising bodies, the ITF, the ATP and the WTA, as well as all four Grand Slam organisers have combined to donate a total of $700,000 (£532,000) to aid humanitarian aid in Ukraine.

On a more individual level, players such as women’s World number 18 Svitolina and Ukrainian refugee Ukrainian refugee Dayana Yastremska will donate their prize money to aid the Ukrainian war effort.

Similarly, three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray will donate his prize earnings to UNICEF to provide medical equipment and  children’s educational supplies.

Additionally, Sergiy Stakhovsky has joined boxing champions Vitaly and Wladimir Klitschko, as well as Oleksandr Usyk, in joining his nations military reserves.

After beating Medvedev, Monfils was asked about how the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia had affected him and his wife Svitolina.

In the press conference, Monfils said “yes, it’s not easy to see all my, I don’t know [how to say] in English, step family. Yeah, I mean, my second family, let’s say, battling.

“It’s not easy to see my wife a couple weeks ago crying every night. It was tough. You know, it was tough,” the French icon revealed.

“Of course, I was, and I am being there for her every day, for her, for the family.

“[We] still [have] quite a lot of family still there (in Ukraine). It’s tough to describe because I’m in it. I’m in it. And it’s just kind of crazy, you know, when you think about it.

“But we try to manage it the best way that we can. And definitely for myself, you know, I try to be the shoulder, to be everything that she (Svitolina) can lean on, and definitely to my second family, you know, I do anything for them to make them happy, safe, and everything that I can do.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.