Ukraine news: Gael Monfils doing all he can to support wife Elina

Gael Monfils celebrations

French star Gael Monfils admits that the war in Ukraine has placed a massive burden on his wife and fellow professional Elina Monfils (Svitolina).

Monfils says the ordeal is difficult to describe and continues to change and grow as days go by.

Svitolina hails from Odessa, Ukraine’s chief port and third-largest city, and fears for her family and friends in the city and elsewhere.

Monfils says the ordeal has taken an emotional toll on him but he has done what he can to support her and help her assist the vulnerable in Ukraine.

Speaking after beating Daniil Medvedev at Indian Wells, Monfils said: “It’s not easy to see my wife a couple of weeks ago crying every night.

“It was tough. Of course, I was, and I’m being there for her every day, for her, for the family. Quite a lot of family still there. It’s tough to describe because I’m in it. I’m in 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 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.”

Svitolina has pressed on with playing on the WTA Tour, reaching the Monterrey quarterfinals before suffering a second round upset to Great Britain’s Harriet Dart this week at Indian Wells.

Both Svitolina and fellow top Ukraine player Dayana Yastremska have pledged to donate their tour winnings to war relief.

Yastremska, who is also from Odessa, was in the country on the eve of the invasion, but escaped after two days sheltering in an underground car-park.

French Authorities assisted Yastremska’s flight, as she went straight on to Lyon to compete on the tour.

Yastremska and Svitolina are in the United States with both set to enter the Sunshine double.

Monfils will now go on to face 19th seed Carlos Alcaraz in the next round at Indian Wells.