The romantic relationship between Elina Svitolina and Gael Monfils, the new couple of the Tour, is turning popular in recent times. The couple decided that they will donate $100 for every ace they hit in the two tournaments to help a child hospital in Odessa, Ukraine, the Svitolina's native city.
Svitolina will play Doha and Dubai next, while Monfils is competing in Montpellier and Rotterdam. Monfils is enjoying himself in Sofia: "I was expecting a great venue. Last time I had good memories here. I know the spirits.
And obviously, with the first match, people here are behind me. The Centre court is lovely. There are not many places with so beautiful Centre court like this. I am very happy." Monfils was also satisfied with his performance on serve: "I think I improved it a little bit.
I had a better percentage. I found my rhythm better. I didn’t make so many double faults. I am doing a lot of double faults because it is indoors. I feel confident with my serve. So I try to use my second serve. Definitely, I want it to be even better at the quarter-final because I can serve a bit better.
And when I say better I mean with more consistency. Maybe not doing so many aces, but more consistent." Monfils always stood out for his funny game and character. For the Frenchman, heading into the court and having fun is a priority.
Monfils, who achieved a career-high ranking position at No. 6 in January 2017, said: "For me, the most important thing when I step on the court is to have fun. I think we are blessed. Sometimes people don’t realize how blessed we are to do this amazing sport.
And this sport is a job, obviously, but the big thing is that it is a sport. When I was a kid my parents always tell me: “It is Wednesday, go on tennis and just have fun. And just be yourself”. I think I kept it all my life.
I kept it because it is important. Tennis is hard. We sacrifice a lot. I think people don’t realize how much we sacrifice. But for me, if I am not enjoying the court, I will be sad. I think I will stop."