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Dublin: 3°C Monday 1 March 2021

Ukrainian star Svitolina stumped by relationship question on court after Australian Open win

‘We are here for tennis, so that’s why it was a bit strange. I didn’t really expect to be asked that.’

Elina Svitolina during the match.
Elina Svitolina during the match.
Image: Chaz Niell

UKRAINIAN TENNIS STAR Elina Svitolina impressed as she advanced to the third round of the Australian Open, firmly in her comfort zone throughout.

There was a pretty awkward moment straight afterwards though as she was quizzed about her relationship.

Svitolina revealed that she is dating French star Gael Monfils after he was spotted in her player box, and expressed surprise after being questioned about it during the on-court interview.

The Ukrainian, seeded six, powered into round three with a 6-4, 6-1 thrashing of Viktoria Kuzmova, but fans on social media seemed more interested in her love life.

She was asked on court about Monfils and said he was “supporting me”, which sent Twitter into overdrive.

Source: Australian Open TV/YouTube

The 24-year-old later confirmed in a press conference that “we are dating” and said she was taken aback by the interest.

“We are here for tennis, so that’s why it was a bit strange,” she said. “I didn’t really expect to be asked that (on court) because I just finished my match.

“He’s there for me, he’s supporting me, and I’m there for him as well,” she added.

“He understands, I understand, what we’re going through. It’s great.”

© – AFP, 2019   

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