Paris | Svitolina and Monfils are expecting a baby daughter

Elina Svitolina and Gael Monfils are expecting their first child together, the couple have announced on their individual social media accounts on Sunday.

“With a heart full of love and happiness, we are delighted to announce that we are expecting a baby girl in October,” they wrote.

The couple were married last July, having first gone public with their relationship in 2019.

On 29 March, Svitolina stated that she was taking a break from tennis, citing, in part, the Russian invasion of her native Ukraine.

“It’s been an extremely difficult couple of months for me, not only mentally but also physically,” she posted to social media. “For a quite long time I’ve been struggling with my back. The pain didn’t let me prepare for the tournaments at my best.

“Meanwhile, observing with unbearable pain in my heart what is happening in my homeland Ukraine and with how much bravery and courage our Ukrainian people are defending our country, this gave me a huge push to continue and fight on court. Now, my body can’t handle it anymore and I need to rest.”

The announcement is a welcome addition for Svitolina, a Ukrainian who has endured months of heartbreak and angst since her home country was invaded by Russia in late February.

Svitolina, a former World No.3, last played in Miami, where she fell in the second round to Heather Watson.

Currently ranked 27, Svitolina owns 16 career singles titles and has reached 2 Grand Slam semi-finals, at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2019, and 6 quarter-finals.

The 27-year-old has been one of the most outspoken voices regarding tennis’ reaction to the invasion of her home country by Russia.

She becomes the latest leading player to step away from the sport mid-career to start a family, following in the footsteps of Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams.

The 35-year-old Monfils is ranked No 21 on the ATP Tour and is the No 3 seed in the tournament being played this week in Lyon, France.


The happy couple made their announcement on Twitter

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