NEW YORK – When it comes to tennis it seems love does not conquer all as Gael Monfils discovered on Wednesday when he failed to follow girlfriend Elina Svitolina into the semi-finals of the U.S. Open.
Svitolina will go it alone into the last four at Flushing Meadows but boyfriend Monfils will be cheering from the players’ box on Thursday when she faces local favourite Serena Williams, who is chasing a record equalling 24th career Grand Slam title.
“It's going to be definitely a tough match for her,” said Monfils. “She has nothing to lose. She knows Serena well. She knows the crowd is going to be against her.
“It's going to be a tricky one at the beginning, I would say, for both. I think it is important for Serena to come out fast because if she should come in slow, I think Elina will be there.”
Until Monfils's 3-6 6-3 6-2 3-6 7-6 (5) quarter-final loss to Matteo Berrettini, the charismatic Frenchman and Svitolina had been putting a new spin on the Grand Slam love story penned when Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf won the French Open titles in 1999, although at the time their burgeoning relationship was a secret.