TOKYO (Reuters) – Few athletes would have had a more eventful preparation for the Tokyo Olympics than Ukrainians Elina Svitolina and Gael Monfils of France.
Tennis’s last powerful couple got married on Friday, but the honeymoon had to wait because two days later they flew to Tokyo to compete in the Games.
World number six Svitolina returned to training on Tuesday at Ariake Tennis Park, where she will wear Ukraine’s colors for the Games tennis event and look to improve her quarterfinal results at the Games. Rio de Janeiro five years ago.
“We’re used to having so many competitions a year, so we don’t have time to rest,” Svitolina told the International Tennis Federation.
âNow it’s time to focus on tennis and the Olympics of course. It’s very special for any athlete to be here. The honeymoon is scheduled for November!â
Svitolina was 21 and ranked 20th in the world when she ousted great American Williams in the third round of the ladies’ singles in Rio, but she failed to capitalize on her historic victory by falling in the quarterfinals to Czech Petra Kvitova.
The focus was once again on tennis for Svitolina as she sweated on the court trying to acclimate to the hot and humid Tokyo conditions.
âIt’s amazing to be fair,â she said. âSo many exciting events in my life. Now it’s so nice to be at the Olympics.
âIt was amazing to have a wedding and right now, with the COVID restrictions, it was amazing to have two families together. We had a great time.
“But now we’re here. We have to prepare and hopefully play well here in Tokyo.”
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Lincoln Feast.)