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‘Elina helped me regain my faith in tennis’ – Monfils pays tribute to new wife Svitolina after Adelaide glory

The top seed beat the second seed to finish the tournament in Adelaide

Gaël Monfils, Adélaïde 2022 ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 07: Gael Monfils of France celebrates a win during the ATP singles match between Gael Monfils of France and Tommy Paul of United States on day five of the Adelaide International tennis tournament at Memorial Drive on January 07, 2022 in Adelaide, Australia. || 217283_0025 2022 ADELAIDE ATP open sport tennis Tournament tournoi WTA

Gael Monfils used his winner’s speech at the Adelaide International to pay tribute to the support of his new wife Elina Svitolina – admitting he had found the last two years during the Covid-19 pandemic very challenging.

The Frenchman beat Karen Khachanov 6-4, 6-4 in the final to secure his first trophy in over a year.

“Last year was very tough for me,” he said after the match. “I almost, let’s not say want to quit, but lost my faith in tennis. But Elina was there. Thank you, Elina, thank you for everything.”

The two married in July 2021 after announcing their engagement earlier in the year.

‘It’s tough to battle with your own personal problems’

The 35-year-old explained a little more in his press conference, saying: “The [pandemic] hit me quite bad, even in my personal life a little bit. Just didn’t feel like right. It was just tougher. I was just struggling myself.

“Of course, you know you’re an athlete, you play in front of the world. It’s tough to battle with your own personal problem in a way. Nothing big, but just tough. It was tough for me. Then just keep fighting and just keep talking and have my family help me a lot, my wife obviously. That put me back in the track.”

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