Elina Svitolina, Covid-19, Vaccine, Gael Monfils, position, rules
Elina Svitolina wants to clarify one thing ahead of her grueling 27-hour Monday journey from Switzerland to Adelaide via Sydney.
No one has followed up on the Ukrainian tennis star’s initial speciesism regarding the Covid-19 vaccine, meaning there have been no reports that she was fully vaccinated in June.
The Victorian government and Australian Open vaccination mandate remains a hot topic as tennis summer prepares to start next week – but that’s not a problem for 15th-placed Svitolina.
“Even if they tell me I have to get a third shot, I would be happy to do that, because I now see so many new cases – and a lot of players,” Svitolina told News Corp.
“A lot of our friends are catching Covid, so it’s pretty difficult right now.”
Svitolina and her husband, French tennis player and former world number 6 Gael Monfils, plan to be in South Australia for two tournaments each and will be the seeds in three of the four combined.
Unscathed from the quad injury that interrupted her attempt to reach the WTA final for the fourth time, the 27-year-old is keen to test where she stands against a leading pack that includes Ash Barty and eight of the top 10 .
This will be the fun-loving Svitolina’s first trip to Adelaide, but Monfils knows the city well after being coached by South Australian Roger Rasheed.
“It’s amazing to see so many good players signing to play since the start of the season,” she said.
“Everyone is trying to be ready for the first (grand slam) tournament, for Melbourne, so it’s a very good pitch and it’s going to be very difficult from the start of the tournament.
“There is no time for adjustments – you have to be ready from the first round, mentally, physically, so it’s very exciting, I think, for the tournament and for the players as well.”
Svitolina, who made her way into the top 10 in 2017 and held her place until October of this year, reached the quarterfinals of the US Open, won a title in Chicago and won a medal of bronze in singles at the Tokyo Olympics.
This Olympic medal was Ukraine’s first in tennis, so she didn’t have a competition as a highlight on the pitch for 2021, but her Swiss wedding in July surpassed all else.
“It was a very special moment for me and Gael,” said Svitolina.
“It has been a very busy month for both of us. We celebrated our wedding and the next day we had to fly to Tokyo right away so no big celebrations but in the end it was very special.
“We shared this moment with our family and close friends. It was a very small wedding and it was super special… this moment will definitely be remembered.