Just six weeks after announcing they were taking “a break” from their relationship, Gael Monfils and Elina Svitolina are engaged.
The tennis stars shared the news on social media on Sunday, taking to Instagram to show off Svitolina’s new bling.
“YES!!! To the beginning of our forever,” Svitolina captioned her post.
Monfils wrote “She said YES” with a love hear emoji. “Madame MONFILS.”
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Tennis stars like Caroline Wozniacki, Marcus Baghdatis and Jannick Noah were among those to congratulate the popular couple in the comments section of their Instagram posts.
The shock announcement comes after the pair briefly split up, telling fans about the sad development at the end of the Australian Open in February.
“The decision was incredibly difficult, because we still have love for each other,” the couple said in a joint statement. “But it’s just two best friends realising it’s time to take some space and help each other live the most joyous, fulfilled lives as possible.
“We won’t be commenting beyond this, and we thank you all in advance for respecting our privacy.
“Sending lots of love to everyone.”
Clearly, the break did world No. 5 Svitolina and world No. 14 Monfils the world of good, and they realised life is better together.
Personal joy amid professional trauma
The major development in his personal life comes as Monfils struggles on court, having not played a match since losing in the first round of the Australian Open.
The Frenchman broke down in tears at his press conference after that defeat, lost for answers about how to dig himself out of a form slump that has seen him fail to win a match since tennis restarted after the COVID-19 break last year.
“I would like to get out of this nightmare but I can’t,” an emotional Monfils said after going down to unseeded Finnish player Emil Ruusuvouri. “I do not feel well.”
Svitolina passed on a very public message of support to Monfils after beating Marie Bouzkova in her first round clash at Melbourne Park, writing “Gael” with a love heart on a camera lens and blowing him a kiss.
Monfils and Svitolina started dating in early 2019 and became a regular on each other’s social media feeds.
The couple was separated during quarantine before the Australian Open, which may have played a part in their decision to take some time apart.
“Gael and I have already received a letter in which it says that we are not allowed to see each other during this time in order not to expand the group of people allowed,” Svitolina said of their quarantine regulations at the time.
“It’s uneasy to know that we are somewhere near but we may not even come close to each other.”
The Ukrainian has also had a tough time on court of late, admitting last month she has struggled for motivation in light of dramatically reduced prizemoney because of the pandemic.
Svitolina crashed to a disappointing loss to Svetlana Kuznetsova in the opening round of the Dubai Championships in March, which came after a second round appearance at the Qatar Open and a shock defeat to unseeded American Jessica Pegula at Melbourne Park.
“I’m really disappointed with the Doha and Dubai tournaments, how they went for me. For now for sure it hurts but I have to analyse, I have to work on my fitness I have to work on my game on the practice courts,” Svitolina said after her loss to Kuznetsova.
“There are still many tournaments this year and I have to move forward.”