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Healthy competition: Svitolina enjoys challenge of trying "to do better" than Monfils in New York
The No. 5 seed advanced to the fourth round of the US Open on Friday, and now will swap roles when she attends her husband's third-round match on Saturday.
Published Sep 04, 2021
You Should Know: WTA seeds at the US Open
On Thursday, Gaël Monfils defeated Steve Johnson in four sets to join wife Elina Svitolina in the third round of the US Open.
On Friday, with Monfils watching inside Grandstand, Svitolina dismissed No. 25 seed Daria Kasatkina, 6-4, 6-2, to move a step further. For the Ukrainian, a little healthy competition with her significant other is making a positive impact for both at Flushing Meadows.
“I'm happy that we're playing different days because then we can focus on one person, then the other one,” the No. 5 seed told press Friday.
“It's a big motivation for both of us because we both are in the tournament and both very competitive. We try to put everything [that] is possible, to go both far in tournament, try to do better than the other one.”
Last month, Svitolina enjoyed a memorable experience at the Tokyo Olympics, winning a bronze medal for her country, and arrived in New York after triumphing at a new WTA 250 event in Chicago. Since suffering a first-round exit in the Japanese capital, Monfils has been solid in claiming six of his past eight matches and celebrated his 500th career match win when he topped Alex de Minaur in Cincinnati.
“Definitely, I'm very happy that Gaël is playing as well, and winning,” said Svitolina.
“His draw, I'm looking [at] even more probably than mine.”
Both Svitolina and Monfils have gone deep in Queens before, with each appearing in the semifinals—Monfils in 2016 and Svitolina in 2019. The Frenchman returns Saturday to meet Jannik Sinner in a clash of Top 20 competitors on Louis Armstrong Stadium.