Romance powers Gael Monfils and Elina Svitolina

Updated: Sep 05, 2019, 08:39 IST | AFP

The pair set up a joint Instagram account, which currently attracts close to 100,000 followers, after going public with their relationship at this year's Australian Open.

Ukraine's Elina Svitolina is ecstatic after her victory over Johanna Konta. Pics/AFP
Ukraine's Elina Svitolina is ecstatic after her victory over Johanna Konta. Pics/AFP

Elina Svitolina's blossoming romance with Gael Monfils is propelling the couple's deep runs at the US Open, and the Ukrainian urged the French star to keep pace after Tuesday's quarter-final victory. Svitolina, who broke the psychological barrier of reaching a Grand Slam semi-final at Wimbledon in July, became the first Ukrainian to make the last four of the US Open with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Britain's Johanna Konta.

Boyfriend Monfils, the 13th seed in the men's draw, is through to a fourth quarter-final at Flushing Meadows and will look to equal his best Slam run when he meets Italian Matteo Berrettini on Wednesday.

France's Gael Monfils celebrates his 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 win over Spain's Pablo Andujar
France's Gael Monfils celebrates his 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 win over Spain's Pablo Andujar

"We are pushing each other and we are now trying to join each other in the semi-finals," Svitolina said. "Now it's time for him to step up his game!" The pair set up a joint Instagram account, which currently attracts close to 100,000 followers, after going public with their relationship at this year's Australian Open.

Svitolina, 24, credits Monfils with helping raise her game as she looks to translate last year's WTA Finals success in Singapore into a maiden Grand Slam singles triumph for Ukraine. She is attempting to go one step further than compatriot Andrei Medvedev, who lost the men's 1999 French Open final in five sets to Andre Agassi.

"I think hitting with him, it has definitely helped me to improve my reaction and my footwork, move really quickly," Svitolina said of the impact Monfils has had. "I think [I'm] more calm, if you want to describe it in few words. It's more calm and I talk more now with my coach. This really changed."

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