Tennis stars Gael Monfils and Elina Svitolina are expecting a child, with their baby girl due to be born in October.

Monfils is the ATP world number 21, while Ukrainian Svitolina is ranked 27th in the WTA rankings.

On Sunday, the pair, who married in 2021, announced the news on their official Twitter accounts.

"With a heart full of love and happiness, we are delighted to announce that we are expecting a baby girl in October," a post on each of their accounts read.

Svitolina has been outspoken about her opinion on Russian and Belarusian athletes participating on the Tour, in the wake of Russia's invasion of her homeland.

In April, the 27-year-old called for Russian and Belarusian players to be banned from all international tennis events unless they denounce the invasion in Ukraine.

She decided to take a break from tennis in March, citing a back problem.

Elina Svitolina has called for Russian and Belarusian players to be banned from all international tennis events unless they denounce the invasion in Ukraine.

The All England Club on Wednesday announced that players from Russia and Belarus will not be allowed to compete at Wimbledon due to the conflict in Ukraine.

Daniil Medvedev, Aryna Sabalenka, Victoria Azarenka and Andrey Rublev are among the household names that will not be allowed to compete in the grass-court grand slam, "unless circumstances change materially between now and June".

Russian and Belarusian players will also be prevented from entering all other events organised by the Lawn Tennis Association.

Two-time major semi-finalist and former world number three Svitolina believes a global ban should be imposed on players from Russia and Belarus if they do not speak out.

The Ukrainian former world number three posted on Twitter and Instagram: "Dear Tennis Community.

"Ginetta Sagan once said: 'Silence in the face of injustice is complicity with the oppressor.' This could not be any more true right now.

"On 24th February 2022, Russia, with the support of Belarus, attacked Ukraine. Now there is a war in our country, in our home. All Ukrainians are forced to leave their homes and fight for their lives. For over 50 days now, the Russian forces have been bombing our cities and killing civilians, as well as using the territory of Belarus to bomb Ukraine from the west and the north.

"Millions of people have been left homeless, millions of children now know what explosions, fear and death look like. It is all happening right now in the centre of Europe.

"As athletes we live a life in the public eye and therefore have an enormous responsibility. Some of our posts and opinions on social media reach an audience larger than those of regional television stations. In times of crisis, silence means agreeing with what is happening.

"We noticed that some Russian and Belarusian players at some point vaguely mentioned the war, but never clearly stating that Russia and Belarus started it on the territory of Ukraine. The very silence of those who choose to remain that way right now is unbearable as it leads to the continuation of murder in our homeland.

"We demand that the WTA, ATP and ITF make sure the players who represent Russia and Belarus answer the following questions:

"1. Do you support Russia's and Belarus invasion in Ukraine's territory and as a result of that the war started by those countries?

"2. Do you support Russia's and Belarus military activities in Ukraine?

"3. Do you support [Russian president Vladimir] Putin's and [Belarus president Alexander] Lukashenko's regime?

"If applicable, we demand to exclude and ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing in any international event, as Wimbledon already [has] done. There come a time when silence is betrayal, and that time is now."

Elina Svitolina is taking a much-needed break from tennis due to physical and mental stress brought on by injuries and Russia's invasion of her native Ukraine. 

The world number 20 revealed she had been struggling with a back injury that affected her preparations for tournaments, falling at the first hurdle in each of her past two events.

Svitolina, the 2018 WTA Finals champion, reached the last eight at the Monterrey Open, where she refused to play Anastasia Potapova unless the Russian was classed as a neutral athlete at the start of the month, but she lost in her first match at both Indian Wells and the Miami Open.

Svitolina's sabbatical means she will be absent from Ukraine's Fed Cup clash with the United States next month, and it remains to be seen if she will return in time for the French Open at the end of May.

The 27-year-old posted on Twitter: "It's been an extremely difficult couple of months for me not only mentally, but physically. 

"For quite a long time, I've been struggling with my back; the pain didn't let me prepare for the tournaments at my best.

"Meanwhile, observing with unbearable pain in my heart what is happening in my homeland of Ukraine and with how much bravery and courage our Ukrainian people are defending our country, this gave me a huge push to continue and fight on court.

"Now, my body can't handle it anymore and I need to rest, therefore I'm sad to announce that I will be missing the Fed Cup and a few of my favourite tournaments in Europe. But, I'm sure I will see you around soon, thank you for all your support in this challenging period."

Alison Riske produced a breathtaking comeback to beat Garbine Muguruza at the Indian Wells Open, turning around an apparent lost cause after losing the first nine games of the match.

Muguruza, who won the WTA Finals title at the end of last season, was cruising at 6-0 3-0, but 31-year-old American Riske, despite tossing her racket in frustration, refused to give up. Incredibly, she won 12 of the next 13 games to reach the third round at the expense of the world number nine.

"After the first set, it literally could not get any worse," Riske said in her on-court interview following a 0-6 6-3 6-1 success.

"So if I could try to get two balls in the court we might get somewhere. I was just trying to hang in there. I've played Garbine many times before and it's always been a battle."

This was Riske's fifth match against Spanish star Muguruza, and despite losing the first two of those, she had since beaten the two-time grand slam winner twice, albeit most recently at the 2019 US Open.

"I felt if I could get in there a little bit, I was going to have my chances," Riske said. "I know I've beaten her before, and if I could just bring out some of my game, good things were going to happen."

It was world number 53 Riske's 10th career victory against a player ranked in the top 10.

British player Harriet Dart pulled off a shock win over Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, as the world number 122 snatched a 2-6 6-3 6-3 victory over the 12th seed.

Three of the biggest names in the draw took the long route through to the last-32 stage, with Emma Raducanu, Simona Halep and Iga Swiatek taken to a deciding set in their opening matches, having benefited from first-round byes 

Raducanu fended off Caroline Garcia 6-1 3-6 6-1, while Halep was a 6-2 4-6 6-2 winner against Ekaterina Alexandrova, the Russian who is playing under a neutral flag.

Polish third seed Swiatek put a slow start behind her to beat Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina 5-7 6-0 6-1 and is looking to build on her recent Qatar Open triumph. She said: "I'm pretty happy I could turn my head on to fight mode and stay focused, because that was the key I guess."

Last year's Wimbledon runner-up Karolina Pliskova bowed out, the Czech seventh seed losing 2-6 7-5 6-4 to Danka Kovinic of Montenegro.

Elina Svitolina saw her hopes of delivering an emotional title for Ukraine ended by Camila Osorio in a tough quarter-final loss at the Monterrey Open.

Top seed Svitolina wore the yellow and blue colours of her home country, which has come under attack from Russia's military in the past fortnight.

However, the former world number three could not capitalise on a fast start, or a big lead in the deciding set, as she slipped to a 1-6 7-5 7-6 (7-5) defeat in two hours and 33 minutes.

Svitolina held a 4-1 lead in the third set, but 20-year-old Colombian Osorio recovered the double break to edge out the 2020 champion, sealing the win in a deciding tie-break.

That was the third tight three-set battle of the day, with Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia earlier scoring a 4-6 6-4 7-6 (9-7) win over Marie Bouzkova, and Nuria Parrizas Diaz achieving a 6-3 1-6 6-4 victory in an all-Spanish clash with Sara Sorribes Tormo.

Parrizas Dias will face Osorio in Saturday's semi-finals, while Haddad Maia faces a tussle with US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez, who was a late-night 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 winner against China's Wang Qiang.

Ukrainian top seed Elina Svitolina was made to work hard but triumphed in more than two hours against Viktoriya Tomova as she booked her Monterrey Open quarter-final spot on Thursday.

Svitolina won 7-6 (7-3) 3-6 6-2 over the Bulgarian qualifier in two hours and 24 minutes, having trailed 2-0 in the final set, before rattling off the final six games to set up a last-eight meeting with fifth seed Camila Osorio.

The Ukrainian won the title at Monterrey in 2020, with her victory on Thursday maintaining her unbeaten record at the event.

"It was an extremely tough match today," Svitolina said during her on-court post-match interview. "I think Viktoriya played a really good match, and I had to really fight back in the third set to bring back my best game and try to come back in the match.

"In the end, I managed to win six games in a row, so it's a good effort for me. It was an extremely tough first set, second set didn't go my way, and then the third set I was 0-2 down. I was not playing my best, but I was fighting, until the very end.

"And you know, the Ukrainian flag [in the crowd] really helped me today to fight... I was really fighting until the end, and I found my game in the end."

Last week's beaten WTA Abierto Zapopan finalist Marie Bouzkova maintained her good form with a 6-4 6-2 victory over Petra Martic.

Sixth seed Nuria Parrizas-Diaz won 6-4 7-6 (7-2) over Briton Heather Watson, while Wang Qiang defeated Mayar Sherif 6-0 6-7 (2-7) 6-3.

Elina Svitolina said she "was on a mission" for Ukraine after earning a straight-sets win over Russian opponent Anastasia Potapova in the opening round of the Monterrey Open.

The top seed donned the yellow and blue colours of her homeland for Tuesday's match and eased to a 6-2 6-1 victory in a little over an hour in Mexico.

Svitolina only agreed to play her opener after tennis authorities announced a ban on Russian and Belarussian players competing under the name and flags of their countries.

And as Russia's invasion of Ukraine entered its sixth day, the 27-year-old produced an impressive performance that saw her win 73.5 per cent of her first-serve points.

Former world number three Svitolina, who will now face Bulgarian qualifier Viktoriya Tomova, had previously announced she will donate her prize money to the Ukrainian army.

"It's a special one because of what we are going through right now in Ukraine, it's terrifying," Svitolina told reporters. 

"It's been six days and all the Ukrainian tennis players and Ukrainians who are there, we have been really terrified with what is happening.

"For me, playing the match here, I'm not playing only for myself. I'm playing for my country, I'm playing for the help of the Ukrainian army and people in need. 

"I was focused. I was on a mission for my country. From the beginning, it was important to be ready for anything that comes my way."

Petra Martic is also through to round two after recovering from behind to beat third seed Madison Keys 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.

Marie Bouzkova awaits following the world number 81's 4-6 6-2 6-4 win against Sara Errani. Number eight seed Ann Li's participation in the tournament came to an end with a 6-2 6-1 loss to Wang Xinyu, who will now face Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Russian and Belarusian players, including ATP world number one Daniil Medvedev, will still be able to compete on the Tours and at grand slams, but the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has suspended the countries' teams.

Russia's Medvedev was only crowned world number one for the first time on Monday, though that success came amid the backdrop of an ongoing conflict between his nation and Ukraine.

To widespread international condemnation, Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday, with that conflict since escalating further. Belarus, meanwhile, was effectively used as a staging post for part of the invasion force, though Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko has insisted the nation's military did not and will not play any part in any operation.

Governments and organisations around the world, including governing bodies within sport, have responded with strict sanctions against Russia and certain individuals with links to president Vladimir Putin.

On Tuesday, the governing bodies of tennis (the ITF, ATP, WTA and the four grand slam events) announced sanctions of their own.

While Medvedev and other Russian and Belarusian players, including Andrey Rublev and WTA world number three Aryna Sabalenka, will be allowed to play in tournaments on both the men's and women's Tours, and the four grand slams, they will have to compete under neutral banners, with the flags of each country banned.

However, the WTA and ATP combined event in Moscow, scheduled to take place in October, has been suspended.

Meanwhile, Russia and Belarus have had their memberships of the ITF revoked, while all ITF tournaments set to be held in those countries have been suspended indefinitely.

Russia hold both the Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup.

The immediate upshot of the decision is that Elina Svitolina, the Ukrainian who is top seed at the Monterrey Open, will play her first-round match against Anastasia Potapova on Monday.

Svitolina said earlier in the day that she would refuse to play against any Russian or Belarusian opponent unless all national emblems, flags and colours were removed.

However, prior to the joint announcement from tennis' governing bodies, Svitolina told ITV News: "There's been a lot of discussion.

"Today they will release a statement that they will remove the flags. So we are waiting just for the final confirmation about that. I will be playing tonight because my opponent is going to be under a neutral flag."

Svitolina has pledged to donate all of her prize money from upcoming tournaments to assist Ukraine's fight against Russia.

The statement from tennis' governing bodies read: "A deep sense of distress, shock and sadness has been felt across the entire tennis community following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in the past week.

"Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine, and we commend the many tennis players who have spoken out and taken action against this unacceptable act of aggression. We echo their calls for the violence to end and peace to return.

"The safety of the tennis community is our most immediate collective priority. The focus of the WTA and ATP in particular in recent days has been on contacting current and former players, and other members of the tennis community from Ukraine and neighbouring countries, to check on their safety and offer any assistance."

Elina Svitolina will refuse to play Russian or Belarusian players unless tennis' governing bodies have them compete as neutral athletes in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The world number 15, who has committed to donating all of her prize money to Ukrainian military and humanitarian efforts, has been drawn against Russia's Anastasia Potapova in the first round of the Monterrey Open.

In a post on Twitter, Svitolina announced she would not contest that match or any other against players from Russia or Belarus unless the ATP, WTA and ITF follow the recommendation of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and remove any reference to their national identities.

Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine last Thursday, with neighbouring Belarus effectively used as a staging post for Russian military.

Svitolina wrote: "I believe the current situation requires a clear position from our organisations: ATP, WTA and ITF. As such, we – Ukrainian players – requested to ATP, WTA and ITF to follow the recommendations of the IOC to accept Russian or Belarusian nationals only as neutral athletes, without displaying any national symbols, colours, flags or anthems.

"Accordingly, I want to announce that I will not play tomorrow [Tuesday] in Monterrey, nor any other match against Russian or Belarusian tennis players until our organisations take this necessary decision."

Svitolina saluted the likes of Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Russian players who have all spoken out against the war.

She added: "I do not blame any of the Russian athletes. They are not responsible for the invasion of our motherland.

"Moreover, I wish to pay tribute to all the players, especially Russians and Belarusians, who bravely stated their position against the war. Their support is essential."

Elina Svitolina has penned an emotive letter to her homeland of Ukraine, pledging to donate her prize money to military and humanitarian needs after Russia's invasion.

Russia invaded neighbouring Ukraine on Thursday. That conflict has escalated over the weekend.

Russia and Vladimir Putin's government faces heavy political and financial sanctions, while sports organisations such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and UEFA have also condemned the attack.

St Petersburg has been stripped of this season's Champions League final, while Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic have refused to play Russia in qualifiers for the upcoming FIFA World Cup. Formula One has pulled the Russian Grand Prix from its race calendar for 2022.

Several tennis players have spoken out against Russia's aggression, including Russian duo Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev, who will ascend to world number one in the ATP rankings on Monday.

On Saturday, Svitolina – the former WTA world number three – told Sky Sports News she was "shocked at this terrible nightmare".

Svitolina has family and friends back in Ukraine and, on Sunday, she posted an emotional message on her social media channels.

"Letter to my Motherland, I am currently far away from you, out of sight from my loved ones, far from my people, but my heart has never felt so warm and filled of your soul," Svitolina's message read.

"It is difficult to express how special you are. To me you are strong, beautiful and unique. You gave me everything and I cherish every piece of you: your culture, your education, your lands, your seas, your cities, your people. My people.

"My people, every day I fear for you. I am devastated, my eyes won't stop crying, my heart won't stop bleeding. But I am so proud. See our people, our mothers, our fathers, our brothers, our sisters, our children, they are so brave and strong, fighting to defend you. They are heroes.

"I commit to redistribute the prize money of my next tournaments to support army and humanitarian needs and help them to defend you, our country.

"Ukraine, you unify us, you are our identity. You are our past and our future. We are Ukraine."

Svitolina also called on other nations to continue to step up their efforts to stop the invasion.

"May the world see it and help us to join forces to protect you," she wrote. "You are in all my thoughts and prayers. You are always with me. I am Ukraine. We are Ukraine."

Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina is "really praying" for her country after Russia invaded on Thursday, following weeks of rising political tensions in the region.

The conflict escalated further on Friday, with the fighting reaching the capital city of Kyiv.

Several high profile sports figures have publicly expressed their opposition to war, including Russia's Andrey Rublev who wrote "no war please" on a camera lens at the Dubai Tennis Championships, joining compatriot Daniil Medvedev in calling for peace.

Svitolina - who is ranked 15th in the world - has said she is praying for peace and trying to keep in contact with her family back in Ukraine.

"I'm shocked at this terrible nightmare," Svitolina told Sky Sports News. "I'm really praying every single minute for my family, for my friends, for all people in Ukraine and around the world for safety, for peace.

"Considering what people are going through in Ukraine and what my family are going through while being in Ukraine and friends, I try to keep in contact with them to see what's happening there.

"I'm very safe compared to them. To be honest with you, I'm only thinking about them and for me, it's a very stressful time because I cannot do anything. I cannot really help them. I wish I could help them. It's extremely tough mentally for me. I cannot imagine what they are going through. I'm just praying.

"It's a horrible situation for the people in Ukraine, what they have to go through without sleepless nights, without food and electricity so that's horrible. For me, it's heartbreaking to hear this.

"The war is something we have to stop and it's something better than anything else. What is happening is very tough for me to imagine."

Elina Svitolina and Simona Halep both fell in the first round of the Qatar Ladies Open, while Garbine Muguruza and Anett Kontaveit eased through on Monday.

Former world number one Halep, champion in Qatar back in 2014, was off the pace as Caroline Garcia claimed just her second win in nine meetings against the Romanian with a 6-4 6-3 triumph.

Number 10 seed Svitolina also suffered an early exit after ending up on the wrong side of an almost three-hour slog, with Tereza Martincova eventually succeeding 6-7 (2-7) 7-5 7-6 (7-5).

But fifth favourite Muguruza – a two-time finalist, including in 2021 – did not have much as trouble as she outfought Sorana Cirstea 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 in a second-round contest, with Kontaveit coasting through to round three in similar fashion with a 6-2 6-3 win over Ana Konjuh. 

Jelena Ostapenko, who is a former finalist in Doha and champion in Dubai last week, managed a sixth consecutive victory in the Middle East as she downed Oceane Dodin 6-4 6-2 to reach the second round, while 11th seed Elena Rybakina fell at the first hurdle to Jacques Cristian in a 6-4 6-3 loss.

Angelique Kerber, the 13th ranked player at the tournament, was another surprise first-round loser as she fell 4-6 6-3 6-2 to Jil Teichmann.

Cori Gauff secured her spot in the second round with a straightforward 6-2 6-3 victory over American compatriot Shelby Rogers, while 16th seed Elise Mertens battled to a 6-3 2-6 7-5 win over Jasmine Paolini.

Meanwhile, defending champion Petra Kvitova had no trouble easing past Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3 6-1, and Daria Kasatkina edged out Ajla Tomljanovic 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 6-2.

Defending champion Garbine Muguruza, 2021 finalist Barbora Krejcikova and top seed Aryna Sabalenka were all eliminated from the Dubai Tennis Championships on Wednesday.

A day of upsets left Ons Jabeur, the eighth seed, as the top remaining player in the draw.

Some big names helped deliver the shocks, though, with world number two Sabalenka usurped by two-time Wimbledon champion and 2013 Dubai winner Petra Kvitova in straight sets.

Muguruza did not look like being one of the scalps as her title defence continued against Veronika Kudermetova.

But after taking the first set, the reigning WTA Tour Finals champion went down 3-6 6-4 6-4.

French Open champion Krejcikova, beaten by Muguruza in the final last year, also exited the tournament at the hands of Dayana Yastremska 6-3 7-6 (7-3).

Iga Swiatek let a set lead slip to Jelena Ostapenko, while two-time Dubai champion Elina Svitolina collapsed to lucky loser Jil Teichmann 7-6 (7-0) 6-2.

Jabeur, a winner against Jessica Pegula, was the only seed to win in a ruthless round of 16.

However, her reward in a still stacked quarter-final draw is a meeting with Simona Halep, another who has twice won in Dubai.

Ons Jabeur made an impressive start to 2022 with a routine win over Astra Sharma at the Sydney Tennis Classic.

Last year's Wimbledon quarter-finalist needed less than an hour to win 6-1 6-3 in her first match of the year and set up a meeting with Petra Kvitova, who has won all three of their previous contests.

There was also a strong performance from Daria Kasatkina, who defeated eighth seed Sofia Kenin 6-4 6-0 to progress.

Fourth seed Anett Kontaveit overcame Shuai Zhang 6-3 6-3 while fifth seed Paula Badosa was a straight-sets winner against 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.

There was a surprise at the Adelaide International 2 as second seed Elina Svitolina was undone by the brutal serving of Madison Keys.

The American sent down 14 aces and won all but five points on her first serve to triumph 6-2 6-4.

Compatriot Alison Riske also progressed, beating Magda Linette 6-4 6-4, but Shelby Rogers lost to Marta Kostyuk.

Marketa Vondrousova, who had not played since losing in the Kremlin Cup semi-finals to Kontaveit in October, came from a set down to beat Viktorija Golubic.

The fifth seed battled through 5-7 6-4 6-3 in just under two and a half hours and will now face Ana Konjuh in the last 16.

Aryna Sabalenka edged past Ajla Tomljanovic in the Kremlin Cup to reach the quarter-finals in her first match since contracting COVID-19 after the US Open semi-finals. 

Top seed Sabalenka – appearing in Moscow for the first time – had not played since being downed by Leylah Fernandez, having tested positive for coronavirus on the eve of the Indian Wells Open. 

The Belarusian, who sits second in the world rankings, profited from a bye in the first round before battling past Tomljanovic 7-6 (7-2) 4-6 6-1 on Wednesday as she fired 10 aces but made 30 unforced errors. 

Sabalenka will now meet Ekaterina Alexandrova after the Russian cruised past Anhelina Kalinina 6-4 6-1, while Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova comfortably defeated Bernarda Pera 6-2 7-5. 

Number two seed Garbine Muguruza also reached her seventh quarter-final of the season as she defeated Tereza Martincova 6-4 4-6 6-3 in just under three hours in Moscow. 

Meanwhile, Elina Svitolina was shocked in the Tenerife Open as she was dumped out by Maria Camila Osorio Serrano, who succeeded 5-7 6-3 6-2 to claim her first top-10 victory. 

Svitolina was the favourite in Spain and comfortably took the first set on Tuesday. However, inadequate light stopped play and the 19-year-old Osorio responded emphatically the following day to secure a memorable triumph. 

Ann Li coasted past Varvara Gracheva 6-4 6-2 after Anna Karolina Schmiedlova had dispatched Jaqueline Cristian 6-2 7-5 in the opening match of the day. 

Xinyu Wang retired injured against Alize Cornet, who led 4-1 in the decisive set, while Donna Vekic and Irina-Camelia Begu's match was suspended for bad light with the Croatian leading by a set. 

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