Newlywed disagreement: Svitolina, Monfils differ on the draw

National Sports

NEW YORK (AP)The tennis newlyweds are having a disagreement.

Elina Svitolina, like many players, will only think about the match directly in front of her.

Her husband, Gael Monfils, likes to look a few rounds down the road for his possible opponents.

”But I try to tell him … you have to be looking one match at a time,” Svitolina said with a laugh.

However they do it, things are working for both players, who were married in July.

The fifth-seeded Svitolina beat No. 25 Daria Kasatkina 6-4, 6-2 on Friday to set up a fourth-round matchup with No. 12 Simona Halep, a two-time Grand Slam champion.

Monfils, the No. 17 seed, faces 13th-seeded Jannik Sinner on Saturday. Svitolina probably already knew that, saying she probably checks out his bracket more than her own.

”I’m happy that we’re playing different days,” Svitolina said, ”because then we can focus on one person, then the other one.”

NOT A BAD DEBUT

Hard to believe that Barbora Krejcikova is playing in the U.S. Open’s singles main draw for the first time. She is, after all, a Grand Slam champion already.

Still, that success at the French Open in June – when she became the first woman in 21 years to win the singles and doubles trophies at Roland Garros – has not made her take any of what’s happening now at Flushing Meadows for granted.

”I don’t just take it as something ordinary,” the No. 8-seeded Krejcikova said Friday after getting to the fourth round in New York with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Kamilla Rakhimova. ”I just think it’s very special.”

The 25-year-old from the Czech Republic used the word ”special” a few times while discussing what’s been going on for her on the court this year.

”Amazing,”’ too.

Consider: She entered 2021 with two Grand Slam trophies in doubles but just a trio of appearances at majors in singles. One problem was repeated failures to make it into the main draw via qualifying.

After her triumphs in Paris, Krejcikova followed that up by getting to the fourth round in her Wimbledon debut before losing to eventual champion Ash Barty. Now comes a matchup with two-time major champion Garbine Muguruza for a berth in the U.S. Open quarterfinals.

”I’m just really happy that I don’t have to go through the quallies anymore,” Krejcikova said. ”I hope it’s going to stay like this and I don’t have to play the quallies anymore.”

At this rate, that won’t be an issue.

STALLED RUN

Stefanos Tsitsipas can take all the time he wants in the bathroom now that he’s out of the U.S. Open.

Booed by the New York crowd and blasted by some peers for his lengthy breaks in the bathroom – is he just changing clothes or up to something else? – the third-seeded Tsitsipas’ run ended in the third round Friday against 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz.

Before the U.S. Open, Olympic gold medalist Alexander Zverev accused Tsitsipas of getting help via phone messages from his father, who’s also his coach, on a lengthy trip to the bathroom during their semifinal at the Cincinnati Masters. Coaching is not allowed during matches.

Andy Murray said he ”lost respect” for Tsitsipas following their first-round match because of the eight-minute bathroom break Tsitsipas took between the fourth and fifth sets.

”All these accusations have been completely false,” Tsitsipas said. ”The one in my match in Cincinnati, which was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard in my life – I don’t know what to say.”

As for the jeers from spectators this week, Tsitsipas said: ”I feel like, you know, people, they don’t understand. They are here for the show. They want to watch tennis. They’re very impatient, especially the new generation. They just want to get it done quick.”

Unlike Tsitsipas when he leaves the court.

He says he isn’t breaking the rules, which is true, because Grand Slam regulations just say players should be gone for ”a reasonable time.”

Tsitsipas said if stronger time limits were enforced, he would follow them.

”I took my toilet break as a normal athlete,” he said. ”Might have taken a bit longer than other athletes. But if there is a rule that says there’s a specific amount of time that you are allowed to take, then I would probably try and follow that protocol, that rule, and stay within the guidelines and try and follow it as much as possible.”

AP Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich and AP Sports Writer Dan Gelston contributed to this report.

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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