After getting married, Elina Svitolina has changed her last name to Monfils, but the Ukrainian WTA player has clarified that she’ll continue to use her maiden name for the rest of her professional tennis career.
Just before the Tokyo Olympics, the world No.6 Svitolina tied the knot with ATP star Gael Monfils in a lavender-themed wedding ceremony in Switzerland on July 16. The 26-year-old took her husband’s last name and updated her Twitter and Instagram profiles to “Elina Monfils”. However, when she saw that some livescore websites were referring to her as “Elina Monfils” while reporting about her Olympic results, the newlywed clarified the situation:
I don’t know why they changed my surname. Maybe they saw that I had changed it on my social networks. But I am going to play as Svitolina till the very end of my professional career and will change it only after retirement. I had numerous achievements and people know me as Svitolina. My father would be upset if I changed the surname and played as Monfils (laughs). I am proud to be Svitolina and my tennis career will always be connected with this surname.
The couple didn’t have time to go to a honeymoon right after their wedding, as they immediately got back to training and competition at the 2020 Summer Olympics. It was worth it, though, as Svitolina won bronze medal in women’s singles, the first-ever Olympic tennis medal for Ukraine.
Female athletes take different approaches to the issue of name change. Some have changed their last name even when it comes to their tennis career (like Tatjana Maria, née Malek), some just add their husband’s (like Alison Riske-Amritraj), and some do it like Elina (Karolina Pliskova still uses her maiden name in tennis, but officially she is Karolina Hrdlickova).