Martin Lange / Photo credit: Emmanuel DUNAND, Thomas SAMSON / AFP 07:11, June 06, 2023

The quarterfinals begin this Tuesday at Roland-Garros. If big stars are to compete on the clay of the Porte d'Auteuil this Tuesday, eyes will be particularly turned to a meeting: that between the Ukrainian Elina Svitolina and the Russian Aryna Sabalenka. A match at the top, against a backdrop of war.

At Roland-Garros, of which Europe 1 is the official radio, it is already time for the quarter-finals. From this Tuesday, the matches will be numerous at the Porte d'Auteuil. At midday, Novak Djokovic will face Russia's Karen Khachanov, then in the evening, Carlos Alcaraz will meet Greece's Stéfanos Tsitsipas. On the women's side, the match to watch will be the meeting between Russia's Aryna Sabalenka and Ukraine's Elina Svitolina. The latter should be favored by the French public. And for good reason, between the spectators and the Ukrainian player, it is a little love story that is born.

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It must be said that she is the most French of Ukrainians, since she is married to Gaël Monfils. They had a child together, which forced the player to put her career on hold. But seven months later, here she is again in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam.

The Ukrainian conflict never far away

Impressive in her perseverance, Elina Svitolina has also become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance, notably by systematically refusing to shake hands with her Russian and Belarusian opponents. A behavior that she intends to maintain in front of the world number 2, Aryna Sabalenka. "I've already played against two Russians, so that's not going to change. I'm used to it now. And so it will be the same," she soberly told reporters.

Conversely, his opponent lives much less well the situation. Asked several times since the beginning of the fortnight about her position on the Ukrainian conflict, Sabalenka has since decided to skip press conferences to preserve her sanity.