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Rediff.com  » Sports » Australian Open odd balls: Is 'Baby Federer' Sharapova's new flame

Australian Open odd balls: Is 'Baby Federer' Sharapova's new flame

Last updated on: January 14, 2013 16:29 IST

Is 'Baby Federer' Dimitrov Sharapova's new flame?

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Grigor Dimitrov has hit out at people who are taking interest in his relationship with Maria Sharapova, saying that it is an invasion of privacy and the topic should be off-limits.

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Hype followed the 21-year-old Bulgarian nicknamed 'Baby Federer' outside court, partly because word had spread that he was Sharapova's new flame, and partly because he has uncanny similarities in technique and flair to 17-time major-winner Roger Federer, the Age reported.

Dimitrov said of interest in his personal life that he doesn't think it's a distraction.

He said he there to be on the court, and not to speak about my private life.

"People love gossip. Who doesn't? But I believe it's a privacy invasion. I don't think that's right," he said.

"It's not because we're different, but because it's not right to athletes in general. It should be forbidden to even be asked but it is what it is, right?" he added.


Image: Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria
Photographs: Daniel Munoz/Reuters

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Puchkova takes home $500 per minute after first round loss!

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Russian tennis player Olga Puchkova earned more than 27,000 dollars despite failing to win a single game against Maria Sharapova during her first round 6-0, 6-0 defeat in the Australian Open.

Puchkova made around 500 dollars per minute during her 55 minutes long struggle against Sharapova, News.com.au reports. Players are laughing all the way to the bank after Tennis Australia recently caved and announced a significant pay rise for early round losers.

The 27,600 dollars for a first round loser is a 32.7 per cent increase on last year and was brought in to prevent a potential boycott of the prized event.



Image: Olga Puchkova of Russia
Photographs: David Gray/Reuters

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Serena's love story has a French connection

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Venus Williams was in action on Day One of the Australian Open against Kazakhstan's Galina Voskoboeva on Monday.

And, giving her support was sister Serena, who was biting into a pizza as she sat next to a handsome man.

If reports are to be believed, that charming, 'mystery' man is her French coach and boyfriend, Patrick Mouratoglou with whom she has been spotted shopping around Paris of late.

Will new-found love bring Serena more trophies this year?

Read this space for more of those updates.


Image: Serena Williams and boyfriend Patrick Mouratoglou (left) watch Venus Williams in action on Monday
Photographs: Toby Melville/Reuters

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Venus has us wrapped in her designs

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Talking of Venus, the older of the Williams sister was seen in one of her self-designed outfits during her opening round victory against Voskoboeva.

Wearing a watercolour inspired dress on Hisense Arena, Williams, who is entering the twilight of her career said, "I realise one day it will end," she said of her long career.

"So now I realise all these opportunities. I try to take to best I can of them. When it's over, I will be out and hopefully, I won't run out of money and have to commentate.

"But I'd like to move on from tennis. I love designing. I put my foot in that door already, and probably helping players on the side.

"I love the game, and while I'm here, I'm going to go for it."

We say, we love the whacky outfits! You go, gurl!

Image: Venus Williams celebrates defeating Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan
Photographs: Toby Melville/Reuters

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Stosur can always do with some Thorpedo!

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There was a surprise visitor at Melbourne Park on Monday. Aussie swimmer and former Olympic champion Ian Thorpe was spotted in the stands as he cheered compatriot Samantha Stosur during her first round match against Chang Kai-chen of Taiwan.

The support did help as Stosur went on to win the match after a stuttering start in the first set.

Some Aussie mateship is always good to see!


Image: Former Australian Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe (left) watches the match between compatriot Samantha Stosur and Chang Kai-chen of Taiwan on Monday
Photographs: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

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