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Rediff.com  » Sports » For these tennis stars, it's love all!

For these tennis stars, it's love all!

Last updated on: September 6, 2011 09:37 IST

For these tennis stars, it's love all!

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Just like Hollywood stars, the personal lives of tennis players have garnered a lot of media attention and speculation.

Rediff.com gives you a glimpse of players who have dated or married people from the tennis fraternity and from other disciplines.

We start with the hottest couple on the block at the moment. We are talking of young lovers -- Irish golfer Rory McIlroy and Dane tennis bomb Caroline Wozniacki.

McIlroy had recently broken up with childhood sweetheart Holly Sweeney, but, in no time, his heart was mended by the sexy World No 1.

The duo met at a boxing match in Germany in July, and soon sparks were flying. The pair was clearly infatuated with one another from the start, as they began publicly flirting on Twitter.

'Also met Rory McIlroy, who was sitting just behind me :) Really down to earth great guy :)'

He responded with birthday wishes on July 11, joking: 'You're getting old.'

And they recently made their relationship public when they appeared together on a chat show for ESPN.


Image: Caroline Wozniacki and Rory McIlroy appear on the EPSN Game Day desk with Cliff Drysdale and Mary Joe Fernandez

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Kim Clijsters and Brian Lynch

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After her difficult break-up with Lleyton Hewitt in 2004, Kim Clijsters moved on and started seeing another sportsman -- American basketballer Brian Lynch.

They started dating in 2005, and, a year later, announced their engagement. It was around this time that Clijsters retired from the game for a more 'normal life'.

The pair married in a private ceremony in July 2007 and have a daughter, Jada, who was born in 2008.


Image: Kim Clisters poses kisses her husband Brian Lynch

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Maria Sharapova and Sasha Vujacic

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In October 2010, Sharapova got engaged to her boyfriend, LA Lakers's basketball star Sasha Vujacic, after he proposed with the huge ring. The Serbian presented the ring, which is believed to be worth 250,000 pounds.

The couple was first spotted last November, cozying up at a U2 concert in LA.

They are dating for nearly a year now.


Image: Sasha Vujacic and Maria Sharapova

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Jelena Jankovic and Jamie Murray

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The rumours of Jamie Murray and Jelena Jankovic being an item started in 2007. They arrived at the Wimbledon Champions' Dinner looking a winning couple right after their mixed doubles victory.

Speculation over their relationship started as soon as they set foot on court for the Wimbledon mixed doubles event that year.

They flirted, giggled, held hands and displayed such extraordinary on-court chemistry that some cheekier spectators were moved to shout out, 'Come on you lovebirds'.

Murray and Jankovic insisted their relationship was entirely professional.

But after the duo beat Sweden's Jonas Bjorkman and Australian Alicia Molik to win the title, Jankovic stated, 'When it was a breakpoint I was telling him if he got a good return he would get many kisses, but he kept putting it out.

'What do I have to do to pump him up a little bit to play great tennis?'

But she later confirmed that all of it were mere rumours and it affected her relationship with her boyfriend, 'a simple man from Serbia'.


Image: Jamie Murray kisses Jelena Jankovic

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Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi

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The couple were champions on the tennis court multiple times. It wasn't until 1999, when they both won the French Open and shared the traditional Champions' dance, that they started dating. The couple married on October 22, 2001, and, apparently, only their mothers were witnesses to the event.

They have two children together.

The son, Jaden Gil, was born pre-maturely only a few days after the wedding. Jayden is named after Andre Agassi's longtime trainer, Gil Reyes.

Their daughter, Jaz Elle, was born in October of 2003. Currently, the couple's making their home in Las Vegas.


Image: Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf share a kiss

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Roger Federer and Mirka Vavrinec

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Roger Federer and Mirka Vavrinec met, and started their relationship, at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

Since then the pair has been inseprable, with Federer saying the Olympics have special meaning to him because that's where he met the love of his life.

Mirka is constantly in Federer's players box and the couple have twin daughters, who were born after Roger's Wimbledon victory in 2009.

For her part, Mirka became deeply involved in Federer's career after her own ended with injury.


Image: Roger Federer with wife Mirka

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Ana Ivanovic-Adam Scott

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Ana Ivanovic recently dumped boyfriend, Australian golf star Adam Scott, and has fallen in love with tennis again. It is understood she ended their relationship as her career went into free-fall.

Ivanovic says her break-up from her longtime love affected her game. The glamourous player says her on-court performance suffered after the break-up in the middle of 2010.

During the slump, her ranking fell outside the world top 50, and she lost in the opening round of Wimbledon.

'It's tough,' Adelaide Now quoted the 2008 French Open champion as saying.

Earlier, Ivanovic was reportedly dating Spanish tennis player Fernando Verdasco for a few months -- starting up at the US Open in 2008 and breaking up in the middle of January 2009.


Image: Adam Scott and Ana Ivanovic

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Martina Hingis-Radek Stepanek

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Former women's world number one Martina Hingis and Czech Radek Stepanek, the highest profile couple in tennis, got engaged in November 2006, when Stepanek proposed to Hingis in Prague.

Just when the world thought that Hingis was the driving-force of Stepanek's fantastic form, they broke-off their engagement in August 2007.


Image: Martina Hingis and Radek Stepanek

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Lleyton Hewitt-Kim Clijsters

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Lleyton Hewitt blamed the media frenzy of their relationship for a shock split with Kim Clijsters.

The four-year romance saw the dust settle soon as the former World No 1 Kim Clijsters called to break-off with Hewitt.

Clijsters and Hewitt met at the 2000 Australian Open as teenagers, when Kim's sister, Elke, asked her to get Hewitt's autograph. Their relationship soon blossomed.

Clijsters quickly became known as 'Aussie Kim' and endeared herself to the Australian public with her pleasant nature.

The two were engaged after a romantic boat trip around Sydney Harbour in December 2004. The relationship softened Hewitt's brash image, which was tarnished in his early tennis days by petulant behaviour.


Image: Lleyton Hewitt with Kim Clijsters

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Tomas Berdych-Lucie Safarova

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He upset Federer in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon last year, but his relationship with the lovely Lucie Safarova dates all the way back to 2005.

The pair grew up together in Prostejov and were fast friends, who took it to the next level when they were old enough. You can't have a cuter nickname than the 'Czech Mates'.

They are both from the Czech Republic and they don't try to hide their relationship at all. Their relationship appears to be helping their tennis game.

Berdych is now in the top-10 and Safarova is up to around No 30 in the world.


Image: Tomas Berdych and Lucie Safarova

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Jimmy Connors-Chris Evert

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They are American tennis darlings of the 1970s. Not only did the top two players fall in love, the American and tennis public fell in love with them as well. They both won Wimbledon singles titles in 1974 and danced together at the Champions' ball.

When the couple played mixed doubles in some tournaments, the crowds went wild. They were officially engaged in 1973; wedding plans were made. Those plans were eventually cancelled, but the engagement remained.

They separated for good in 1976. Both went on to incredible tennis careers. The two remain good friends.

Later, Evert found new love in Britain's John Lloyd, Britain's No 1 player for years. The two were married in 1979.

The marriage, however, ended in 1987.


Image: Jimmy Connors with Chris Evert

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Greg Norman-ChrisEvert

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Greg Norman and tennis legend Chris Evert, who spectacularly broke up their respective long-time families in order to get hitched, secretly divorced on December 8, 2010 in Key West.

They were six months short of their second anniversary!

It was the former world No. 1 female tennis player's third attempt at holy matrimony, and the golfer's second.

Taking advantage of the attention paid by the press to the firestorm surrounding the Tiger Woods accident and sex scandal, the two worked out a quickie settlement behind closed doors.


Image: Greg Norman and Chris Evert share a kiss

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Serena Williams-Keyshawn Johnson

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Serena Williams sure knows how to turn love life lows into career highs. When her boyfriend, NFL star Lavar Arrington, dumped her in 2002, the heartbroken Williams simply turned her grief into the hottest run of her career, winning all four majors between '02 and '03 to claim the non-calendar-year 'Serena Slam'.

She was also romantically linked with footballer Keyshawn Johnson, who she dated in the early half of 2003.

Keyshawn said of Serena at the time, 'But we're not in a relationship. It's a friendship!'

Later, Serena was rumored to be with NBA player and former Duke star Corey Maggette, but she denied it.


Image: Serena Williams and Keyshawn Johnson

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Andy Roddick-Maria Sharapova

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Were they or weren't they? Were these two young tennis stars ever an item?

They never officially were called boyfriend and girlfriend, but rumors swirled for years.

In 2005 and 2006, they attended numerous parties and events together. But they always claimed they were just friends.


Image: Andy Roddick and Maria Sharapova at a party in 2005

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Samir Nasri-Tatiana Golovin

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Samir Nasri has had a quiet relationship with tennis for the last three years. How come?, you may ask.

Well, the Manchester City star has been dating French tennis star Tatiana Golovin for the last three years.

Nasri and the Russian-born Golovin, a winner of the mixed doubles at the French Open in 2004, began dating in 2008 around the time when she was forced to retire from tennis with serious back problems. They currently live together in London while Golovin pursues journalism.


Image: Samir Nasri and Tatiana Golovin

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Gael Monfils-Dominika Cibulkova

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After starting to date in Miami early in the 2008 season, Gael Monfils and Dominika Cibulkova made frequent attempts to support the other by attending matches.

The 6'4" Monfils and 5' 3 1/2" Cibulkova even played mixed doubles together at the French Open. Their relationship went kaput soon after playing as a team and broke up shortly afterwards.

Other popular tennis players who have had successful marriages include Lew Hoad and John Newcombe.

Like Federer, Hoad, the Adonis of his day, married his wife, Jenny, in Wimbledon in 1955 and they were together until his death 39 years later.

Aussie great Newcombe married his wife, Angie, a German tennis player, in 1966.


Image: Gael Monfils and Dominika Cibulkova

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