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Maria Sharapova

Australian Open diary: the "hunks" and the "hotties"


Having reached two straight finals here, Andy Murray is a crowd favourite at Melbourne Park with plenty of people willing him to win that first grand slam title. But it seems that not all the fans here appreciate everything the Scot brings to the table.

In a poll in Australian newspaper The Herald Sun (admittedly of only 100 fans), Murray came fourth in a list of tennis “hunks”, trailing behind Andy Roddick, Bernard Tomic and Rafael Nadal. Murray polled just six votes but might feel a little aggrieved that he was not given joint third, since Nadal polled the same number.

However, he can take some consolation that Novak Djokovic was given just one vote. Not sure that will quite make up for last year’s final, though.

The demographics of the poll were not revealed but a long trail of young girls chasing Tomic through the grounds yesterday may have given the game away.

Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic topped the “hotties” poll ahead of Maria Sharapova while world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki came in third. And The Herald Sun threw in a gratuitous picture of Sharapova pulling a ball from inside her cycling shorts. Nice touch.

The end of the John Isner-David Nalbandian match was shrouded in controversy when the Argentine was hard done-by thanks to a shocking decision by umpire Kader Nouni, not allowing him to challenge a call on break point at 8-8 in the decider, because he thought Nalbandian had taken too long to decide.

The Argentine was livid and rightly so, because the noise in the stadium meant he had not heard the over-rule (he would be fined $8000 for three counts of racket abuse). The Hawk-Eye reply actually showed the ball had been out, which would have left him serving for the match.

But the match was also notable for more evidence that the players don’t actually know all the rules concerning cramping. After Mardy Fish showed his ignorance in losing to Alejandro Falla in round two, Isner said he did not call for the trainer because it’s not in the rules. And Feliciano Lopez said the same thing on Twitter, praising Isner for his honesty.

It’s a tricky rule but having checked it out we can tell the players that though taking a medical timeout for cramping is not allowed, they can have treatment at two changeovers, as long as they keep within the allotted time.

The YouTube clip of Marcos Baghdatis smashing not one, two or three rackets, but four during his defeat by Stanislas Wawrinka, is in danger of going viral on YouTube and it’s certainly great viewing.

The third one is our favourite, when he doesn’t even bother taking the plastic wrapper off the racket before smashing it to bits.

It always seems a bit ridiculous that players can be fined when they are only damaging their own stuff but under the grand slam code of conduct, it counts as abuse of equipment but his fine of $800 was about the same as it would cost to replace the four rackets.

For the record, the biggest fine so far was one of $2000, handed to Spain’s Fernando Verdasco for coaching during his first-round defeat by Bernard Tomic.

Yesterday’s link to Janko Tipsarevic’s video blog proved so popular that we’ll keep you in touch with his antics for as long as he stays in the tournament. The latest one has Novak Djokovic taking the camera and plunging Tipsarevic into an ice bath. That’s friendship for you.

And Jelena Jankovic clearly got her way as she and Bernard Tomic made into the mixed doubles draw, despite the Australian admitting after his second-round win that she would kill him because he had forgotten to sign in. Roddick and Serena Williams are also in the event.

  • Silawen

    $8000 for Nalbandian? Is that a typo? Because of it isn’t, that is ridiculous compared to Baghdatis and would mean Verdasco’s fine isn’t the biggest.