The players are definitely in on the act; Novak Djokovic, whose Sharapova impersonation was a week one highlight, has a series of pictures of himself on his website's home page, captioned "Fight to the end", "Spirit of a winner", and "Irresistible charm".

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While they now harness it more tastefully than the promotion a few seasons back that featured a naked Anastasia Myskina on horseback, the organising bodies are well aware they have some seriously marketable individuals at their disposal.

No tennis feature story is complete without reference to its subject making the latest People magazine "most beautiful" list; Spaniard Fernando Verdasco is apparently this year's hunk of choice, having been voted most glamorous sportsman in a recent poll.

Ähnlich läuft das Match bei Belinda Bencic (20, WTA 135).

Sie verliert wie Golubic den ersten Satz gegen die Italienerin Sara Errani (29, WTA 102) mit 3:6, schafft dann den Ausgleich mit 6:4 im zweiten Satz.

Sharapova yesterday drew attention during practice before whipping up further excitement during her match.

COURT 18 late on Thursday afternoon told a tale of why the turnstiles at Melbourne Park have been whirring at record revolutions again this week, and Channel Seven annually inks the fortnight in as a bums-on-sofas bonanza.

Im dritten Durchgang folgt ein Break-Festival – mit dem besseren Ende für Errani, die das Match mit 6:3, 4:6, 6:3 für sich entscheidet und Bencic rauswirft.

A fan confirms his support for Maria Sharapova after a long night's tennis appreciation this week.

The straightforward answer to Professor Henry Higgins's anguished rhetorical question — why can't a woman be more like a man? The next time you go to the gym, look at the women around you on the treadmills, pounding away, burning fat, sweating their way to the perfect hardbody.

Consciously or not, they — you — are trying to look more like poor Caster Semenya, the new world 800m champion from South Africa who this week finds herself in a humiliating "is she, is he?

Tennis players breaking the old rule about not jumping your workmates is nothing new, with liaisons generally following the path allegedly trod by Mark Philippoussis and Kournikova a few Opens back: tennis boy meets tennis girl, coo in unison, "Gee, you're like, hot!