From Serena Williams' 'fairytale' engagement story to Kevin Pietersen's text apology, here are the off court highlights from Day 8 of the Australian Open.
Sync or swim
Roger Federer was embarrassed by his singing voice in a cringe-worthy rendition of Chicago's Hard To Say I'm Sorry. Federer, Grigor Dimitrov and Tommy Haas laboured through the 1980s ballad in footage posted on Twitter with the hashtag #NOTNSYNC. "I thought it was terrible acoustics in that room. Oh God," he said, when the video was played at Rod Laver Arena after his win over Kei Nishikori. "I didn't even know that song that well. Even though I have heard it many, many times, the lyrics are not my thing, that's why I think my voice was playing up a little bit."
Serena Williams likes to keep her private life just that, but she was happy to reveal that meeting her now fiance, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, was just like a "fairytale".
The American tennis queen broke news of her impending nuptials with a poem in late December on her Reddit account, after the 33-year-old Ohanian popped the question in Rome.
Williams, 35, has been dating Ohanian since 2015, after a chance meeting at a restaurant in the Italian capital.
"Literally by chance. It was just -- I was sitting down, and he sat next to me," Williams said, adding that nobody introduced them.
"Yeah, that doesn't happen anymore, right? I live in a movie and in a fairytale in my mind, so I guess eventually it was bound to happen."
Last month, the couple returned to the same table at the same restaurant, where Ohanian proposed. Asked if the wedding would be Italy, Williams was noncomittal.
"I don't know. I love Italy, though."
KP-ing the peace
Dan Evans said his tournament highlight was receiving messages from Kevin Pietersen. They began their dialogue after the ex-England cricketer snubbed Evans for a selfie, later explaining he was drunk. Evans said his favourite moment in Melbourne was "probably KP inboxing me. Wondering what is going to happen to his image. That's probably the only reason he did it". Evans said Pietersen also gave him tickets to the Melbourne Renegades' Big Bash game against Perth Scorchers on Saturday. "I was going anyway, but he just gave us the tickets. It was a good match actually," Evans said, adding: "It's all cool (with Pietersen). It's fine."
Jamie Murray wants 'nonsense' doubles format scrapped
Top men's doubles player Jamie Murray has called for an end to the ATP Tour's scoring system in the format and says there is widespread support for it to be changed.
While the Grand Slams have stuck to the best-of-three sets system, the men's tour uses a sudden-death point at deuce and has a tiebreak in place of a final set.
The system was introduced in 2006 to help broadcast rights holders better plan their schedules.
Murray, whose Australian Open title defence was ended in round one when he and Brazilian Bruno Soares lost to Americans Sam Querrey and Donald Young, said the players did not think much of the change.
"It's nonsense, I think," said Murray, who reached the world number one doubles ranking last year. "When we come to Grand Slams we always feel like the best team wins.
"They're not putting matches on centre court or on TV (in regular events), so just put us on the outside courts and let us play normal scoring."
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga said his ultimate selfie would be with Michael Jackson. Undeterred by the King of Pop's death in 2009, the Frenchman said: "It would be great (to have a selfie) with Michael. Like this I could show it to everybody, 'Look!'"
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Jan 24, 2017 16:39:16 IST