April 18, 2024

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU'LL EVER NEED

For Valentine’s Day, LOVE on court at the Australian Open

Hey, it’s Valentine’s Day, even if you didn’t necessarily go out for the overpriced hearts-and-flowers dinner this year.

But no better time to lay out some photo galleries of some of the couples at last month’s Australian Open.

A few played mixed doubles together (although not, sadly, Elina and Gaël Monfils).

And several others were out supporting their better half as they competed.

We see plenty of female players and women out supporting their partners. But it was fun to see a couple of well-known ATP players out doing the hard yards in the stands who aren’t named “La Monf'”.

Here’s a sampling of the looooove around Melbourne Park.

Denis Shapovalov and Myriam Bjorklund

The couple, who’ve been a couple for over two years, hadn’t had an opportunity to both compete at a major together until this year.

This Australian Open was the first time Bjorklund (a 23-year-old Swede) has had her ranking up high enough to play the qualifying.

And she seized the moment, going all the way to the final round.

She’s got some game, too.

Here’s Shapovalov – who brought Team Shapo, including new coach Jamie Delgado – along to add to the cheering section for her Grand Slam debut against Conny Perrin of Switzerland.

And here’s Shapovalov, back again as Bjorklund pulled off a comeback win against Aussie Arina Rodionova.

After which he sprinted off, with a practice court booked.

Alex de Minaur and Katie Boulter

Katie Boulter has been injured a fair bit and is working her way back. Once her protected ranking ran out, she had to (and did) qualify at the US Open.

Same situation in Australia. Unfortunately she ran up against a very in-form Emina Bektas in the first round.

But beau Alex de Minaur was on hand to cheer.

Mixed Dubs with the Savilles

Luke Saville and Daria Gavrilova, a longtime Aussie couple, are recent newlyweds.

So Daria is now Daria Saville.

This was their fourth time playing mixed together at the Australian Open, but their first as a married couple.

Unfortunately, they went down to Alexa Guarachi and Tim Puetz in the first round.

Their mixed-doubles record together is spotty at best. They won their debut together, but have now lost four in a row.

Mixed with Czech lovebirds Siniakova and Machac

Katerina Siniakova is a fairly well-known player – a solid singles player and the No. 1 women’s doubles player in the world.

Beau Tomas Machac, at 21, is 4 1/2 years younger than his lady (We stan this concept 100 percent).

He currently stands at a career-high No. 115 in singles after arriving Down Under at No. 143. He won the Traralgon Challenger, and then qualified and made the second round of the Australian Open to boost that up.

So even with his partner’s lofty doubles ranking, they still needed a wild card. And she made a special exception for looooooove; Siniakova rarely actually plays mixed doubles. She knows she’s usually going to make a deep run in the women’s doubles, and of course she still has singles aspirations.

It was only her fourth time ever playing a Slam mixed.

In their debut, they ultimately bowed out to Santiago Gonzalez and Nadiia Kichenok, 7-5, 4-6, [10-7].

(Not gonna lie – these two are awfully cute together).

So maybe the “love thing” didn’t work out incredibly well during the Australian Open, in terms of wins and losses.

Doesn’t mean love means nothing, though (see what we did there?)

Happy “corporate greeting card and rose industry” Day, everyone!

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