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AUSTRALIAN OPEN SCENE: Love in the air at Djokovic match

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic took a break from his tennis match Saturday to applaud a marriage proposal in the stands.

“It’s nice to see this moment,” Djokovic said, after advancing to the fourth round of the Australian Open. “I’m sure he was very happy when she said yes.”

At the end of the second set, Djokovic and his opponent, Fernando Verdasco, were seated on their benches when a stir erupted in the crowd at Rod Laver Arena. The capacity crowd of 15,000 watched on giant courtside screens as a man offered the woman beside him a ring, and she said yes.

The crowd applauded, as did Djokovic from his courtside chair.

He later said it wasn’t the first marriage proposal to occur during one of his matches.

“I think it happened maybe once prior to this match in my whole career that someone proposed,” he said.

“It’s one of these moments you remember forever. Not just for them, but for everybody who was there.”

By Jocelyn Gecker — http://twitter.com/jgecker

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COURTSIDE CORRECTION: Do not call Victoria Azarenka — Vicky.

After winning her third-round match at the Australian Open, Azarenka seized the opportunity to correct her fans.

“I love playing in front of you guys,” Azarenka said into the microphone during her on-court interview.

“One thing I don’t know (is) why everybody keeps calling me Vicky, but Vicky is not my name,” said the two-time Australian Open champion. “It’s Vika, Victoria, V, those are goes. Vicky is not my name.”

The crowd laughed and applauded, and one lone voice was heard shouting out “Vicky!!”

A word to Azarenka about the local vernacular: In Australia, where just about everyone and everything has a nickname, Victorias are often known as Vicky.

By Jocelyn Gecker — http://twitter.com/jgecker

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OUCH: The ball boy is standing at attention, hands behind his back, when along comes a speeding serve by Feliciano Lopez. OUCH, and the boy doubles over.

A video making the rounds on YouTube has made the boy a minor celebrity, Lopez said after winning his third-round match Saturday, two days after the incident.

“He became very famous with his mates at school. Everybody was watching the video,” Lopez said.

The ball-boy was hit in the groin during Lopez’s second-round match. During his day off between rounds, Lopez went to find him, bearing gifts.

“I just wanted to apologize and to make him happy for a while,” he said. “I gave him a T-shirt and a wristband from the match.”

Lopez said the ball boy recovered quickly. “He was OK, after five, six minutes.”

By Jocelyn Gecker — http://twitter.com/jgecker

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TOWELING OFF: American Madison Brengle has never played better at a Grand Slam, and that means more towels for her mother.

“My mom is obsessed with the towels,” Brengle said, referring to the ones players use to dry off during matches at the Australian Open.

After Brengle advanced to the fourth round with a win over Coco Vandeweghe, she recounted a typical conversation with her mother, Gaby, who is back in the U.S.

“Did you get another towel?” she said, replaying the conversation. “‘Mom, I won.’ She’s like, ‘But the towels.’ So, all right, got our priorities straight.”

“I’m trying to get as many towels as I can,” she said. “So I have to try to keep winning.”

By Justin Bergman — http://twitter.com/justinb3rg

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SCALING BACK: Milos Raonic weighs less in the morning. About 2 kilos (4 to 5 pounds) less than later in the day.

The 24-year-old Canadian is noticeably slimmer at this year’s Australian Open and said Saturday he shedded the weight at the end of last year.

The precise amount depends on what time of day he weighs himself.

“If you ask me right now, after I ate a sandwich, probably four kilos (8 pounds). If you ask me first thing in the morning probably six (13 pounds),” said Raonic, who advanced to the fourth round after beating Benjamin Becker. “I tend to fluctuate two kilos, plus or minus.”

Raonic didn’t specify his current weight, but the ATP Tour lists the 1.96-meter (6-foot-5) player as 98 kilograms (216 pounds).

By Jocelyn Gecker — http://twitter.com/jgecker

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SERENA’S PICK: Serena Williams says she likes all the top men’s players, but she wants to see Andy Murray win.

Williams said she typically supports all the top guys — No. 1 Novak Djokovic, No. 2 Roger Federer, No. 3 Rafael Nadal, Murray and defending champion No. 4 Stan Wawrinka.

Federer is no longer in the running, after losing in the third round. Williams says she is quietly cheering for Murray, whom she played against in mixed doubles at an exhibition recently.

“I like Andy’s attitude,” she said, marveling at his net skills.

“I have a whole new appreciation for his game. He had great hands,” said Williams, adding she wasn’t so bad herself. “But I was able to return his serve pretty well.”

By Jocelyn Gecker — http://twitter.com/jgecker

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Australian Open Scene follows tennis’ Grand Slam tournament in Melbourne as seen by journalists from The Associated Press. It is updated throughout the day.

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