| By Emilie Katz

 

 

 

 

 

Off the court and into the Octagon
Vania King had an unforgettable few days at a recent UFC event in Las Vegas. It all started on a Friday as she watched the weigh-ins, did a backstage tour and took a few photos in the Octagon and the following day, the American two-time Grand Slam doubles champion watched the fights, even sitting Octagon-side for the action with Dana White, president of the UFC.



 

 

 

 

 

Break point
Ana Ivanovic and new boyfriend Ivan Paunic have already broken up, less than a week after the Serbian press publicized their relationship. There is speculation that the way Paunic spoke about the relationship publicly was a major turnoff to the Serbian tennis player. Ivanovic and Paunic, a Serbian basketball player, had been dating for around three months.

 



 

A new surface
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have added another chapter to the "crazy tennis exhibition match" file. The world's top two players were in Argentina for the retirement festivities for David Nalbandian and found time to play their first ever matches against each other on the South American continent—albeit matches that won't officially count. The match took place on a barge with Argentina's Perito Moreno Glacier serving as an unforgettable backdrop.

 



 

Coaching carousel
Maria Sharapova has announced that she has hired a new coach for the upcoming tennis season. The 26-year-old will be working with Sven Groeneveld who has a reputation for helping to train and coach some of the top female players over the past two decades.

“I’m happy to announce my official partnership with Sven Groeneveld,” Sharapova wrote on Facebook. “We’ve been working together since I got back on the court and after seeing him on the opposing side for so many years, I’m excited to have him become a part of my team. It has been a very seamless transition and I have had a lot of fun with the hard work we have put in so far. Looking forward to the year ahead.”

Groeneveld recently served as a coach and consultant at the Adidas Player Development Program. He most notably has coached Monica Seles, Mary Pierce and Ana Ivanovic.

Former top five player Daniel Hantuchova has named veteran Ricardo Sanchez as her new coach. The 30-year-old Hantuchova has worked with a slew of coaches over the years, most recently, with Eduardo Nicolas. Sanchez has worked with several players, including Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovic.

“We have known each other for years, so the transition has been very natural,” Hantuchova said on Facebook. “I'm looking forward to all the hard work and excited about the work we have already done last week in Spain!”



 

Happy holiday tweets from the stars!
Andrea Petkovic (@andreapetkovic): I just heard "Last Christmas" for the first time this year. Everything goes downhill from here.

►Angelique Kerber (@angeliquekerber): Happy #thanksgiving to all my American fans and friends!!!

►Chris Evert (@chrissieevert): I feel so fat today...:)))) #toomanyhelpings

►Sorana Cirstea (@sorana_cirstea): December tradition ... #HomeAlone

►Jimmy Connors (@jimmyconnors): It's Turkey Day & a lot to be thankful for. Wishing all a great day. For those we love who are with us & those we love who are not.

►Caroline Wozniacki (@carowozniacki): Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends!

►Petra Kvitova (@petra_kvitova): Happy Holidays! Stastne a Vesele!

►Sloane Stephens (@sloanetweets): 13 years later and still baking bread with grandpa … some things will never change! Happy Thanksgiving!

►Ana Ivanovic (‏@anaivanovic): There is something special about this time of year and all Xmas decorations … #familytime

►Victoria Azarenka (‏@vika7): Christmas gift ideas floating around …

What do tennis stars do off the court?!

►Shahar Peer (@shaharpeer): Shopping in NYC has just started!

►Marion Bartoli (@bartoli_marion): Got the amazing honor to meet Mr. Tommy Hilfiger in NYC ! What an experience!

►Maria Kirilenko (@mkirilenko): Lets go Caps!!! @washcaps Well done boys!?? I was almost on the ice today LOL!

►Ana Ivanovic (‏@anaivanovic): Who says it's not good to eat ice cream in winter time?! I say it's still very yummy!!! #happyhappy :)

►Justin Gimelstob (@justingimelstob): Lots of @UCLAFootball pride right now! Go Bruins!

►Andy Roddick ‏(@andyroddick): Hahahaha!! This J Kidd "fake spill" thing is hilarious. Zero chance it was an accident. He leaned into the guy while pretending to look away.

►Ryan Harrison (@ryanharrison92): Anyone else get talked into going to watch the Hunger Games during the second half of the Iron Bowl? Guess it was just me.

►Eugenie Bouchard ‏(@geniebouchard): Wow! What an honor to be named the WTA Newcomer of the Year. Thank you @WTA and everyone who voted for me.