Russia’s Maria Kirilenko confessed Wednesday that seeing her boyfriend Alex Ovechkin in the stands spurred her on to victory at the Kremlin Cup.
The world No. 16 reached the second round of the singles and quarterfinal of the doubles on Wednesday, all under the gaze of the Washington Capitals star.
“Of course I’m happy that my boyfriend comes and supports me," said Kirilenko. "It boosts my emotions.”
“A lot of my relatives and friends, who usually watch me playing on TV, come to the stands."
Ovechkin and Kirilenko began dating last year, and have been photographed often in public including at the London Olympics over the summer.
Ovechkin is in Russia playing his hockey for Dynamo Moscow for the duration of the lockout. By dropping in on Kirilenko, he was returning the favor after she visited him at a few recent hockey games in the capital.
Kirilenko beat Elena Vesnina on Wednesday and faces Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova in the next round of the $740,000 event.