As we end the near of the tournament, the matches are few and far between but the atmosphere and excitement is slowly building.
In our Australian Open column, The Daily Deuce, we reflect on the drama you might have missed on and off the court, as well as the sartorial triumphs and missteps of the sporting elite.
Here’s what captured our attention on day 12…
Your daily dose of cute
We’ve found the world’s biggest Maria Sharapova fan and, no, it’s not Grigor Dimitrov (that’s her boyfriend for those not in the know).
Rather, it’s a Golden Retriever named George.
George really, really loves tennis.
While we’re on the topic of puppies, here’s reigning champion Stanislas Wawrinka with some (for no real reason – do you need one?).
There was a lot of awkward tension and conflict during Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych’s Thursday night semifinal, but nothing was weirder than when Berdych started nibbling on a tennis ball.
We’ll pin in down to first-set stress but, next time, can’t he just break his racquet like normal people?
Speaking of weird behaviour, there’s no doubt tennis players have a host of strange superstitions.
Here are some of the more unusual:
Milos Raonic: wears a sleeve for an injury long gone.
Caroline Wozniacki: only takes the ball from the ballkid on the side she is serving from.
Rafael Nadal: must walk across the Melbourne sign at the end of the court when changing ends.
Novak Djokovic: serves chocolates to media at pre-Australian Open press conferences.
Dominika Cibulkova: sniffs new tennis balls when she receives them.