Ovechkin learns lots about tennis thanks to bronze-medal winning girlfriend


Alex Ovechkin didn’t know anything about tennis before he started dating Maria Kirilenko, but that’s something that’s changed over the course of their relationship.

He attended all of Kirilenko’s matches over the summer, including her bronze medal doubles victory in the 2012 Summer Olympics. In addition to that, he’s taken up the sport.

“Tennis helps me a lot to be in good shape,” Ovechkin told CSNWashington. “When you’re not practicing and eating food and watching you get out of shape. But I was always running and moving when I played.”

Ovechkin and Kirilenko have been seeing each other since early last season, although their respective professional careers have made that a long-distance relationship at times.

“We were always on the phone or on Skype,” Ovechkin said. “[Later in the season] three times she come here, so she was here a lot. It’s good. It’s the kind of relationship I like.”

Meanwhile, Ovechkin is waiting to see what will happen in the NHL’s ongoing CBA talks. He’s already said that he’ll play in the KHL if there’s a lockout.