If you are wandering around Melbourne Park this afternoon and spot Lindsay Davenport catching some Ray Ban Outlet of the action on the back courts, take a closer look. Since arriving in Melbourne a few weeks ago, 27 year old Dutch tourist Liz Veefken has been mistaken for the American so many times that she can't even be bothered correcting people anymore. Veefken first heard people muttering things such as, "Look kids, there's Lindsay", as she strolled the streets, but didn't think much of it. Then, she hopped on a train and was approached by so many people requesting autographs that she had to get off. Veefken has since taken to wearing sunglasses and a cap whenever she goes out, but it hasn't curbed the attention. Sitting at a pub in the city, she signed an autograph for a young girl because she felt too bad to admit that she wasn't really Davenport; another time, an American couple approached her and asked for a photo. "I told them, I'm not Lindsay, but they said, 'That's OK, my brother at home will not know the difference'. So we made the picture anyway." Veefken, who will spend today at the tennis, has a few days left in Melbourne before she and some friends hire a car and drive to Perth for the final leg of her 11 month Australian adventure.
More familiar faces
Speaking of lookalikes, we are not saying that Juan Carlos Ferrero looks like Brisbane Brownlow medallist Jason Akermanis every second of every day. Nor do his press conferences stir up quite as much controversy. Nevertheless, we can see a bit of resemblance. Another celebrity lookalike this week has been Nicolas Escude, who bowed out on Friday against Andre Agassi but would be an absolute frontrunner should Hollywood decide to make a live action version of the D*** Dastardly and Muttley cartoon. There's a bit of Geelong footballer Darren Milburn in the Frenchman, too. Our friend also noticed some resemblance between Swede Magnus Larsson and Kiefer Sutherland, who plays television's most sleep deprived character, Jack Bauer, on 24, but we're not sure we can agree.
A bit of horseplay
Count Anastasia Myskina as living proof that a Russian tennis player can participate in the occasional controversial photo shoot and still make it through to the second week of a grand slam tournament. Off the court, the 21 year old, who Cheap Oakley UK plays Chanda Rubin today, is Ray Ban Aviators most famous for featuring in a GQ magazine photo spread, "Eastern Block Hotties", alongside Daniela Hanuchova and Elena Dementieva late last year. Anastasia appeared naked atop a horse (she wasn't, really, she says, it just looked like she was), with a strategically designed hairstyle a la Lady Godiva. The picture was a hit with Myskina's coach/boyfriend, not so popular with her mother, and a talking point with fellow players. At a tournament in Brazil not long after the magazine came out, Myskina was approached by a curious Kim Clijsters, who just had to know: Was she really naked on that horse?
Serious head, light heart . . .
James Blake wears an unconventional shirt and a spunky hairdo, but otherwise seems a fairly serious young man who has studied at Harvard, enjoys the odd "good hearted debate" with his older brother and parents, and reads biographies. The 23 year old makes a point of balancing such serious affairs with some fun, however, and takes every opportunity to catch up with his schoolmates. "It's a lot of fun to stay in touch with them. We're trying to make it an annual thing that we'll still always go on spring break together," Blake said. "This year, we're trying to make it to Mardi Gras (in Rio). I don't know if my schedule will permit it but we definitely keep in touch and try as hard as we can to see each other whenever we get the chance."
. . . And an ear for music, too
Blake, whose latest literary experiences Ray Ban Aviators have been the Kurt Cobain biography and Stupid White Men, by Michael Moore, also had a recent encounter with Yannick Noah, the flamboyant former French Open champion, who these days is a reggae singer with the band Zam Zam and whose debut album hit No. 5 and went double platinum on the French charts last year. "I actually have a picture with him that I got at the French Open. I got it blown up and framed in my room," Blake said. "I see him over there now for his music videos. That's something that impresses me quite a bit because I have about zero musical ability."
Channel Seven trivia question from Saturday night's broadcast: How many ball kids are at this year's Australian Open: (a) 196, (b) 218 or (c) 226. Answer: 238.