By Nick Georgandis
Russian sweethearts Alex Ovechkin and Maria Kirilenko announced their engagement on Monday in the most romantic way possible: via Twitter.
Kirilenko, ranked 14th in the world, was all smiles in a picture taken while skiing with Ovechkin, captain of the NHL's Washington Capitals, who is currently playing in Moscow during the pro hockey league's seemingly endless lockout.
It accompanied Ovechkin's tweet - "We're engaged!!!! ))))" - which, I guess means Ovechkin has no idea how to make smiley faces on a computer.
No one is more anxious for the NHL lockout to end than Ovechkin, who signed a 13-year, $124 million contract with the Washington franchise in 2008 - that's $9 milliion on the table for this season, which was supposed to start October 11, 2012.
Hopefully Ovechkin has been saving wisely, otherwise he'll have to ask for walking around money in the short term from his new fiancee, who made a cool $1.327 million of her own in 2012 following a highly successful 33-23 singles season.
Speaking of athletic couples potentially trending towards marriage, golfer Rory McIlroy was on hand to see Caroline Wozniacki embarassed in the first round of the Brisbane International by world No. 103 Ksenia Pervak.
After the loss, Wozniacki continued to deny she was engaged to McIlroy, despite the fact that she is wearing a diamond ring on her wedding finger.
"It was a Christmas present and it fit on this finger," she said. "I put it on, and all of a sudden I hear that I'm engaged. I'm not. It's already twice we've had to shut down engagement rumours.
Wozniacki has become the Roy Hobbs of the WTA -- amazingly successful until she started publicly seeing a good-looking member of the opposite sex. In "The Natural", Robert Redford's Hobbs is the greatest hitter in the league until he starts seeing socialite Kim Basinger, going into a massive slump that has him miserable professionally, but happy when he's off the field.
Wozniacki first revealed she was dating McIlroy after winning New Haven in 2011. Since then she is winning at a pedestrian rate of 59-28 (.678), meaning she gets to about the third round of every tournament, and has won two titles -- the 470-point Moscow in October 2012 and the 280-point Seoul in September 2012. She has not made it past the third round of a Grand Slam since last year's Australian Open and lost in the first round of last year's Wimbledon and US Open fields.