Mediterranean man Baghdatis hooked to lamb (Australian Open notebook)

January 22nd, 2009 - 5:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Jan 22 (DPA) The Australian Open diet of Marcos Baghdatis’s choice certainly breaks a few training rules with the Cypriot unable to resist lashings of Greek food.Team Baghdatis has visited a Greek deli on Melbourne’s elite shopping-and-eating Chapel Street at least three times, according to the gossip press.

Local media reported the 2006 finalist and his coach have treated themselves to dishes including spit-roasted lamb and the melted cheese delight of saganaki - hardly the food of champions.

The healthy option seems to be the seafood platter in the city with the biggest Greek population outside Athens.

Mediterranean man Baghdatis is not the only major player with a taste for Aussie lamb. Serena Williams apparently managed to secure a takeaway on souvlaki as well early in the week.

But it seems that Mexican food is the flavour of choice for some with the Fiesta restaurant just around the corner of trendy Toorak Road - made famous by regular visits from Andre Agassi - the preferred sustenance provider for Andy Murray, Roger Federer and girlfriend Mirka, plus Lleyton Hewitt.

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Serena the shopper buys from boutique bargain rack

Hard economic times have not come down too hard on Serena Williams with the second seed making a lightning raid on a Chapel Street boutique.

But the world number two might have tipped her hand that even she might be feeling the heat as she bought a pair of items from a rack filled with merchandise marked down to half-price.

Nevertheless, the reported tab - a snip at 300 dollars - came after a 20-minute browse with her mother, Oracene Price. The pair didn’t even require the store to be closed to other customers, happily mingling with the other punters also present inside.

Williams declared that she has been cutting on her multimillion-dollar lifestyle: “I have been keeping my shopping at a minimum with this economy thing. I’ve had to make major cutbacks, me and my [fashion] company.”

But Williams, who was loaned a bit of necklace bling worth hundreds of thousands of dollars for a few days last week in Sydney, isn’t all about the economising.

“You have to live your life,” she said. “I love giving, so I love philanthropy. I just have been trying to do a lot with that more lately.”

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