AUSTRALIAN OPEN SCENE: Bouchard’s song requests

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Eugenie Bouchard appreciates the creativity of her personal cheering section, a group of (mostly) male fans called the Genie Army.

So much so, she notices when they’ve added a new song to their repertoire.

Clad in red-and-white T-shirts spelling `G-E-N-I-E’, the group serenades Bouchard during her matches at the Australian Open with pop songs they’ve recast with references about her.

Her personal favorite is a song based on the 1980s Buster Poindexter hit, ”Hot, Hot, Hot” – the lyrics go, ”Genie’s hot, hot, hot” – but she has also been impressed by a new song this year set to Ricky Martin’s ”Livin’ La Vida Loca.”

”When I hear a new one, I’m like, `Oh, that’s nice. They’ve been working hard. Good to see I’m not the only one working hard,”’ she said Sunday after her fourth-round win over Irina-Camelia Begu.

Now she wants to know if they take requests.

”I really want them to start singing some Taylor Swift,” she said. ”I’ll be really motivated if they do that.”

By Justin Bergman —

MULTILINGUAL MARIA: Behind a steely facade, Maria Sharapova sometimes scolds herself in different languages.

Earlier in the tournament, No. 2-ranked Sharapova was complimented by an on-court interviewer for having a poker face while she plays.

But on Sunday, the interviewer posed a follow-up question and asked Sharapova what goes through her mind when she plays a bad point.

”It’s really bad,” Sharapova said after winning her fourth-round match to set up a quarterfinal against No. 7 Eugenie Bouchard.

”I look really calm but inside I’m like, `What are you doing!’ I’m yelling in a couple languages,” she said with a laugh.

”It’s not pretty. Maybe it looks calm on the outside but I’m boiling (inside),” she said.

By Jocelyn Gecker —

TENNIS FIRST: He hasn’t quite matched Li Na’s achievements yet, but for the Chinese men, it’s a start.

Zhang Ze became the first man from mainland China to win a Grand Slam match on Sunday when he partnered with Taiwan’s Chang Kai-chen for a first-round mixed doubles victory at the Australian Open.

”I really wanted to get the win in singles, but mixed doubles also is good,” said Zhang, who lost his first-round singles match to Australian veteran Lleyton Hewitt this week.

Zhang’s celebrity is already on the rise. He was met by an overflow crowd of Chinese journalists at his post-match news conference and received a round of applause.

Does he think his match got as much attention back home as Li’s historic win?

”Of course,” he joked. ”Because I’m famous.”

By Justin Bergman —

Australian Open Scene follows tennis’ Grand Slam tournament in Melbourne as seen by journalists from The Associated Press. It is updated throughout the day.