Alex Ovechkin is keeping busy even though there is no NHL season yet. The Washington Capitals star got engaged to Russian tennis player Maria Kirilenko after more than a year of dating.
The 27-year-old Alex Ovechkin announced the engagement on Twitter from Russia, where he is playing in Moscow. With the NHL in a lockout that has dragged into the fourth month of the season, Ovechkin returned to his native Russia to play and be with his fiance.
Over the summer, Ovechkin was a constant presence at Maria Kirilenko’s matches, USA Today notes. He cheered her on at the French Open, Wimbledon, and the 2012 London Olympics.
Dating Alex Ovechkin has been good for Maria Kirilenko’s career. This was a career year for her, as she hit No. 12 on the WTA rankings, the highest of her career. She also advanced to the semifinals at both Wimbledon and the London Olympics and then ended the year with her best year-end ranking ever, No. 14.
Alex Ovechkin may be coming back to the United States soon. The NHL and NHL Players Association have re-started dialogue on reaching a deal to end the NHL lockout. With January 11 looming as a drop-dead date to save the season, both sides were meeting on New Year’s Day to try to avoid losing the entire season.
In September, before the NHL season was derailed by the lockout, Alex Ovechkin talked about how much he enjoyed being a partner to Maria Kirilenko, the Washington Post noted.
“We have a good relationship,” Alex Ovechkin said. “It’s always nice to have that kind of person around you. It’s good.”