It’s the questionable artwork that had the entire Australian Open talking. Now American Frances Tiafoe has revealed the story behind the phallic drawing that has stumped fans.
Anyone paying close attention to the American contingent at Melbourne Park probably has one big question after three days of action.
What’s with the locks?
After their wins, a host of American players have been signing the broadcast cameras by drawing a “lock” on the screen.
Now we finally have answers.
Frances Tiafoe has explained exactly what is going on inside Team USA, taking credit for starting the trend that caught fire during the United Cup.
“It’s the whole thing with the United Cup guys. Just staying locked in,” he said after his round two win.
“I made a joke about it with the guys, the United Cup asking them before the march, ‘are you locked?’
“I’ve been kind of living by that for a little bit.
“I think you’ve seen the shift in myself in being more, you know, just locked in everything you’re doing, staying super present, staying in the moment, staying locked in.
“It’s funny coming from me because everyone knows how I go about my business.
“I’m very, you know, open and just joking around. When I’m saying it, it just sounds funny. So then it became a thing where if Frances can lock, everyone has got to lock. That’s kind of, like, how it all came around.”
But not all locks are created equally, as Team USA United Cup member Taylor Fritz found out on Tuesday.
The No.8 seed drew a picture on that camera that was certainly not safe for work.
And Tiafoe didn’t miss it, roasting his teammate for his lack of artistic skills.
“It’s funny because they’re all saying it,” he said.
“Fritz’s dumb arse drew a penis the other day trying to draw a lock sign. That’s Fritz being Fritz.”
MUSCLEMANIA: INSANE PHOTO THAT HAS ENTIRE AUS OPEN TALKING
It is the Australian Open photo blowing up social media.
Marton Fucsovics and his shirtless celebration exposed the sort of muscles mostly saved for a Chris Hemsworth movie.
But it isn’t just the fans who are buzzing.
Even tournament contender Daniil Medvedev is paying attention.
Medvedev was asked about his own muscles following his win over Aussie John Millman and quickly knew exactly where master interviewer Jim Courier was heading.
“A lot of people saw on social media photos of Martin after his match,” he said with a smile.
“I think (I have) just a little bit less muscles than him. So it was also to laugh about myself because I must see the photo. I do think I have a little bit of muscles but definitely not too much.”
For those unfamiliar with Medvedev, the difference in muscles is similar to the difference in world ranking between the pair.
Medvedev is number seven and Fucsovics is number 78.
AUSSIE KUBLER WINS MARATHON RALLY OF TOURNAMENT
It was the break point rally that left Melbourne Park speechless.
But this wasn’t about brute force or power hitting. This was a war of attrition.
Local hope Jason Kubler had one foot out of the tournament when No.18 seed Karen Khachanov stepped up to serve for a two-set lead in their night three match.
However, the Aussie fighter had other ideas, battling his way to a break point.
What happened next had to be seen to be believed.
Kubler and Khachanov engaged in a ridiculous 70-shot rally which had everything you might expect from half a set rather than one point.
And the end was almost perfect. With nothing able to separate the two, Kubler secured the point and the break when his final shot clipped the net cord and just rolled over.
Talk about a momentum swinger. The 29-year-old then broke Khachanov in his next service game to steal the set, almost blowing the roof off John Cain Arena in the process.
The longest rally in tournament play was one of 643 times over the net between Vicky Nelson and Jean Hepner at Richmond, VA in October 1984.
STAR’S UMPIRE THREAT TO RIVAL OVER HAND GESTURE
Maria Sakkari was less than impressed with a hand gesture and continual screaming her opponent on Margaret Court Arena so much so she threatened to call the event umpire.
Having dropped the first set against Russian Diana Shnaider, Sakkari was understandably rattled but the continual screams and fist pumps left her infuriated.
“If she screams one more time, one more time in my face,” Sakkari said to the chair umpire.
“If she screams one more time in my face, I’m going to call the referee.”
In a bid to calm the situation, the chair umpire insisted the screams and fistbumps were not aimed at the Greek.
“I don’t think it’s to you,” he said.
Sakkari was having none of it.
“No, no, no,” she said. “She’s coming towards me.”
In fairness to Shnaider she had just held serve from 0-40 and saved 3 set points so a fair few reasons to fist pump.
Sakkari won through to round three which brought with it a huge sigh of relief from the Netflix crew given the absolute massacre of their stars in the early rounds.
When asked about why the russian’s behaviour had irritated her so much, Sakkari said: “I think that, you know, during a match you can be very pumped or, you know, the way that some players celebrate their points, it’s not appropriate.
“I wasn’t happy with that. But, you know, she never did it again. That was very nice of her, so it was, yeah, that was it.”
$269 TOTE BAG: AUS OPEN MERCH RORT REVEALED
Last year the average daily spend per tennis fan travelling to the Australian Open was listed at $259 in the tournament’s tourism facts.
Clearly, those visitors to Melbourne didn’t shop at the Ralph Lauren pop-up shop at the precinct.
The brightly-painted orange and blue cubicle has once again been filled with glamorous items clipped with price tags that make your eyes water.
Let’s start with headwear.
A visor will set you back $68, caps are $89-99 (these can be personally embroidered!) and bucket hats go for $129.
White women’s blazers carry a $499 tag — but if you want the men’s jacket it’s more than double that at $1199.
After reading that you think it’s time for a drink then you’re in luck … or out of luck, depending on the size of your wallet.
Water bottles go for $99 and if you want a tote bag to carry all of your new Australian Open-inspired luxury merch then you’ll probably need to whip out a credit card. A platinum one, preferably.
Tote bags go for $269 – more than plenty of tennis racquets – while if you want to upgrade to the added security of a small backpack then you’re looking at $449.
You’d think those in the market for a $269 tote bag probably aren’t attending the tennis on a groundpass, and combining that purchase with Rod Laver Arena tickets starting at $99 on Wednesday, plus perhaps a couple of $13 beers and $20 feed, and that’s a pretty pricey day.
There is *some* relief for those who wander over to the official AO store.
AO tote bags go for $8.
Just don’t dress up like a ballkid because their Ralph Lauren jackets are north of $400 ($419 men, $409 women) and their shorts $319.
Originally published as Australian Open: Frances Tiafoe reveals truth behind phallic ‘lock’ drawing