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Kirilenko avoids exit after taking fashion tip

RUSSIAN glamour girl Maria Kirilenko flirted with disqualification before booking a fourth-round showdown with Serena Williams at the Australian Open.

Kirilenko, who once posed for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, is the poster girl for Stella McCartney, showcasing the designer's latest tennis number at Melbourne Park.

But the 25-year-old found herself in hot water on Saturday when the grand slam supervisor threatened to boot her out of the Open for breaching branding regulations.

The world No.15 and former Open quarter-finalist was ordered to remove the Stella McCartney logo from her visor before taking on Yanina Wickmayer at Hisense Arena.

''They said I couldn't wear that any more, just on the practice court,'' Kirilenko said after overcoming the distraction to beat Wickmayer, the 20th seed, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.

''Actually there were two signs - adidas and Stella McCartney - and they said I'm not allowed to wear two brands on the same visor.


''I don't know [why], but I played two matches with that [already] and nobody tell me until today. It's good that I had a bandanna in my bag, so I was fine to play.''

More of a concern for Kirilenko is Williams, who has lost just once in the past seven months and boasts a 5-0 head-to-head record against the Russian. Asked what she would need to win on Monday, Kirilenko pulled no punches.

''Play over the net, everything on the lines,'' she said. ''Every time serve aces and return winners and then I'm going to win this match. She's on fire now. She's winning everything. It's tough to say what kind of match this is.

''It's going to be, of course, a difficult match, hopefully for both of us. I'm playing well as well. We will see.''