Maria Sharapova Breaks from Tennis – for Penguins!

Courtesy Maria Sharapova

updated 01/11/2012 AT 2:00 PM ET

originally published 01/11/2012 AT 4:00 PM ET

Before getting into the thick of the Australian Open, which begins next week, Maria Sharapova got into a different kind of frenzy – with penguins!

The tennis pro visited with both Gentoo and King penguins at the Melbourne Aquarium on Monday, but the trip wasn’t all play.

“It took me 30 minutes to get them all together for a picture,” she shared on Facebook. “Stubborn little things!”

The animal lover, who’s mom to a Pomeranian named Dolce, was enchanted by the flightless birds. “They are so fascinating to watch,” she said, “the way they jump from the water to the rock, and from the rock back into the water is worth a visit alone.”

Since the aquarium welcomed seven Gentoo chicks in in December, Sharapova had every opportunity to get her cute fix for the week. Sadly, her cuddle companion, Dolce, is back at home in L.A. while she competes.

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