Male interviewer asks Eugenie Bouchard to ‘give us a twirl’ after match (video)
A profoundly uncomfortable and arguably inappropriate incident during the Australian Open involving Ian Cohen, a male presenter, and Eugenie Bouchard has ignited accusations of sexism at the prestigious tennis tournament.
After Bouchard, the seventh-ranked female tennis player in the world, easily defeated Kiki Bertens 6-0, 6-3, an on-court, post-match interview was conducted by a gentlemen who in light of his bizarre line of questioning is now at the center of a burgeoning controversy.
Cohen opened up the interview addressing how Bouchard tweeted that she like the outfit that Serena Williams wore for her match the previous day. “She was kind enough to give us a twirl,” Cohen, who originally asked Williams to twirl, noted. He then posed the same question to the 20-year-old Canadian.
“Can you give us a twirl?” he asked.
“A twirl?” Bouchard replied, clearly uncomfortable with such a strange, out-of-place request.
“A twirl, like a pirouette, here you go,” Cohen clarified.
Despite appearing quite embarrassed, Bouchard complied before covering her face with her hands, eliciting cheers and hoots from the crowd.
Bouchard discussed the surrealistic scene during her post-match press conference.
“It was very unexpected,” she said, via the New York Post. “I don’t know, an old guy asking you to twirl. It was funny.”
Accusations of sexism — arguably fairly — immediately began to light up social media.
Williams, after being posed the same question on the court, also addressed the incident, saying she wouldn’t make the same request of a male tennis player.
“I wouldn’t ask Rafa (Nadal) or Roger (Federer) to twirl,” Williams said. “I didn’t really want to twirl because I was just like, you know, I don’t need all the extra attention.”
Williams nevertheless tried to steer clear of speaking definitively on whether or not the request is sexist in nature.
“Life is far too short to focus on that,” she said. “Whether I twirl or not, it’s not the end of the world.”
How this story evolves from this point forward remains to be seen, but it’s certain “TwirlGate” will be a topic of discussion throughout the rest of the Australian Open.