Sportress of Blogitude


Eugenie Bouchard’s solution to ‘Twirlgate’ controversy: Ask the guys to flex


Eugenie Bouchard is not only one of best women’s tennis players on tour, she is a sage and savvy problem-solver.

Events at the Australian Open this week haven’t been only about the world’s best tennis players competing in one of the highest-profile tournaments in the world. Instead, discussions about and allegations of sexism and what constitutes appropriate conduct by interviewers has become a primary talker.

It all began when Bouchard, a blonde, photogenic and attractive 20-year-old Canadian tennis player who currently is ranked seventh in the world, was asked by an older male presenter to “give us a twirl” to show off her tennis outfit following a win.

Bouchard, who later said she was “not offended” by what occurred — although she was clearly taken aback at the time by such a bizarre suggestion —  nevertheless complied, acting awkwardly embarrassed afterward.

After the match during her press conference, Bouchard said, “It was very unexpected. I don’t know, an old guy asking you to twirl. It was funny.”

Meanwhile, pundits, fans and others immediately spoke out, making accusations that such a question was clearly inappropriate and markedly sexist in nature. Among those speaking out were Serena Williams (although she preferred to not really get involved) and legend Billie Jean King, who hammered the conduct of the interviewer.

“This is truly sexist,” King wrote on Twitter, via the New York Post. “Let’s focus on competition and accomplishments of both genders, and not our looks.”

Bouchard, instead of fanning the flames of the slow-burning scandal, now is attempting to downplay the entire kerfuffle, suggesting that to make it fair the men should be asked to something, too.

“I think it was just kind of funny,” she said Friday. “I’m fine with being asked to twirl if they ask the guys to flex their muscles.”

She even took to Twitter to put it all, in a humorous manner, in its proper perspective.

“My friends are texting me, saying I dance and twirl well and stuff, as jokes,” she said. “It’s just funny how it’s taken a life of its own. I’m just going to try to focus on my tennis.”

Given she is on her way into the fourth round at the Aussie Open, the Wimbledon runner-up may have the right idea.

(photo credit: AFP)