Australian Open: Bouchard asked to twirl to show off dress - sexist?
Eugenie Bouchard has become used to close scrutiny as she has risen through the ranks but was dumbfounded when a courtside interviewer demanded she give a “twirl” at the Australian Open.
Most on-court interviews deal with the match and form before getting into some lighter questions, but with Bouchard it was more about what she was wearing.
“Can you give us a twirl and tell us about your outfit?” asked Channel Seven’s male on-court interviewer after her second-round clash late Wednesday.
Earlier, Serena Williams had unveiled a new backless playing dress which she said was designed to send a message about female empowerment. She too had been asked to do a twirl, and reluctantly obliged.
“A twirl?” replied Bouchard, a 20-year-old Wimbledon runner-up, to which the interviewer responded, “A twirl, a pirouette, here we go.”
Bouchard did as requested but later in her post-match media conference said it had been “very unexpected”.
“I mean, yeah, I don’t know. An old guy asking you to twirl, it was funny,” she said.
Williams said she too had not been keen to twirl.
Asked after her match on Thursday whether it was sexist, she replied: “Well, a commentator asked me to twirl. I wouldn’t ask Rafa (Nadal) or Roger (Federer) to twirl.
“Whether it’s sexist or not, I don’t know. I don’t know. I can’t answer that.”
She added that “life is far too short to focus on that”.
“We have so many other problems we want to deal with that we should focus on. Whether I twirl or not, it’s not the end of the world.”
Tennis fans on social media users were not impressed.
One Twitter user asked: “Would men be asked this question?” while another said: “Wish she’d hit him w/ her racket.”
The issue also generated dozens of comments among online editions of Australian newspapers, although not everyone saw it as a problem.
“So you have missed the last 3-4 years where they’ve asked blokes — Nadal in particular — about his fashion choices, right?,” said one comment.
“Geez, is this really the biggest problem we have right now, flattering a pretty girl about her appearance?”
During an-court interview at last year’s Australian Open, Bouchard was asked who her ideal date would be, to which she replied fellow Canadian Justin Bieber.