Eugenie Bouchard: 'An old guy asking you to twirl, it was funny,' says Canadian tennis star at centre of Australian Open sexism storm

Bouchard appeared to be unaffected by this week's sexism storm after she was asked to 'do a twirl' by an on-court reporter

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The Independent Online

Eugenie Bouchard was spared any more controversial questions after booking her place in the fourth round of the Australian Open on Friday.

Bouchard's previous win in Melbourne was followed by to accusations of sexism being levelled at Tennis Australia commentator Ian Cohen, who asked the world number seven to "give a twirl" to show off her outfit in an on-court interview.

Serena Williams had also been asked to do the same and 12-time grand slam singles winner Billie-Jean King wrote on Twitter: "The Australian Open interviewer asking the women to 'twirl' on court is out of line.

"This is truly sexist. If you ask the women, you have to ask the guys to twirl as well."

 

Tennis Australia did not immediately respond to requests from Press Association Sport to comment on Cohen's questions, but it was former Australian doubles specialist Todd Woodbridge who interviewed Bouchard following the 20-year-old Canadian's 7-5 6-0 win over France's Caroline Garcia.

Woodbridge stuck strictly to tennis questions, asking Bouchard about the match, returning to Melbourne after reaching the semi-finals last year and her potential opponent in the last 16.

Bouchard had looked slightly bemused by the request to "give a twirl" following her second-round win over Kiki Bertens, admitting in her post-match press conference the question had taken her by surprise.

"It was very unexpected. I mean, yeah, I don't know. An old guy asking you to twirl, it was funny," she said.

Eugenie-Bouchard-3.jpgBouchard insisted she had not been offended by the request to twirl, but was also happy to focus on her performance after a match which featured six breaks of serve in the first eight games.

"I wasn't playing great tennis in the first (set)," Bouchard said. "I feel like she was putting some pressure on me and I really didn't feel like I got a rhythm. But I'm happy that I just kept going. Even if it wasn't going so well, I was able to turn it around.

"I loosened up a bit and started going for my shots and playing my game, which is what I need to do more; probably taking a bit of time away from her stepping in.

"She was playing that way as well. It ended up being first-strike tennis and I did that better in the second."

Caroline-Garcia.jpg
Garcia was unable to stop Bouchard as she went down in straight sets

Bouchard will face Irina-Camelia Begu next after the 24-year-old Romanian beat Germany's Carina Witthoeft in straight sets to reach the fourth round in a grand slam for the first time.

Third seed Simona Halep will take on Yanina Wickmayer after the Belgian beat 14th seed Sara Errani, with 10th seed Ekaterina Makarova up against Germany's Julia Goerges.

PA

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