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or should this thread be called "Twirlgate"?


Eugenie Bouchard says it's time to stop talking about 'Twirlgate'

Billie Jean King adds to torrent of criticism after Bouchard asked to 'give us a twirl' after match


Bouchard asked to 'twirl' by on-court presenter

CloseEugenie Bouchard breezes into Australian Open 3rd round

Eugenie Bouchard breezes into Australian Open 3rd round 0:47

Eugenie Bouchard — the unwitting protagonist of an Australian Open saga that has been dubbed "Twirlgate" — would prefer if people just focused on her tennis.

For the record, Bouchard said Friday she was "not offended" by the male interviewer who asked her to twirl for the crowd earlier in the week.

"I think it was just kind of funny," the Wimbledon runner-up said after advancing to the fourth round in Melbourne. "I'm fine with being asked to twirl if they ask the guys to flex their muscles."

This is not the first time the Australian Open has offered up a headline-grabbing sideshow that has nothing to do with tennis.

In previous years, two-time champion Victoria Azarenka's former boyfriend, the rap star Redfoo who was a regular front-row fixture, got as much press as she did. In 2011, former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki told a colourful tale about getting into a fight with a kangaroo and showed a scratch to prove it. She later retracted the story, saying she had bumped into a treadmill but wanted to spice up a dull news conference.

This year, the season's opening Grand Slam tournament has Twirlgate, a term being used by Australian media and as a hashtag on Twitter.

It started Wednesday when Bouchard, one of the rising stars of women's tennis, was asked by a male interviewer to "give us a twirl" and show off her tennis dress after winning her second-round match. Noticeably embarrassed, Bouchard complied with a laugh and later said, "it was very unexpected."

'This is truly sexist,' tennis legend says

Social media erupted with chatter. Some called it sexist, some questioned whether a male player would be asked to twirl after winning a match, and some dismissed the debate, saying they didn't feel sorry for a highly-paid athlete being asked to twirl.

Billie Jean King added to the chorus of criticism.

"This is truly sexist," tweeted King, an 11-time Grand Slam winner and a longtime campaigner for equal rights in tennis. "Let's focus on competition and accomplishments of both genders, and not our looks."


Eugenie Bouchard celebrates after winning her singles third round match at the Australian Open. She says she wants to focus on tennis, not twirling. (Issei Kato/Reuters)

The 20-year-old Bouchard, a 5-10 photogenic blonde, has become one of tennis's newest cover girls. She won the Wimbledon juniors' title in 2012 and has made rapid progress ever since. She reached the semifinals at last year's Australian and French Opens followed by the Wimbledon final which ushered her into the No. 7-ranking — the highest ever for a Canadian player.

Bouchard won her third-round match Friday, beating Caroline Garcia of France 7-5, 6-0. After a few questions on tennis, her post-match news conference turned to the twirl.

"I was waiting for this one," Bouchard said, smiling.

Players typically say that during big tournaments they try to stay away from newspapers and limit their time on social media to keep their minds on the game. But Bouchard said she was aware that the incident had caused a stir.

"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."

She raised her eyebrows when asked if this was a deja vu of an embarrassing question she faced last year, when an on-court interviewer asked her which celebrity she'd most like to date.

"You mean the Bieber question?" she said. Her answer at the time had been fellow Canadian Justin Bieber. "I don't know. They try to ask funny questions. It's entertaining, I guess. I don't mind it."

But she added that it would be nice to move on.

"I'm happy that I've played three solid matches here," Bouchard said, "and we could definitely be a little bit more focused on that."


NorthReport wrote:

or should this thread be called "Twirlgate"?

Yes, or "Sexism in Tennis" "Sexism in Sports"... something descriptive of why you're posting the topic; why we should care.

Why would you just call it "Tennis"? Do you have no other opinion on the article you posted?

PS: you've quoted an entire article again.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

It's not directly tennis-related, but I do notice a concerted effort by sports media (not sports "reporting") to basically fabricate news of their own choosing. Then they endlessly report on a story that they themselves have constructed.

I've seen it in NFL reporting leading up to the Super Bowl. (inflated? under-inflated football? blah blah). I've seen it in endless needling of Toronto ML hockey players in their recent lack of success (trying to provoke an outburst) and, last year, with the former Canucks head coach, John Tortorella, who had a testy relationship with MSM "reporters"in which the latter endlessly grilled him over idiotic minutae.

The MSM really do fabricate and construct their own narratives. These are inane, often stupid stories that are kept alive by the endless repetition of certain talking points, much like picking a scab or voyeuristically gawking at a car crash, while more important stories lie univestigated, unresearched, and unloved.


ikosmos wrote:

I've seen it in endless needling of Toronto ML hockey players in their recent lack of success


Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture


On Sunday, a day after the match, the tournament referee’s office docked Williams $10,000 for “verbal abuse” of chair umpire Carlos Ramos, $4,000 for being warned for coaching and $3,000 for breaking her racket.

The money comes out of her prize money of $1.85 million as the runner-up to Osaka

Wowzers!  That's nearly one whole percent of her winnings!

I'm sure she'll be sobbing inconsolably into her "Senor Ramen" noodles -- the only thing she could possibly afford to eat with the mere 1.83 million left.

Not to tell you how to do your job, NorthReport, but some seem to think this is a sexist conspiracy to punish Williams' ovaries.  Would you like to post a link to someone commenting on that?  Otherwise, this is like Elon Musk getting a $50 parking ticket.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

This is not the first time Williams whined and took a fit over losing a match. It won't be the last. I didn't watch the game but I have read a lot from those who did and they unanimously say she was beaten handily. Williams is always finding some excuse for her defeats. Maybe she should grow up,accept that defeat is part of sports and is not above or beneath anyone,collect her money and move on.

This is a phony conspiracy and feigned outrage from fanboys and girls.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

This is a phony conspiracy and feigned outrage from fanboys and girls.

I'm sure that those who feel this was a purely sexist thing wouldn't appreciate being called girls.  And those who suggest it's actually racism might not want to be called "(fan) boys"

But I don't actually disagree.  It's not like the match hinged on this one call.  Davy beat Goliath, only with different sexes.  No tantrum is going to change that.