Eugenie Bouchard not "offended" by being asked to twirl
But Canadian says there shouldn't be a double standard
Rafael Nadal was asked to bare his chest before 'Twirlgate'
The aftermath of ‘Twirlgate’ rumbled on at the Australian Open on Friday, with Canadian star Eugenie Bouchard saying she was fine with being asked to twirl – if men were asked to “flex their muscles and stuff.”
Following her second-round victory over Kiki Bertens on Wednesday, a male interviewer had asked the 20-year-old Bouchard for a twirl.
Cue uproar on social media.
As it turns out, Bouchard’s request for greater equality had already been granted before she pirouetted on court.
In a video posted on the Australian Open’s website dated January 19, 14-time grand slam winner Rafael Nadal – known partly for his muscular physique – was asked to bare his chest.
The question came not from a man or woman, but from what looked like a tablet device as part of a series where tennis players are quizzed on various subjects as they are driven around Melbourne in a car manufactured by one of the event’s sponsors.
The exact question to Nadal was this: “Females love when you take your top off. Can you do it now?”
“I have to do it now?” replied Nadal, who was sitting beside his public relations manager.
He then took off his sweatshirt and began to take off his t-shirt before leaving it on.
“I am joking,” he said with a smile as the t-shirt stayed on.
Nadal’s interview hasn’t attracted much attention, but Billie Jean King, the 12-time grand slam winner and longtime advocate for equality, took note of the question to Bouchard – and was less than amused.
And in a tweet posted Thursday, King wrote: “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. Let’s focus on competition and accomplishments of both genders and not our looks.”
Amid the controversy Bouchard retained her trademark cool after ousting Caroline Garcia Friday.
“Personally, I’m not offended,” Bouchard said. “No, I think it was an in-the-moment thing and it was funny. But, yeah, I mean, it’s just funny how it’s taken a life of its own.
“I’m just going to try to focus on my tennis.”