If you haven't heard of Eugenie Bouchard, it might be time to know who she is. The 19-year-old Canadian knocked off 14th-seeded Ana Ivanovic Tuesday in the women's quarterfinals of Australian Open and will next face Li Na in the semifinals, putting her just two wins away from her first major title.
However, it's a shame that the first way you'll hear about her is probably via this interview:
Yes, Eugenie Bouchard would date Justin Bieber. Although I am not personally a Belieber, I think that's a pretty reasonable response from someone who, like Bieber, is a 19-year-old Canadian -- although it was met with joking boos from the fans in Melbourne.
I think the real question is, considering this woman has just reached the semifinals of a major event, her biggest achievement ever, why the hell are we asking her who she wants to date? The Australian interviewer makes it seem as if this is a begrudging question somebody else wanted her to ask, which somehow makes this even worse. Bouchard, of course, is embarrassed.
It turns out, you see, that Bouchard is quite pretty. This does not make her unique, in that many talented athletes of both genders are young and good-looking. However, because she's female, this apparently needs to be the predominant lens through which we see her.
That seems kind of unfair to the "being good at whole tennis" thing, which is why we're supposedly talking about her in the first place. Sure, there's a cottage industry in delving into the private lives of male athletes, but usually it's a footnote, and not the first thing we need to hit you over the head with. (Of course, there's the famous Katherine Webb exception.) But we'd never ask a male athlete this same question in this same scenario. We just wouldn't, and you can't act like we ever would.
I guess my point is if we're going to force a woman to talk about her celebrity crush, can't we wait until slightly after the greatest athletic accomplishment of her life?
I suppose in my dream world, sports players in postgame interviews were allowed to talk about the sports they just played, like this guy tried to. But we obviously don't live in my dream world.