Fresh off the biggest accomplishment of her career, Eugenie Bouchard marked her historic run to the Wimbledon final by answering a series of embarrassing off-topic questions.
After becoming the first Canadian to reach a Grand Slam final, the 20-year-old from Westmount, Que., was asked whether she thinks pop star Justin Bieber will notice her performance.
It was enough to make every sports fan in Canada groan.
But like the deft athlete she is, Bouchard fired a return volley ripe with humour.
“I hope so,” she said. “I’m putting in so much hard work. I want to see this hard work rewarded.”
The connection with Bieber goes back to the Australian Open in January. Bouchard was asked during an on-court interview — one that will likely haunt her for the rest of her life — who she would like to go on a date with. Sheepishly, she answered with Bieber. He responded days later with a tweet wishing her good luck.
Asked on Thursday if she had kept in touch with the Biebs, Bouchard kept rolling with the punches.
“You know, he’s kind of been in trouble recently,” she said. “I’m not associated with that at the moment. But if he cleans up his image … No? Someone is shaking their head no.”
Does she think Biebs is worthy of sitting in the Royal Box at the All England Club’s Centre Court?
“He’s not?” she responded. “They really wouldn’t allow him in the Royal Box if he came? I feel like he would manage to get himself in there somehow.”
Who would she rather see in the VIP seating area if not Bieber?
“That’s a tough question. I would love to see Oprah there.”
It didn’t end there. She was also asked about the plethora of marriage proposals she received on Twitter.
“I won’t check (Twitter) too much, especially during a tournament,” she said. “Good effort, though. There’s always a chance, I guess, that I’ll say yes over Twitter. So keep ‘em coming.”
Bouchard is clearly skilled with both a racquet and a microphone.
There’s a time and a place for all of those questions. That time and place, however, is not during a press conference following a historic achievement.
EDIT: Bouchard also called out a reporter’s lame Big Bang quip. She’s good friends with the show’s star, Jim Parsons.
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) July 3, 2014