Why Eugenie Bouchard is not, and shouldn’t be “Canada’s Tennis Sweetheart”

Friday, July 4th, 2014

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Above image (AP Photo/Andrew Brownbill)

If you live in Canada or read British tabloids, you’ll know that there is a 20 year-old Canadian named Eugenie Bouchard who is playing some exceptional tennis right now. She’s playing in a Wimbledon final and has also made the semi-finals of the previous two grand slam events. She’s young, she’s athletic, and yes, she is an attractive woman.

So, she’s Canada’s tennis sweetheart. Only, she’s not.

Anyone who has paid any attention to the ridiculously rapid rise of Genie Bouchard in the tennis world would know there’s nothing sweetheart about her. She’s nice and she’s polite and she smiles when people ask her stupid questions about who she has a crush on, but she’s ultra competitive when on the court—a trait that has served her well over the years she’s trained to be a professional athlete. She talks endlessly about not being satisfied with her results until she’s reached her ultimate goal of winning major titles.

But, she’s a young woman, so she’s automatically deemed a “sweetheart.” Because we can’t think of a woman with as much blonde hair and as athletic a body as she has as just another athletic superstar. No, she has to be a sweetheart and we need to talk as much about her personal life as we do about her tennis game.

Milos Raonic is another young Canadian tennis player who is experiencing previously unknown levels of success for a Canadian male tennis player. He has a booming serve, talks about winning grand slams and has slicked back hair. I’ve never heard him referenced as “Canada’s tennis sweetheart.” He’s simply an emerging star of the game with a great tennis future. I have no idea who he’s dating, I have no idea what clothes he wears off the tennis court.

Eugenie doesn’t talk about knitting sweaters, she doesn’t talk about snuggling with kittens after a match. She isn’t out on the tennis court rescuing baby penguins from the cold or petting the wings of butterflies. She talks about nothing I’d associate with someone I’d consider being a sweetheart and her game reminds me more of her sport’s legends like Martina Navratilova or Pete Sampras than of the woman at my grandmother’s bridge club who always brings buttertarts for all the players.

Instead, she talks and acts like someone I’d much rather call “Canada’s Excellent Female Athlete I’d Like My Daughters to Watch,” or even like someone I’d rather call “Eugenie Bouchard.” The same goes for the excellent female soccer players we’ve had in this country and our women’s hockey teams who never lose. I want my daughters to see these women as idols or role models, not as sweethearts. Isn’t it more important that our kids be known for their skill, talent, intelligence and determination instead of how sweet, cute, or pretty they are? Doesn’t praising our athletes for their beauty instead of skill undermine that?

It’s a very real problem that when young women rise to fame they’re labelled as sweethearts or darlings and when the endless articles being written about her reference her beauty and grace on the court. Her tennis game is beautiful, the rest is irrelevant. The physical characteristics we should be focusing on include her court coverage, her forehand, her footwork and her stamina, not her blonde hair.

Seriously, Google her name to look for some images. The top categories for her name include “boyfriend” and “dress.” Search for Milos Raonic and you get “2013,” “2014” and “serve.” Jesus, what is wrong with us that when searching for a tennis star who is 20 and blonde, we want to know what dress she wears and who her boyfriend is?

Let’s praise her for her determination and focus, not simply because she’s a beautiful woman who’s capable of being photographed 10,000 times a day and who we like to see on our television sets. Eugenie Bouchard is not Canada’s Tennis Sweetheart, she’s Canada’s best tennis player.

94 responses to “Why Eugenie Bouchard is not, and shouldn’t be “Canada’s Tennis Sweetheart””

  1. Joe Boughner says:

    Great stuff, Mike. As the father of a young girl myself, I take a quiet delight in seeing Bouchard do just a little bit better than Milos. Makes sure she doesn’t get lost in his shadow, sadly.

    • Mike says:

      Thanks. It is astounding to watch how dominant she is becoming. I’ll settle for 12 straight men’s and women’s titles.

  2. Jeff Riddall says:

    Agreed Mike. My Devil would likewise not likely want to be known as a hockey sweetheart and may even punch ya in the mouth if you suggested it.

  3. Cheryl says:

    Well said! I read a British paper’s description of Genie and it was all about how she looked and who she was/was not friends with. I’d rather hear about her accomplishments (to date, Canada’s first women’s Grand Slam finalist) and her future (tremendously bright) and maybe her take-aways from what was a tough outcome at Wimbledon today.

    • Mike says:

      Exactly. She’s such an amazing athlete that to have the dresses she wears and the people she knows be an appropriate line of questioning is crazy. And wrong.

    • Pat Muir says:

      She has no accomplishments. It will be over for her by 2020. She does not have what it takes to be a winner..
      Give the impression that she does not care about winning..

  4. Bercana says:

    I don’t disagree with the arguments made but can you provide any reference to her being called a “Sweetheart”? This article is actually the first time I’ve heard her referred to that way. I’ve heard “stone cold killer” but not “sweetheart”.

  5. Father of 3 daughters says:

    My oldest daughter forwarded a link to your blog with the attached comment, “It appears our conversation at lunch yesterday was being recorded.” We certainly agree with your perspective.

  6. nathan says:

    Wayne gretzky is a Canadian sweet heart . So quit your crying.

    • Mike says:

      Thanks. I’d never heard him called that before, I’d always heard him referred to as The Great One.

  7. Henrietta says:

    It’s unfair to compare Eugenie Bouchard to Raonic. She’s much better looking and that’s part of the reason people are interested in her. It’s not a problem that some people focus on her looks; folks are generally more interested in good looking people than tennis. Try googling any “hot” male athlete and you’ll see “girlfriend”, “wife”, “hair”, “shirtless” as the top results. I don’t think this takes away from an appreciation of how hard working they are for those who want to idolize them as athletes.

    • Mike says:

      My point is that that’s part of the problem. Why do we need to focus on the better looking people because they’re better looking?

      • Henrietta says:

        I think it’s on you to explain why this is a problem. We focus on good athletes because they’re good. We focus on fit people because they’re fit. We focus on talented people because they’re talented. People focus on “outlier” individuals because they’re interesting.

  8. Jay says:

    Hi, good article, but I think you are totally missing the point. The term “sweetheart” has nothing to do with what you are referring. She has been called that because she has captured the country’s endearment and love because of her athletic echeivements.

    She is rising to fame at an alarming rate and every Canadian is falling in love with her. She represents the country really well on a world wide stage and is a proud Canadian herself. What is not to love about her? Which goes hand in hand with being a sweetheart.

    With fame, comes media. It’s the nature of the beast.


    • Mike says:

      I certainly may be but that seems to only apply if one is female. Jon Montgomery, who fits that criteria wasn’t, if I remember correctly, which I may not, ever called a sweetheart. Look, this young woman is amazing and if people need to call her sweetheart so be it, but I just don’t see why Canadian Tennis Superstar doesn’t fit.

    • Bob says:

      I think there’s some truth in this take here. It’s far less sensational to be rational like this but true nonetheless.

  9. Mike says:

    Sorry, but the dictionary of the English language disagrees.

    Unless of course, you’re suggesting that we re-define or ignore existing definitions of words.

    See #2, #3, #5. You are referencing an informal definition of the word, not a proper one.


    either of a pair of lovers in relation to the other.
    ( sometimes initial capital letter ) an affectionate or familiar term of address.
    a beloved person.
    Informal. a generous, friendly person.
    Informal. anything that arouses loyal affection: My old car was a real sweetheart.

    • Mike says:

      You win. Is there a dictionary definition of why the same term isn’t used as often for male athletes?

      • Mike says:

        Please don’t confuse my position that I believe athletes should be recognized first and foremost for their abilities and/or achievements.

        What about “beast” for a male athlete? We don’t see that often for women, should we be upset about that?

        I just am having difficulty computing how someone being described as a “loved one” (Word Origin & History
        sweetheart – late 13c. as a form of address, 1570s as a synonym for “loved one;” ) is either inaccurate or offensive.

        Perhaps it’s time to re-write the English language to suit this point?

        Acceptable use of term: Only if males and females are represented 50/50! or… not for use with sporting athletes!

        If you’ve even visited her own Facebook page, you may find that she is seeking attention for more than her athletic accomplishments. For your convenience here’s a link:


        She should only be recognized for her athletic accomplishments indeed because clearly that’s all she’s giving the world to focus on.

        • John says:

          So you’re essentially asking her to play with a paper bag over her face.

          And thats why so many MALE athletes are underwear models and there are so many googled images of them shirtless right?

  10. Jon Walker says:

    M’eh. This article skims a deeper issue. Raonic isn’t a poster worthy as Bouchard is which is why he’s not labelled as a hunk or other stereotype. HOWEVER male athletes suffer from this labelling similarly. I point specifically at Rafael Nadal who was noted as being swoon worthy around the time his star rose on the pro tennis tour. In fact he’s now criticized if he looks less that handsome. Case in point in the following article. The issue isn’t as gender focused as this article declares. Tennis is certainly a sport where attractiveness is given more press than it deserves but unless you hate Nadal being labelled a hunk as much as you hate Bouchard being labelled a sweetheart then there’s realiy nothing more to talk about. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2512965/Tennis-hunk-Rafael-Nadal-far-smouldering-self-displays-toothy-grin-collecting-trophy-Will-Smith.html

  11. John says:

    You know what makes it worse? People like you who draw the attention to the fact that you look at her differently. She is attractive whether she plays tennis or is a fashion model but YOU have just pointed out that fact.

    Who cares about this at all? Get over yourself and just appreciate tennis for the tennis. Who cares what she is called? You’re telling me that no one ever has called any male athletes “sexiest man of the year”?

    Please write some real material

  12. Extraordinarily well said.

    • Mike says:

      Thank you. A few of the gentlemen commenting below we’re leading me to believe this was entirely without merit.

  13. Well said. And, yes, that “Who would you date?” question was a low-point for sports journalism.

  14. Fred Kennedy says:

    What a total load of rubbish…. and Mike how many angels danced on the head of a pin? While I don’t mind you wasting your time on these feeble “observations” but wasting the readers time on such flummery is typical of the jacuzzi journalism on Facebook.

  15. Mark B says:

    Touchy subject, I think most comments have a slice of truth, but the fact is no matter how much talent an athlete has (man or women) the media will always find a way to objectify them and there has been no shortage of athletes who allow or even seek out this attention, case in point ….. Anna Kournikova. So until athletes of all sports and all genders stop signing multi million dollar endorsement deals (which I doubt will happen) they will be looked at as a commodity as opposed to what they are.

  16. Jane says:

    Nice article until ironically, you did some stereotyping yourself. Famous knitters: George Lucas, Ingrid Bergman, Eleanor Roosevelt. So your tennis star could well be a knitter, too.

  17. Sure, she is pretty but I get a bigger rise watching hard-working women — like, female construction workers holding signs directing traffic around a job site.

    Tennis? Meh. If you do not like what the media is saying about a female tennis player then you should interview her herself. What would YOU ask her?
    While you are it, try to figure out why she is not available to you for an interview. There is a reason for it.

    Regardless, a responsible father would teach his daughters the truth:

    1) There is no good reason to praise/idolize a professional athelete.

    2) Professional athletes are circus performers for the rich. No more and no less.

    3) It is immensely naive and ignorant to believe the “search” results of modern internet search engines are a reflection of what the public searches. HINT: They are a reflection of what the media wants us to see.

    4) Modern professional sports = bread and circus
    The Regime-Stream Media has a vested interest in diverting the public’s attention away from more important things in life.

    5) 99% of all female atheletes never get anywhere and invest a neurotically disproportionate amount of their youth in la-la-land searching for……. what, exactly?
    Then what? Holding signs on the side of the road? Join the military?

    6) Somewhere on this planet a young girl has died of starvation or was raped and murdered as a direct consequence of war. A little bit of perspective is in order.

  18. Ken says:

    Was in agreement up to the point where your outrage kicked in. 🙂

    I’ve been tracking Eugenie for a while now and love her fierce competitiveness. More than that, her steely composure in both winning and defeat. This girl knows exactly what she wants to accomplish and doesn’t let short term results get in the way of her career.

    And she is also an attractive female. The press didn’t start paying attention to her just for this – there is no shortage of attractive young women in pro tennis. Her looks do draw the interest of more casual tennis fans (and people who don’t much care for the sport) so of course looks come first in the mainstream publications.

    More than this, have you seen Eugenie’s Facebook page? Compare the number of off-court selfies to Milos’ page. Bouchard isn’t shy about using her looks to promote her personal brand.

    To the contrary, she seems to love the attention showered on her.

  19. Mike says:

    Rescuing baby penguins from the cold and petting butterfly wings is actually bad for them. You may make a point somewhere in your article, but your animal knowledge is way off. The blood is on your hands if any penguins or butterflies die as a result of someone reading this article.

    Perhaps you were abused by a gang of baby penguins and butterflies (where they mingle, I don’t know) and are trying to use this article to get revenge on them.

    Sometimes you just have to let go Mike. Revenge is much less sweet than it looks.

    _\| |
    `#, <_
    '#, `\

  20. Brent K says:

    Mike the author needs to lighten up. A lot. Eugenie is everything he claims and more! The term sweetheart speaks about her personality and charisma than her order dormancy or abilities. That’s why Pinty’s and Diet Coke chose her as a spokesperson and Milo’s can only fantasize of those endorsement deals. He maybe awesome, but no personality either.

    But a better example may well be the competitor she lost to in the finals. Petra Kvitová is an AWESOME player, BETTER than Bouchard as she showed, but in fear of being called a sweetheart. Because she’s not. She’s humble perhaps, shy for sure, and therefore few can relate. She will likely make less money than Genie B this year – http://www.forbes.com/sites/miguelmorales/2013/10/22/petra-kvitova-tennis-3-million-woman-focuses-on-results-not-revenue/

  21. Hydra says:

    [sweet-hahrt] Show IPA
    either of a pair of lovers in relation to the other.
    ( sometimes initial capital letter ) an affectionate or familiar term of address.
    a beloved person.
    Informal. a generous, friendly person.
    Informal. anything that arouses loyal affection: My old car was a real sweetheart.

    See definition number 3. In fact, that is the proper usage. The one that you are assuming is being used in mass media is in fact a SLANG definition of the word “sweetheart”.

  22. Nat says:

    You’re absolutely on the right track Mike. Not everybody else sees it…you will always get reflect comments that reflect that. Don’t let them get you down! The media does a good job of affecting the mindsets and mentalities of others…after all, its our surrounding culture, of course…some people aren’t as good as you are at decoding it.

  23. Patrick Lavigne says:

    This is solely an opportunistic opiniated post. Nothing professionally factual. Feels like this guy wants to surf the Eugenie waive by degrading her because she lost the finals. This article would have never been posted if she would have won. So what if she’s highly competitive?! That’s why she got to where she is! Alexandre Depatie was exactly the same but everyone thinks he’s soooo sweat. The fact is that COMPETITION is COMPETITION. Are we talking about her looks or her skills?! Is she being a victim of being a cute young blond girl?! C’mon now…

    • Andrea says:

      May want to check the date up top on this one, bud. July 4th, 2014. Believe the finals were yesterday? Thanks for stopping by.

      • Patrick Lavigne says:

        This is solely an opportunistic opiniated post. Nothing professionally factual. Feels like this guy just wants to surf the Eugenie waive… So what if she’s highly competitive?! That’s why she got to where she is! Alexandre Depatie was exactly the same but everyone thinks he’s soooo sweat. The fact is that COMPETITION is COMPETITION. Are we talking about her looks or her skills?! Is she being a victim of being a cute young blond girl?! C’mon now…

        Does this suit your standards better Andrea?!?!

  24. Josh says:

    So let me get this straight, it’s wrong to sexualize Bouchard… call her a sweetheart, talk about her love life. BUT it’s perfectly acceptable for women all over our country to spread links of the ’50 hottest world cup players of 2014′? I heard women yelling ‘MARRY ME ROGER’ a few years back at a tennis final… is this unacceptable? I’m sorry but this is a perfect example of a double standard in action. I get that she’s talented, driven, ferocious on the court… and she’s attractive FOR these reasons…. just have to play it both ways.

  25. Paul says:

    Hi Mike. Interesting article … but you finish by stating Eugenie is Canada’s best tennis player (I think Milos and a couple of the other Canadian guys who played in the tournament might disagree). Anyway … yes, we have this “sweetheart” trope or meme or whatever going on … but it hasn’t been overbearing. I know nothing of her love life or what she wears off court (and I don’t care). That stupid Justin Beiber question started the easy drive towards this discussion. When I watched her play the commentators discussed her moves, strength etc. not how pretty she is. The main stream media stuck to her game as well. Yes … there is an undercurrent about her “appeal” and “looks” but it has been mainly about her tennis. Do you not believe that if it were a plainer Canadian girl we would not have been interested. I’ve been Canadian too long to know it wouldn’t have mattered. We would have all been around our TV sets rooting her on. If she was pretty but with no talent … we wouldn’t have cared. Yes … she’s an “it” girl and I agree – that’s not ideal – but she has been treated with respect and we all know she’s got the parts to be a champion. For the record I have four kids (3 boys, all in their 20s) and an 18-year-old girl who is heading off to study business at university this fall, a girl who never felt she was held back at school or sports due to her gender.

  26. dawn says:

    it angered me so much when they asked Bouchard “if she could date anybody who would it be” -ON THE COURT: AFTER A VICTORY& LIVE ON SPORTS BROADCAST TV & I thought it was profoundly rude and disrespectful to her as a competitor and an insult to her accomplishment.
    no-one understood my fury. thanks for this piece it is well-written and expresses my disappointment perfectly.

    Ms Bouchard is entitled to respect for her role as a competitor while she is operating within the context and spectrum of competition.

    outside of that, at her approval and discretion, the broadcast may enter into her personal affairs.

    But not while she’s on the court celebrating victory. What would happen if they asked that question of Roanic after his victory, live, on the court? the interviewer would be intensely ridiculed.

    I have been thinking about the shifting social paradigm when it comes to women and how there is a rift dividing the passing era POV of persons as females and the present/future concept of it.
    time to adjust.

    cheers 🙂

  27. Meg Kneissl says:

    Thanks for this great post. I am a female rower and was disgusted by the coverage at the last Olympics when – during the women’s single scull finals – the all male commentators chose to focus on the athlete’s husbands and boyfriends, bourgeoning fashion careers and overall good looks, rather than the Herculean battle going on between the athletes at the pinnacle of their careers. Do you think there were any comments about the men’s wives, careers or appearance? Not a one. Instead, a heated analysis of technique, training, strength and stamina. All of the things you should expect to hear during competition – regardless of the gender of the athletes.

    Thank you for calling the media out on this ridiculous bias and it’s negative consequences.


  28. Susan says:

    Language is powerful. Language used to describe women and their accomplishments is often exactly as Mike points out, more about personal (physical) traits and “sweetness” rather than accomplishments. Women notice this. Girls notice this. Many of the male commenters here clearly haven’t. Kudos, Mike for pointing it out and challenging how we talk about women in the media. Well said and much appreciated.

  29. Mike says:

    Probably the wrong person to pick for this kind of tirade. Nobody…that is NOBODY…has missed the fact that Genie is a talented, trained and ferocious competitor. The fact that half the world is ALSO gaga over her does not detract one tiny bit from her amazing performance as an athlete.

    And while we’re on tennis, all the women in my life want to be married to Nadal. Despite that, he continues to be one of the world’s best tennis players.

  30. S.A. Sinclair says:

    Isn’t a sweetheart just someone you’re fond of – OK, often female, but still…? The questions about her boyfriends and whatnot are definitely irrelevant to what she’s doing, but are they really related to or caused by the term “sweetheart”? At least one online dictionary agrees with me – I’d go for the last definition in this case; the sample sentence has nothing to do with attractive women: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sweetheart?s=t

  31. Michael Moore says:

    Hear hear! Some years (decades) there was another young rising tennis star –
    Carling Bassett – remember her? She was a phenom, at the time…..
    Now, we have Eugenie, a most articulate and charming sports champion….as is Raonic. That neither has yet won a ‘major’- who cares? No y import……not important. They will, get there……and we will, be here, and there when they do….

    Félicitaions Eugenie – you do make us proud!

  32. Andrew Ashton says:

    I don’t recall Vlad Divac being called “Serbia’s Sweetheart” which in hindsight seems like an incredible missed opportunity in sports marketing. Strangely enough a google search of Greg Oden and “sweethart” also didn’t yield any results. Searching Anna Kournikova and sweetheart got some good results though. Especially a very insightful article on FHM giving “5 reasons why Bouchard might be the next Kournikova”…

  33. Shahab MTL says:

    why in your Bio it says “He’s obsessed with making sure his daughters says ‘daddy and mommy’ and not ‘mommy and daddy’”? what’s wrong saying “mommy and daddy”?

  34. Sean says:

    I think everyone needs to calm down and relax…too much stock is put into labelling and people take way too much offence to anything being said these days and it is ridiculous.

    It’s a term of endearment towards her, it’s as simple as that, it means we love and adore her, oh man that is soo horrible…why make it a sexist issue and make a mountain out of a molehill, get over it, I am pretty sure she doesn’t mind so why do you.

  35. Ken says:

    Totally agree, more sexism and stereotyping for Women.

  36. I noticed that odd phenomenon decades ago when celebrities were interviewed. Sure politicians like to make the family image, and so include their families in their portrait, but that is different. They’re using them as a platform, a statement. But when male celebrities were interviewed they were interviewed for their own accomplishments, period. Female celebrities, however, appeared with their partners…as if they didn’t make the grade all on their own.

    Maybe the women themselves wanted to include the men, which also symbolizes a problem.

    Maybe the men just decided to stay home the day 20/20 came over to film. If that is the nature of the woman’s work, the partners should not be coming to the decision to remain at home and partake in her work environment. Would you accompany someone performing surgery, driving a race car, giving therapeutic massages?

    So even if you are an accomplished artist or athlete, if you are a woman the most important question a reporter must have to ask is whether you have a boyfriend because God knows even though you just gave a concert, won a match, or whatever, and even though you just stood for hours you still must not be able to stand on your own two feet.

  37. Hervé says:

    Well, she’s blonde, baby “faced”, polite, with a perfect smile… It’s reasonably normal that she could be perceived/labeled as a sweetheart (which is usually not perceived as a bad word either unless you’re a hard core feminist from the 70’s)… even if there’s more about her to appreciate. She gets a whole lot of attention by fans, medias, sponsors and she won’t complain about it, so why would you? Being a sweetheart doesn’t prevent her from being a tiger on the court and a world class player, win win?

  38. Chuck says:

    I definitely agree as well, but I wonder if the moniker is to blame as much on the British Press as anything else. I have noticed they have been calling her that for quite a while now as she has been linked to one of their up-and-comers, but there has been “tabloid-worthy” press surrounding this as well….they are quite notorious

  39. Bond 007 says:

    Well a far as I am concerned she can be all the things you said and still be Canada’s sweetheart…. What in the world is so wrong with that! It’s not all about her looks, but also at how composed , articulate and yes sweet when she speaks , she is not a bad girl like Miley Cyrus or some of the other’s out there that shall remain nameless.

  40. Adam says:

    Please reference Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue. Canada’s sweethearts. Also see Alexandre Bilodeau. All of these are young athletes who have been called sweethearts. My wife calls me sweetheart.

    Also when you reference “a role model for your daughters” I hope that is because you have no sons. It’s great to write an article in distaste about societally developed word associations but i hope that you also don’t immediately feel that your daughters have to take on gender specific role models.

    Thanks for your article

  41. shirley u jest says:

    She has to drop the Bieber fever.

  42. Agreed. I just wrote about this very thing last week. Memories of “Gorgeous Gussie” Moran. http://wp.me/pTgAN-1o1

  43. Lian says:

    Thank you for bringing this issue up, Mike! My eldest is a sporty-type of kid, and, if she is so lucky to make it big because of her athletic ability, I don’t want for her to be known for just her good looks or who she might be dating! Bouchard worked hard to be the best at what she does – tennis, not her life off the court.

  44. Jeanne Misner says:

    Absolutely agree. Well said.

  45. Bernard Lefebvre says:

    Hello, I am a Canadian and I follow Eugénie Bouchard’s career for the past 3 years and I can tell you that I never seem her as a Canadian sweetheart, but a mazing athlete!

  46. Blair says:

    Mike, I still can not comprehend how it is a bad thing to call her Canada’s sweetheart. It isn’t simply her good looks or media interviews that give her the nickname, it is a mixture of these things along with her remarkable play of late. With this combination of actions, she has simply captured te hearts of many Canadians giving her a fitting name of sweetheart.

  47. Gloria says:

    I don’t usually comment on blogs. Too much trash talk to get attention. This sounds like someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed in a grouchy mood when they spied another Genie article. While I agree not to de-womanizer a female, this rant has not watched Genie play tennis nor heard her comments after each game. She is a formidable tennis player that has brought everyone’s attention to women’s tennis. I think she is a sweetheart in the same way I use the term for my beloved grandchildren, male and female and people I care for deeply and respect for their gifts, drive and hope. Have a nice day Dad

  48. Zoe says:

    I’m a girl who takes part in competitive sports and when I read this I couldn’t believe what I was reading. This article angers me. I’m sweet, I have manners, I respect all those around me, but, just because I’m competitive and want to do well and win DOESN’T make me rude. Bouchard takes her sport seriously, like any athlete does,and that doesn’t change the fact that she’s a sweetheart. Her career is her first concern not saving the feelings of her opponent. She’s sweet and competitive – come to your senses.

  49. hi Mike,
    Great subject to write about, but your attempt on writing about it was terrible… Your grammar is rough around the edges, so rough that I had to reread it twice and then have someone else read it to confirm that I was understanding it correctly.
    I think you should have your editor fired.

    Yours truly,

  50. Aero says:

    Personally I think this is a little bit of a reach, I fully agree with the ideology that all athletes (male or female) should be recognized for their talents ahead of their physical appearance but as an avid watcher of sports, at least from my experience watching games and coverage on TSN and Sportsnet, Genie has been fairly commented on. The hastag #GenieArmy and sports highlights of huge fist pumps after big points and her showing her passion smashing game winners has vastly out portrayed any of the “sweetheart” talk. Let’s face it she jumped on scene as a cute, young teenager saying she wants to play hard and win championships. She also said she wanted to date Justin Bieber, she’s young and extremely pretty so some people will call her a sweetheart. Real tennis fans talk about her play and surface fans talk about how good she looks, it’s no different across all sports, just like how when you type Tom Brady into google, it talks about his wife, house and salary but nothing about his multiple championships and scoring titles…

  51. e. says:

    I don’t personally find it offensive that Bouchard is called a sweetheart, but it does annoy me to see some of the things people talk about, and the questions she’s asked… This is true of a lot of celebrities, but it’s definitely frustrating when this kind of discussion takes precedence over the important stuff… Like the reason she’s famous in the first place, which isn’t her appearance. The writer is just venting his frustration about that kind of attention…So?

    As far as I know, blogs are for writers to post their opinions, so I don’t understand why some people are bothered by this post… If you don’t like it, that won’t likely change his mind… There is no need to be rude or insult the guy. Some of these comments are great. A few of the comments just don’t make any sense at all. It’s also pretty clear that some people who commented angrily didn’t even read the whole post, bringing up things that he actually does mention, if you read it.

    I don’t know the author. I’ve only read a few of his stories, because I’ve seen his wife posting them… I think it’s pretty cool that his blog is mostly about his kids. His concerns are that of a father… And a great one, who really devotes his time to thinking about the world his kids are growing up in, and doing the best he can to make sure they’re happy and healthy kids who know that they can do anything they want to do in life. This topic is important to him, partly because he has daughters. I think that is pretty awesome.

    I thought it was well-written, like every post I’ve ever seen on this page.

  52. Al Low says:

    I think the article is too focused on the term ‘sweetheart.’ The fact is Genie’s personable and likable. And, when you’re personable and likable, people take an interest in you, especially the media. Sports has always taken a keen interest in an up and coming star. It really isn’t anything new, especially in the sport of women’s tennis, where careers start at an early age. The fact is Raonic is not as interesting as somebody like Bouchard. He doesn’t have her personality and thus is not somebody the media will key in on. The term ‘sweetheart’ is just that, a term.

    • Matthew says:

      Seriously? You think she’s likeable? The words that come to my mind are ‘smug’, ‘precious’, ‘arrogant’, ‘self-absorbed’. You could ask Laura Robson whether Bouchard is likeable. But because Laura is genuinely polite and thoughtful, she would be more likely to keep a lid on it, and not feed the hacks unlike the cynical operator Bouchard.

  53. Matt says:

    If this is the biggest problem in your day… then you have it pretty good.
    As mentioned by other commenters the #Geniesarmy is pretty well the direct opposite on the “cute” scale…
    So let’s call her media portrayal balanced and move on with our lives.

  54. Mike says:

    The title and intro to this article made me think it was going to be an argument that “she’s a huge bitch”. Being a “sweetheart” doesn’t demote your abilities, it means you’re a good person.

  55. Scott says:

    On the Facebook link, the subhead is “She’s an idol to girls, not a sweetheart,” and I immediately bristled at the idea that boys can’t/won’t also idolize her. I grew up watching Chris Evert (who, I’m sure, got the same treatment as Eugenie). I hope my son can idolize women for their achievements as much as he does men (unfortunately, right now, he seems to only idolize anonymous video game designers) 😉

  56. Tom says:

    Tom Gerylo Okay, I’ll chime in on this one… The article states that Google search results come up with top categories boyfriend and dress and complains there’s something wrong with us because of it. Who else but those same girls who idolize her want to know what dress she wears and who her boyfriend is? She’s a tennis STAR, not just a tennis “player,” and when you’re a star, you’ve become the complete package, above and beyond the reason you became a star. And you’re a star because people love not only what you do but who you are. If Eugenie Bouchard didn’t want to be a star, she wouldn’t be where she is now. Sweetheart is not a term that defines physical beauty, or how cute, sweet and pretty someone is. It’s not judgemental, mean, harassing or misogynistic. It’s merely a term of endearment. That is all. No hidden meaning, no double entendre. Just plain love. And what’s wrong with that?

  57. Maria says:

    I don’t care if she’s a sweetheart or an idol. She is someone with the power to influence a lot of people. And for me, all of her credibility goes down the toilet with her contract with Coca Cola. If those of you so enthused by her ability to influence your daughters think it through, most anything she does will also emulated by your little girls, especially the things they know they CAN do, like drink Coke.

    Do you really want your daughters chasing after something they are 99% likely never to be able to achieve. Celebrity role models, whether in film, television, or sports, are probably the least desirable people for you to wish upon your innocent, unique daughters. They shouldn’t need to see someone achieving something extraordinary to be inspired. Their own MOTHERS should be role models!

  58. Justin says:

    When a women accomplishes amazing things, I am certainly interested in knowing more about her personal life – what she wears outside of the court, who she dates, what she eats, who she is friends with, what car she drives, what animals she prefers – all things to help me picture a fantasy life of perhaps getting to know her better. When there is a man in the same position, I don’t really care about any of those things, I simply just want to grab a case of beer and get drunk with them. Is that so wrong?

  59. Excellant post! This is a great way to continue the dialogue of what we want our sons and daughters to value in each other.

  60. Beth Chepita says:

    Oh, boy, here we go …. Righteous indignition over nothing. This is what makes people roll their eyes over feminism instead of taking it seriously. Here’s my response:


  61. Matthew says:

    She certainly is not a sweetheart. She is smug, arrogant, not likeable at all. Her looks are the only reason people like her. She exploits this cynically, in fact ‘cynically’ plenty much describes everything she does.

    Check out her reaction to mention of her former friend Laura Robson.

    ‘Genie Army’, do me a favour! How sad do you have to be to wear an ‘Eat, Sleep, Genie, Repeat’ t shirt? I’ll get one saying ‘ABB’. Anyone But Bouchard.

  62. Matt says:

    Great article, it is so true what you’ve said. I love how even when interviewers comment on how beautiful Genie is, she modestly says thank you and then gets right back into talking about her tennis. Genie is such a role model not just for young tennis players coming up, but for all young kids in general. She has great confidence and has even said she loves stories in which people make something of themselves from nothing. These are things our youth need to hear, not the fact that Sharapova gets millions in endorsements because of her looks. Some people don’t like her because she says she doesn’t like to make friends on tour, but people should respect her decision. It must be so hard to battle against these other women in front of millions of people for prestige and prize money and then laugh and joke with them off the court. She’s out there for one reason: to win, not to make friends. That’s what makes her a tennis player, not the superlative ‘most likeable’.

  63. Kirk says:

    And more importantly, she’s not even nice. She says she has no friends on tour and doesn’t want any.

  64. Don says:

    Sexy sells papers and magazines.

    Being sexy is what kept Anna Kournakova (sp?) around longer than she really ever deserved, so it’s not always the worst thing.

    Still, I agree with you. It’s belittling on some level to suggest that we’re not drawn to this woman for being an outstanding athlete, but rather because she looks so good being an athlete, if that makes any sense.

    I think this sort of thing happens outside of sports as well. Women professionals are also gawked at and perceived differently based on how they look or dress compared to their male counterparts. Good stuff.

  65. […] for using the moniker in one of his rants on Chez 106. And then there’s Mike, who doesn’t think Eugenie Bouchard should be called Canada’s sweetheart because she doesn’t rescue baby penguins or pet the wings of butterflies. (FYI, […]

  66. Raoul says:

    “She’s nice and she’s polite”? Ha, she’s not even that. She is rude: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2435551-eugenie-bouchard-going-from-golden-girl-to-problem-child

  67. […] “darling”. A dad blogger named Mike Reynolds from Ottawa wrote a great article titled Why Eugenie Bouchard is not, and shouldn’t be “Canada’s Tennis Sweetheart” (click the link to read the full article). He writes about the fact that the media focuses on her […]

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