I just finished reading John Browne’s all too brief “Ode to Genie Bouchard” as he mercilessly quipped about her lasting not too long in the Wimbledon final, where she lost in straight sets.
I think we need to put into perspective the scope of what this 20-year-old (yes, just 20 years old) Canadian athlete achieved rather than devote a five-line commentary that basically insulted her effort in the greatest tennis tournament in the world.
I’m sure John is having a harmless joke, but I still felt compelled to respond in kind.
Can anyone tell me the last time any Canadian woman was even ranked in world tennis, let alone make it to a grand slam tennis final, never mind a Wimbledon final?
For most professional tennis players, just playing in a Wimbledon final would be seen as an apex moment in their tennis career.
The fact is, before Bouchard, no Canadian has even reached the quarter final, let alone the final of this event. At 20 years old, she is the first Canadian to make this huge achievement. Her age suggests that she has the capacity to make it to many more grand slam finals.
I cannot help but think what kind of Telegram reporting we’d have had had Bouchard been a Newfoundlander.
Why, we’d probably name a highway after her.
I further suggest to your readers that professional tennis is not just sliding a few rocks down a sheet of ice, once every four years.
This is a sport dominated by high-earning, high-performance, super-elite athletes, where a veritable unknown Canadian woman has (against the odds) made it to the final.
The most televised and coveted tennis event in the sport. A massive worldwide viewing audience. A massive, massive achievement for any tennis player at just 20 years old. But it appears our nation/province wins so much in world sport that we can joke about her straight-sets defeat.
I’d end by suggesting to your readers that there are more people waking up in the world today that know who Genie Bouchard is, rather than that guy who won the Olympic curling gold medal from Newfoundland.
A good chance they’ll be seeing more of her winning in the future, too. Let’s keep it all in perspective.