Eugenie Bouchard somehow finds the time to fit in tennis. Picture: Getty Images
Eugenie Bouchard somehow finds the time to fit in tennis. Picture: Getty Images

Swimsuit model and tennis star opens up on her ‘crazy’ life

EUGENIE Bouchard admits  social media can make you "crazy" and says she tries not to get too wrapped up in the online world.

In the age of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, athletes are able to offer fans a window into their lives like never before, while such applications are also important marketing tools to leverage endorsements and sponsorships.

Despite being world No 87, the Canadian, who defeated Madison Brengle in the first round of the ASB Classic on Monday, remains one of the most high-profile players on the WTA tour.

It's partly due to her incredible exploits in 2014, in just her second year on tour, when she reached the Wimbledon final and the last four at the Australian Open and Roland Garros, which created a buzz about the Montreal-born player that has never really dissipated.

But it's also due to her glamorous image - the 24-year-old has been a regular Sports Illustrated swimsuit model - and her prolific activity on Instagram, which has garnered almost two million followers worldwide, as she posts regularly from exotic locations around the world.

Bouchard has been a regular Sports Illustrated model. Picture: Sports Illustrated
Bouchard has been a regular Sports Illustrated model. Picture: Sports Illustrated

Bouchard also puts herself in the spotlight, as she did with her dinner date with a random Twitter fan, after losing a Super Bowl bet, which created headlines across the globe

Bouchard enjoys the process and has a natural sense of humour that suits the medium, but admits it can be a double-edged sword.

"It's definitely crazy," Bouchard told the Radio Sport Breakfast. "We are scrutinised on a whole other level. Fans have access to us - they can essentially write to us their unfiltered thoughts."

The anonymous nature of social media tends to attract nut cases and losers, as well as genuine fans, and they can be hypercritical of anything and everything that an athlete posts, particularly if they perceive it to be not related or beneficial to their sport.

"Social media is a very tough world out there so I think it is important to not get too wrapped up in it,"  Bouchard said.

"I love using it to show my fans what I do. I think it adds another dimension to me as a tennis player (and) I get to do all of these other crazy things because of my life. But I do keep a distance in terms of reading what is online and all that stuff because that will literally make you go crazy."

Bouchard has certainly had some amazing experiences outside tennis. Last year she enjoyed a private holiday on Sir Richard Branson's exclusive Necker Island, in the heart of the Caribbean.

Branson, a tennis fanatic, and also Bjorn Borg and former world No.2 Tommy Haas to socialise, play some tennis and unwind.

"That trip is a trip of a lifetime," Bouchard said.

"Every vacation after being on Necker is a downgrade, if you know what I mean. You are on a private island, it can't be more luxurious, it can't be more exclusive.

"Richard is amazing. What he does for tennis is awesome, I'm so happy that he loves the sport that I have dedicated my life too. I met some amazing people there, like Bjorn Borg, (and) Tommy Haas. It was so much fun just to hang out with some legends like that and play tennis and have fun."

Bouchard said she was happy to be back in New Zealand for the first time in five years.

"I played Auckland my first season as a professional - back in 2013 - and I really enjoyed it," she said.

"The people were so nice and it was a really welcoming place. It was a nice way to ease into the year. So when the opportunity came up this year, I was like for sure, I want to go back and see everyone over there because it's been a while."

This story first appeared in the New Zealand Herald and was republished with permission.

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