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Eugenie Bouchard must surely feel lucky despite icy pre-Wimbledon tone | Jacob Steinberg

Although she kept her footing, the 2014 finalist knows the qualifying path to a grand slam is littered with pitfalls

The longer the interview went on, the more it seemed that nothing was going to elicit an interesting answer from Eugenie Bouchard. The Canadian had walked off court with an important victory in the bag but it was difficult to tell from her icy demeanour as she responded to questions about her first-round win at Wimbledon qualifying last Tuesday. There was no hint of joy, no attempt to engage. The interviewer could have revealed that the world was about to end and Bouchard still would have said: “Yeah, well, obviously I’ll just take each apocalypse as it comes,” in a glib monotone.

It was a masterclass in passive-aggression and Bouchard inevitably came in for criticism. There was a widespread view that a touch more gratitude would not have gone amiss. An alternative opinion, however, is that ordering someone to look happy is rarely a good look. It brings to mind that scene from Curb Your Enthusiasm where a chirpy woman tells Larry David to smile as they pass each other on the street. Larry turns and glares. “Hey, mind your own business, how about that?” he barks. “Smile …”

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