Australian Open: Eugenie Bouchard plays down twirl row

Bouchard not offended by 'twirl' comments

Eugenie Bouchard says male players should be asked to "flex their muscles" after an interviewer at the Australian Open asked her to "give us a twirl".

Bouchard, 20, and Serena Williams were both asked to show off their outfits on court following second-round wins.

Twelve-time Grand Slam champion Billie Jean King has called the request from the male interviewer "truly sexist".

But Canadian Bouchard said: "I'm not offended. I'm fine with being asked to twirl if they ask the guys to flex."

She added: "I think it was an in-the-moment thing and it was funny."

The request drew criticism on social media, where King wrote:external-link "The Australian Open interviewer asking the women to twirl on court is out of line.

"This is truly sexist. If you ask the women, you have to ask the guys."

Analysis - Russell Fuller, BBC Radio 5 live tennis correspondent
"It's very dated language that I don't think has any place in a post-match tennis interview."

The 71-year-old, who won the Australian Open in 1968, added: "Let's focus on accomplishments of both genders and not our looks."

American world number one Williams was reluctant to describe the exchange with Tennis Australia commentator Ian Cohen as sexist despite the strong reaction.

"I wouldn't ask Rafa Nadal or Roger Federer to twirl. Whether it's sexist or not, I don't know. I can't answer that," said Williams, a second-round winner over Vera Zvonareva.

"I didn't really want to twirl because I don't need all the extra attention.

"Whether I twirl or not, it's not the end of the world. It's about being positive and just moving forward."

Bouchard, whose chat with Cohen followed her straight sets win over Kiki Bertens, was asked again about the issue following her third-round win over France's Caroline Garcia on Friday.

"They try to ask funny questions," she added.

"It's entertaining, I guess. I don't mind it. People can think what they want about it, but I just answer how I want and do what I want. I'm fine with it."

At last year's tournament in Melbourne, Bouchard was asked about dating US pop star Justin Bieber.