World of Sport | 1 month ago

How dare a young athlete take advantage of exciting opportunities afforded to her?

Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard has responded to those who ridiculed her recent appearance in Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit edition.

Bouchard insists that she encountered plenty of online criticism from trolls who felt like she should be putting all of her energy into tennis rather than accepting the invitation to appear in the magazine.

Last week, Bouchard appeared alongside world number 1 Serena Williams and world number 15 Caroline Wozniacki in the 2017 Swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated and the 22-year-old posted photos from the shoot to social media.

It was there that her focus was questioned but, ahead of her return to competitive action at the Mexican Open, she has the perfect response to her haters.

"I've gotten that over the last couple of years I've done a photo shoot anywhere it's like 'oh god, get back on the tennis court... what are you doing, go practice," Bouchard told CBS Sports.

"I practised for six hours today and I did this like two hours after. I'm practising for six hours [a day] all this week, 'what are you talking about ... do you work 24 hours a day?'

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"You have to deal with that hate and not take it personally. It's been a couple of years now.

"There's nothing wrong if you have success and it opens doors for other activities, like being in Sports Illustrated. Why not? I would be crazy not to take advantage of that.

"Why limit yourself? I'm still a tennis player – that is my number one priority – but if I do have a bit of time, here and there, to do other things, why not?"

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