Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard's high-powered Manhattan lawyer said he contacted four high-ranking officials at the U.S. Tennis Association before filing her lawsuit, which accuses the national federation and the US Open tournament of negligence after the accident in the women's locker room Sept. 4 that left her with a concussion.
Benedict Morelli said that instead, he heard back from a lawyer. And so, he filed Oct. 14. The USTA has 20 days to respond.
Morelli spoke with espn.com tennis writer Peter Bodo, whose sources inside the USTA dispute the notion that Morelli reached out to initiate some sort of settlement prior to filing suit. The USTA, as is its policy, would not comment on ongoing litigation.
It is the first in what undoubtedly promises to be many "he said, they said" conflicting versions as the litigation plays out.
"If the USTA decides it wants to speak with me, I'm here to listen," Morelli told Bodo. "If they want to litigate, that's OK too. Because that's what I do. That's why Genie and her mother hired me."
Bouchard, who was in New York City last week, is currently back in Montreal. She has been more active on social media of late, a welcome development to her legion of devoted fans, some of whom had been resorting to combing the archives just to find something to talk about.