WIMBLEDON – Once the question was asked, about Canadian Eugenie Bouchard's friendship with popular home-country player Laura Robson – a once very-public friendship that has hit a bump in the road – it was the signal for the British tabloid press to get to work on the Wimbledon finalist.
As with most teenage friendship drama, it basically comes down to something like this: someone said something, someone didn't appreciate it. No one took it back. Two girls got mad at each other, and now they're both being stubborn and not speaking. It happens to everyone but because they are who they are, it's getting big play.
We're actually surprised it didn't come up earlier in the fortnight, given the profile Robson enjoys here in the U.K.
This piece in the Daily Mail, is particularly comprehensive, illustrated with fabulous photos of Bouchard, of course.
"Eugenie Bouchard, 20 years old and Canadian, is gloriously blonde with perfectly regular, brilliantly white film-star teeth, a pair of oiled thighs that could crack walnuts, half a million fans on Facebook — and a Twitter profile which ranges from the flirtatious to the, frankly, provocative."
And that's just to start!
Here's the exchange from Bouchard's pre-finals press conference Friday. The dazzling smile disappeared in a big hurry, replaced by a firmly-set jaw.
Q. We saw the Gangnam style video you made with Laura Robson. You seemed you were really good mates. Are you still pretty good mates?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: No, I don't think so.
Q. Can you tell us why?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I'm sure you guys can figure out that one.
Q. No, I can't. Why?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I'll leave it at that.
The Daily Mail speculates, and this is a commonly-held assumption even though there's no real way for people to know, that it's about the coach.
"The rift is believed to be over Nick Saviano, the leading coach who runs the Florida tennis academy where they first met. While the pair previously shared his services, he now coaches Bouchard exclusively."
Not so, Saviano told Yahoo Sports.
"I stay out of it. It had very, very, very little if anything to do with me. It's not my business, it has nothing to do with me," he said. "I just hope Laura's wrist heals soon and she's able to get back and recommence her career. How could you wish anything but that?"
Saviano said it's between the two of them. "Genie is a young adult and has every right to pick and choose her friends, and who she chooses to be involved with socially."
It looks, from the tone of this article and others, that Bouchard will be painted as the villain in this one. She is definitely becoming a polarizing figure in a hurry.
But ... nothing to see here. Moving on. Turning the page. All part of growing up.
The former BFFs did this hilarious YouTube video together almost two years ago.
The Daily Mail story ties together Bouchard's recent remarks about not having any friendships on Tour with the Robson rift. And it does a lot more; it brings up just about everything surrounding Bouchard in her short life, including her father Mike's attempt to deduct her training expenses from his income taxes years ago (unsuccessful).
If the 20-year-old is going to make Grand Slam finals regularly, and it appears she is, she's going to have to get used to this kind of stuff.