It's not that budding Montreal tennis star Genie Bouchard and multiple Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova haven't been compared before.
They're both blonde, we'll give you that one. They both wear Nike, although usually not the same outfit. They're both ambitious and ruthless competitors. We'll grant you that, as well.
But when 25-year-old fashion magazine Elle-Québec decided to make Bouchard its cover subject, and add a fluffy little piece inside to introduce fashion fans to the new sports star of the moment, they made a fairly ghastly mistake:
Here's a side-by-side from the French Open (where the photos of Sharapova used in the spread were taken), so you can compare and contrast.
There's also a nearly six-inch height differential, although the matching visors might have caused the confusion.
According to this, the photo shoot for the cover was done in April, which would have been early April – between Miami and Bouchard's departure for the clay-court event in Estoril, Portugal. The interview also was done then.
Well after the issue hit newsstands, the website issued this "rectification" on July 24.
"An error occurred in the publication of the photos accompanying the article about prodigious tennis player (!!!) Eugenie Bouchard in our August issue. Here are the photos of the athlete that should have appeared in our pages. Our sincerest apologies."
Nice try, but those photos look nothing like the leggy action shots of Sharapova they chose. As well, given the issue came out mid-July and the lead time most magazines require to go into production, there's not much chance they'd have been able to squeeze a photo taken at Wimbledon (the one at right) into the page design. Plus, it ruins the cohesiveneness of said page design.
On the Elle Québec website, they do have a snappy video of Bouchard discussing her emerging love of fashion. It's definitely her. We can vouch for it.
There's also a photo gallery taken during the shoot.
All kidding aside, it sort of ruins what was a pretty nifty piece of PR for Bouchard on her home turf. But she does look stunning in the pics that are actually of her.
We've reached out to the new editor-in-chief of Elle Québec for comment (this was the first issue on her watch, as it happens). We'll update if she responds.