Once again, Canada's Eugenie Bouchard takes a pass on the traditional Fed Cup handshake

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During the ceremonial photos at the Montreal v. Romania Fed Cup draw in Montreal Friday, Genie Bouchard took a pass on shaking opponent Alexandra Dulgheru's hand. (Stephanie Myles/opencourt.ca)
During the ceremonial photos at the Montreal v. Romania Fed Cup draw in Montreal Friday, Genie Bouchard took a pass on shaking opponent Alexandra Dulgheru's hand. (Stephanie Myles/opencourt.ca)

Give the lady props for consistency, especially given the fact that after last year's "non-handshake" moment against Kristina Kucova and Slovakia, the eyes of many tennis fans would be upon Genie Bouchard when the same moment rolled around again at the official draw for the Canada vs. Romania tie Friday in Montreal.

But just as she did in Quebec City a year ago, Bouchard declined to shake opponent Alexandra Dulgheru's hand, leaving the veteran Romanian first with her arm hanging in mid-air, then with both arms tightly squeezed around her until the photographers were done.

Here's what it looked like.

The handshake is one of those things, perhaps a little hokey but more than anything a symbol of goodwill between the two nations about to battle it out on the tennis court.

As a Fed Cup moment, it's pretty much up there with all the group photos, and having to listen to all the speeches at the previous night's official dinner and prior to the official draw.

Give Bouchard credit for nerve, as well. The 21-year-old has received her fair share of criticism this season because of her struggles on the court, as well as her decision to decline the invitation to play in the February Fed Cup tie against the Czechs in Quebec City. This was only going to add more material to her detractors' bulletin boards.

Given it takes a lot more energy to sidestep the moment than it would taking the 10 seconds to shake someone's hand (she doesn't have to MEAN it), it seems a lot of wasted effort just to feed the trolls.

“It’s nothing personal towards her. I just don’t believe in wishing my opponent good luck before the match. But after we play tomorrow, I will shake her hand, you know, no matter what happens," Bouchard told Romanian television.

On Romanian television, the head of the Romanian federation, X, said this: 

"She had a tougher beginning of the season, has a new coach and everybody is expecting a lot from her .... so that might be to our advantage."

Dulgheru, who has been on Tour a long time and seen it all, told Eh Game she didn't take it personally and said it was Bouchard's choice. But she did think it was "weird." a little awkward, and that if the Canadian had an issue with the handshake she might have given them a little warning ahead of time.

The clip has already hit Romanian television and, with the large number of Romanians in Montreal – they've turned up in raucous numbers for low-level Futures matches in the past, so you'd have to think they will make their presence felt at the Maurice-Richard Arena on Saturday – they might let her know about it. 

For the record, it wasn't a team decision; Françoise Abanda shook hands amiably with her first opponent Saturday, Irina-Camelia Begu.

Montreal's Françoise Abanda shakes hands with her opponent in Saturday's Fed Cup match, Irina-Camela Begu.
Montreal's Françoise Abanda shakes hands with her opponent in Saturday's Fed Cup match, Irina-Camela Begu.
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