If there’s one thing Genie Bouchard’s management team isn’t lacking, it’s confidence. The agent for the 19-year-old Canadian tennis player believes his client can become the most marketable female athlete on the planet.
Bouchard’s agent, Sam Duvall, believes Maria Sharapova is the standard for marketable female athletes, but he thinks Genie can surpass the four-time major winner.
“Marketability-wise, I think she can be the most famous tennis player in the world,” Duvall told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“She’s got the personality, she’s got the game, she’s got the looks. She speaks two languages [French and English] and the crossover appeal is great. Aussie fans love her, French fans love her … I think she is very rare, let’s put it that way.”
Bouchard is from Montreal, where most residents are bilingual, which explains why she can speak English and French.
Bouchard has won just over $500,000 in career prize money and reached the semifinals of the Australian Open, which has been her best performance at a major thus far. Unfortunately, facing Li Na was a tough draw, but the advancement is a great sign about her future prospects.
“I really think she has the ability to be more marketable than Maria [Sharapova]. She speaks the two languages where the four grand slams are played. Maria was Genie’s idol when she was younger but now they’re competitors.
“But if Maria is the bar, Genie has the ability to exceed that bar. She has to perform on the court to do that, and Genie knows that. Maria has won four slams. Her marketability, if she [Bouchard] performs, I have to say is better than anyone on tour. She is the total package. It’s unbelievable how focused this girl is.”
Bouchard definitely has the potential to be marketable, she just has to take care of her end on the court by winning. You probably noticed how much Ana Ivanovic dropped off the map when she struggled after reaching the finals of the Australian Open and winning the French Open in 2008. It took her a few years to become relevant again. Caroline Wozniacki has also dropped off because of her play, but she’s had a boost thanks to her relationship with Rory McIlroy.
What does that tell us? I guess if Bouchard’s development as a player doesn’t go as planned, she can always date Justin Bieber to get her name out there.