Tennis lovers can’t watch any matches because of coronavirus but they turned out in force for Eugenie Bouchard’s Instagram Live performance today — and one fan’s dream came true as he scored himself a date.
The Canadian star joined American sports journalist and presenter Allie LaForce for some quality time on social media and it didn’t take long for talk to turn to Bouchard’s relationship status.
The 26-year-old tweeted last month “quarantine would be a lot more fun with a boyfriend” and later revealed eligible bachelors had been sending dating resumes to her agent.
“I remember thinking, ‘Damn, it would be so nice, you’d have so much time to hang out with someone’,” Bouchard told LaForce as they discussed the reaction to her social media game.
“Two days later my agent … (told me) I’m getting dating resumes in his email inbox. He sent me some and some of them are hilarious.
“A guy wrote out his resume like past experiences, good qualities, strengths and everything. I was dying.”
Bouchard, who is in Las Vegas, said being stuck in self-isolation will be make or break for a lot of couples — not that it’s a conundrum she’s facing.
“I’m super alone,” Bouchard said. “It’s really lonely.
“I’m literally alone.
“If you’re still in the honeymoon phase (of a relationship) I think quarantine is perfect for that.”
But Bouchard’s loneliness might be short-lived after she was ambushed by a punter desperate to profess his love for the 2014 Wimbledon finalist.
A fan known simply as “Bob” commented on her Instagram Live stream multiple times, saying he loved her. That’s when LaForce took charge and managed to get hold of him on FaceTime as the video chat took an interesting turn.
Bob called Bouchard a “smokeshow”, saying “I think I’m in love with her”. Pressed to comment further on how deep his feelings run for the former world No. 5, he added: “We’re going to have to figure that out as we go along, Genie. We don’t really know yet, OK, so we’ll take it slow.”
Bouchard is no stranger to romantic approaches on social media, famously agreeing to a date with a Twitter user after she lost a bet with him during the 2017 Super Bowl.
History looked like it was going to repeat itself.
Bob, who may or may not have been emboldened by some liquid courage, didn’t want to overstay his welcome and bid farewell on FaceTime, asking Bouchard to check her direct messages (DMs) later — something she promised to do.
Asked by LaForce if constantly fending men off was standard practice, Bouchard said: “Online, for sure. People usually aren’t that forward to my face. This was nice, this was refreshing. I respect that.”
Bob was shooting his shot, and it was going to pay off. As the minutes passed his DM dropped in Bouchard’s inbox, suggesting they should get together to “Netflix and chill”.
“Yes Bob, we’ll Netflix and chill sometime,” she responded.
But if that counted as a win, things soon escalated from there.
Bouchard and LaForce were asking questions of their followers and giving out prizes — like a racquet and signed shoes — to those who answered correctly. Bob then piped up again and offered $500 for a date with Genie.
But that wouldn’t cut it for LaForce, who along with her husband, Houston Astros baseball star Joe Smith, have partnered with Project Frontline to recently deliver hundreds of meals to hospitals for healthcare workers involved in the fight against coronavirus.
She said $3000 feeds staff at a hospital so she’d need a minimum of that amount for any talk of dating Bouchard to progress.
Bob, sensing this was his ticket to Bouchard’s heart, made his next move count, agreeing to the Project Frontline donation — and Bouchard accepted.
“You’re also helping me, being a matchmaker for me because I clearly need one,” Bouchard told LaForce. “I agreed, yes, of course. I want to be part of this (date),” she added about the development in her love life.
LaForce sounded like she was more excited than Bob, cheering at having played Cupid and raised money for charity in the process.
“We’re going to need you to report back to us after this date because you’re either going to love me or hate me,” LaForce told Bouchard. “I really hope it’s not the latter.
“It’s happening … this is amazing!”
The tennis star only had one request for Bob on their date – bring toilet paper.
But give someone an inch and they’ll take a mile. Rather than being grateful for what he had and running, Bob upped the stakes.
He offered an extra $1000 — so $4000 in total to charity — if on their date, Bouchard orders her food in a British accent. After some digging, LaForce confirmed it wasn’t some “sexual fetish” of Bob’s, but explained he wanted a funny video to post on his social channels.
“Why are you doing this to me, Bob?” Bouchard said. “You’re guilting me … so I feel I have to say yes because it’s for charity, but I’m also highly uncomfortable with that.
“I’m going to say yes but I have no skill whatsoever in imitating accents.”
The uncertainty of coronavirus means nobody really knows how long we’ll be stuck at home. Dating is complicated enough as it is, but how single people mingle in the age of a global pandemic adds an extra complication into the mix.
When it was suggested a FaceTime date may be the best Bob can get in quarantine, he played hardball. It was only $2200 to charity for a virtual rendezvous, or $4000 for the real deal (with a British accent) when social distancing restrictions are lifted.
That offer then dropped to $1600 for a FaceTime date.
“I feel like there’s a value on me right now,” Bouchard said. “I’m not sure how I feel about this.
“I’m worth more, Bob!”
Now all we can do is wait for the next chapter in this love story to be written.