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Female tennis champ plays the game of her life. Is asked about her outfit.

Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard won an impressive 6-0, 6-3 match at the Australian Open yesterday at Melbourne Park.

Following her win against Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands, the ambitious 20-year-old tennis player – who reached the semifinals at last year’s Australian and French Opens and the final at Wimbledon — was interviewed on court.

And instead of asking how she felt about the result, or what the secret to her professional success was, the male presenter asked the young Quebec player this: “Can you give us a twirl?”

Eugenie Bouchard give us a twirl
Eugenie Bouchard (Photo: Getty Images)

Bouchard, a no. 7-ranked player  — replied with , “A twirl?,” and the reporter explained, “A twirl, like a pirouette, here you go.”

Then, looking a little embarrassed, the tennis ace obliged by doing a little pirouette in front of a packed stadium, showing off her pink top-and-skirt combo.

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Understandably, the question has been slammed on social media, with Twitter users questioning whether the reporter would have asked Roger Federer or other male stars the same question (spoiler alert: no way would that ever happen.)

Others  described the moment as “insulting” and “sexist“.

“Apparently “give us a twirl” is tennis’s version of “what are you wearing?”… She’s a champion, not an object. #its2015,” chimed in Twitter user Ashley Csanady.

Eugenie Bouchard give us a twirl
Bouchard playing tennis like the super-talented lady she is. (Photo: Getty Images)
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Bouchard spoke about the awkward moment during her post-match news conference, saying the question was “very unexpected.”

“I don’t know, an old guy asking you to twirl,” she added. “It was funny.”

Now, this is not the first time talented female athletes have been reduced to sex objects of fashion icons, and it won’t be the last: On Tuesday, the reporter had made a similar request of Serena Williams.

And last season, Bouchard was asked last season: “If you could date anybody in the world of sports, movies, who would you date?”

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Today, the tragic death of a young Russian tennis player Violetta Degtiareva from heart failure provided further fodder for pervy media coverage of female athletes. Degtiareva’s passing was covered by the Daily Mail with the headline, while the accompanying article ran two bikini photos and mentioned her “stunning good looks” and her “blonde beauty” excessively:

So, while Bouchard graciously underplayed the sexist gaffe as “funny” on this occasion, let’s be clear on one thing.

The fact that female athletes continue to be sexualised, despite working very bloody hard to carve out their succeed in a male-dominated industry, is not funny. The fact that their sponsorship deals and media coverage often pale in comparison to that of their penis-possessing counterparts is not funny.

The fact that their fashion choices and the way they look in a bikini remain more interesting to the media than their personal success stories is not funny.

It’s time to start celebrating female athletes as the talented, strong, ambitious women they are.

So for God’s sake, let’s stop asking them to “twirl”.

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