Critics have suggested that tennis temptress Eugenie Bouchard’s days in the pro game could be numbered after she posed with her new lover for the first time, relaxing on a Mexican beach having failed to make the Australian Open.
Shirtless Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph, who is arguably best known for a bizarre on-pitch brawl with Myles Garrett in which the Cleveland Browns defensive end smashed Rudolph with his own helmet, embraced Bouchard in the photo on Instagram.
The pair were in the resort city of Cabo San Luca for their first publicly-shared snap together, having been reported to have become “pretty serious” with each other last October.
Bouchard has form for taking her boyfriends to the beach. Shortly after she was knocked out of the US Open in the first round in late 2019, she was spotted getting steamy in the sea with Connor Davis, the brother of US supermodel and ex-tennis player Hannah Jeter.
Did you just call Bouchard a tennis pro? I thought she was an IG model and part time tennis player
— Eric Ubong (@ericubong) February 15, 2021
The world number 141 has not played a professional match since losing her second qualifier in a failed attempt to reach the Grand Slam in Melbourne more than a month ago.
“[She] turns 27 next week and could very well see herself slowing down the tennis career to live the NFL girlfriend life,”speculated football fan Joe Kinsey.
“Maybe she plays a few select tournaments when it’s convenient, does some marketing deals to keep that line of cash flowing and then spends the rest of her time posting Instagrams of her life with Mason.”
With a staggering following of more than 2.1 million on the social media platform, Bouchard’s fanbase dwarves the numbers attracted by many of the world’s leading players and is almost certainly a more reliably lucrative option than her on-court career.
“She should retire from tennis,” said one viewer, while another added: “I thought she was an Instagram model and part-time tennis player.”
The Canadian has been outspoken about her love life and auctioned herself for dates on more than one occasion in recent years, although she claimed to have regretted some of the fallout after agreeing to see fan John Goehrke after he won a sporting Twitter bet in 2017.
Tennis badboy Nick Kyrgios appeared to flirt with her after Bouchard teased that lockdown “would be a lot more fun with a boyfriend” last year, and she subsequently went on separate dates with an Instagram comedian and another fan, both of whom paid thousands of dollars to good causes in return for the privilege of her company.
Kinsey described Mason as “an unknown to the celebrity women around the US before having his head caved in by his own helmet”, and the hulking 25-year-old endured jokes from his own teammates after describing Bouchard as “my valentine”.
“So many broken hearts,” responded offensive tackle Zach Banner. “Don’t worry, I’ll be their crying shoulder.”