Genie Bouchard covers the new issue of FLARE. It’s been almost a year since Genie made it to the Wimbledon final. As you know, she lost. And she was devastated. She was also criticised for the way she reacted afterwards. Here’s how she explains it now, with some perspective:

“I’m very hard on myself. Sometimes too hard on myself. When I lost in the Wimbledon finals, I was so sad, I cried. I had the runner-up trophy! It’s still a great accomplishment, but I was so mad. Everyone told me, ‘Genie, you had a great two weeks. Come on.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, but I didn’t win the title. I don’t deserve any of this.’ My goal is to always win the title.”

She made headlines recently too for not shaking hands with her opponent before the match because she doesn’t believe in wishing her good luck before they play, clarifying that she would shake hands afterwards, when everything was settled. She ended up losing, and shaking hands.

I don’t always agree with Genie’s attitude. But what I like about Genie is that she clearly doesn’t feel like she has to behave like a “sweet” girl, be polite and accommodating. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t, if I could, recommend some polish in the way she delivers her message but there’s this whispered expectation when it comes to Genie – that she should act the way she “looks”, that because she’s pretty she should be conventionally nice. It’s bullsh-t.

The June issue of FLARE is available on Next Issue today and on newsstands May 11. It also features my new column on Chinese Lit and whether or not Chinese writers are allowed to be superficial. Click here to read it.