Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard filed a lawsuit against the United States Tennis Association (USTA) on Wednesday, alleging negligence on their part that led to her slipping and falling in a locker-room incident during a match at the US Open in September.
The federal lawsuit filed in the US district of Brooklyn seeks unspecified monetary damages, while arguing that the player has suffered a lot of pain and economic loss as a result of the incident.
”Ms. Bouchard entered the physiotherapy room of the women’s locker room when she was caused to slip and fall by a slippery, foreign and dangerous substance on the floor,” the suit says.
Former World No.5 Bouchard claims the injuries “were caused solely by the reason of carelessness, negligence, wanton and willful disregard on the part of Defendant USTA.” Bouchard also alleges that the USTA failed to keep the locker room in a “safe and suitable condition” and failed to clean and repair the floor, leading to her fall.
A spokesman for the USTA, however, declined to comment on the matter saying that the organization had a long-standing policy of not discussing legal cases that were still under judicial review.
Bouchard was to face eventual finalist Roberta Vinci in the Round of 16 at the US Open, before she slipped in the locker-room following her mixed doubles match with partner Nick Kyrgios. She was later pictured in New York with a hoodie pulled over her head and sunglasses on, desperately trying to cover up a head injury.
Bouchard, currently ranked 38th, withdrew from tournaments in China and Japan with her ranking declining by a further 13 spots since the incident on September 4.
The rising star had a breakthrough year in 2014 when she was a runner-up at Wimbledon and reached the semifinals at both the Australian and French Open.
This year, however, has been a complete disaster for Bouchard. Her only notable result to date has been the quarter-finals appearance at the Australian Open (an ITF event).
In spite of her struggles on the court this year, Bouchard’s marketing value has actually gone up. Following in the footsteps of other tennis beauties of the past, Bouchard signed a three-year endorsement deal with Coca-Cola and she is also tied up with several other big companies including Nike and Babolat.