It was a quiet night in Tennisland. With most tournaments still in Asia and members of #TennisTwitter bleary eyed from late nights or watching replays at a more decent hour for those of us in the West there wasn't much going on. Until this Tweet showed up on Twitter:
USDC EDNY Filings @usdcedny 44m44 minutes ago
Bouchard v. USTA, Inc. et al
via redacted @Hurleytennis
Don't bother to click on the link it's restricted. Thankfully the same person posted the following excerpt:
There are several things that come to mind about this lawsuit, one of which is personally I only know what is posted above.
So far all we know is what Eugenie Bouchard and her camp have said in their filing. As I type this the USTA has not responded to press inquiries.
The first thing I asked myself is why something like this wasn't settled out of court. I'm guessing the USTA knew this suit was coming - most tennis fans, knowing the litigious nature of the Bouchard family, expected nothing less.
The excerpt above gives no financial details but rumors range from a modest six figure amount to seven figure amounts. How will a lawsuit of this nature affect the USTA which is in the iddle of upgrading the BJK National Tennis Center. Will the roof be completed if the settlement does end up in the seven figure and above range? Will construction of the new Grandstand Court be put on hold leaving the present arrangement in place?
And what about Bouchard's career? Usually when a lawsuit is filed against someone or something the Plaintiff is not allowed to come near the facility or individual being sued. Will other tournaments want someone who would take things seriously enoiugh to put them at financial peril playing at their event? And what will happen at next years US Open? Will she get a WC if needed? With her benefactor gone who will there be to plead her case with tournament directors and tennis federations?
Why ask these questions? Part of the suit blames the accident for Ms Bouchard's precipitous fall in the rankings, something that was already happening before the accident occurred. Does she expect to be compensated for lost wages? How can you know what she would have won if the accident hadn't happened? Since it's a civil suit it's doubtful that jurors would have much of an idea how tennis works and that Bouchard could potentially receive compensation way beyond what her play would have afforded her. Has she been unable to fulfill endorsement committments? From what we've seen of the suit that isn't mentioned. The USTA and the BJK NTC are the entities being sued. Surely she doesn't expect her ranking to be restored to a place higher than it was when the accident occurred.
I wonder how Stacey Allaster felt about this? Now that she's no longer involved with tennis she's under no obligation to say anything. Maybe she'll be called as a witness if and when the matter goes to trial. Maybe Stacey did jump after all.
I'll end with this story by Ben Rothenberg
“In line with our policy, the U.S.T.A. will not be commenting on ongoing litigation,” said Chris Widmaier, managing director of corporate communications for the U.S.T.A.
Bouchard is still troubled by the injury. She had to withdraw from a tournament two weeks ago in Wuhan, China, and retired midway through her first-round match last week in Beijing, citing dizziness. She has also withdrawn from events in Hong Kong and Tokyo.
The lawsuit notes that Bouchard’s ranking, which peaked at No. 5 last year, continues to drop. She is now No. 39 in the world, but was No. 25 at the time of the accident.
Bouchard is asking for a jury trial and is seeking damages of more than $150,000. “For sure,” said her lawyer, Benedict Morelli, “we could be talking about millions and millions.”