Genie Bouchard Brings Attention to Added Stressors That Female Athletes Contend With

In a conversation with podcast host Valeria Lipovetsky, the pro tennis player acknowledged just how resilient they really are.
Genie Bouchard
Genie Bouchard / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Current dialogue in the fitness space encourages women to work out according to their cycles and hormonal fluctuations. It’s generally agreed that doing so will make for better performance and give your body what you need for maximal functioning.

But when it comes to professional athletics, choosing when to practice or compete (and basing it around a cycle) is not always feasible. Professional tennis player Genie Bouchard knows this first-hand.

On a recent episode of the Not Alone podcast, the Canadian athlete opened up to host Valeria Lipovetsky about contending with the added stressors that her cycle brought one year at the U.S. Open. Bouchard “experienced period cramps [and] pain” the day before the Grand Slam started. She remembered thinking to herself, “Thank God this is just a practice day today because if I had to play my match today, it would be really hard.”

For female athletes, “that’s just something we have to deal with,” Bouchard conceded. There is no getting around the timeline of your cycle. And while a hugely important piece—and possible inhibitor—of performance, it remains wildly under-discussed. It wasn’t until recently that Wimbledon amended the all-white outfit rule to allow women to wear darker spandex in the event that they are on their periods.

Povetsky put it best: “The physical and mental toll of doing what the exact opposite than what your body is telling you is a whole other challenge and demands a whole other dimension of respect,” she wrote on Instagram.

Female athletes are finally getting more attention in the media and from sports fans (think the outpouring of support for and increase in dialogue surrounding the WNBA). Bouchard is making the case for acknowledging just how powerful and resilient they really are.

Martha Zaytoun


Martha Zaytoun is a Lifestyle & Trending News writer for SI Swimsuit. Before joining the team, Martha worked on the editorial board of the University of Notre Dame’s student magazine and on the editorial team at Chapel Hill, Durham and Chatham Magazines in North Carolina. When not working, Martha loves to watercolor and oil paint, run or water ski. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and a huge Fighting Irish fan.