The agent of teenaged Canadian star Eugenie Bouchard has said she believes that the new golden girl of tennis can surpass Maria Sharapova as arguably the most marketable female athlete on the planet.
The 19-year-old Bouchard has turned heads during her Australian Open campaign, winning the hearts of the public and respect from the tennis fraternity in an inspiring run to the Grand Slam's semi-finals.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Bouchard's agent Sam Duvall, who has worked with her since she was 13, believes the teenager has the potential to become the face of the sport as she has the personality, the looks, the game, can speak two languages (French and English) and is very 'rare'.
Duvall further said that marketability-wise, Bouchard has the ability to be more marketable than Sharapova, although she added that the teenager has to perform on the court to exceed the bar of four Grand Slams won by the Russian ace.
The report mentioned that Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic and Caroline Wozniacki, who all catapulted into the top 10 best-paid female athletes within 18 months of their maiden Grand Slam finals appearance, are still among the top 10, with Sharapova having topped Forbes magazine's list in her category for the past nine years.
However, the report added that interest in Bouchard, whose main sponsorship deal is with Nike, has skyrocketed during the past week given her success and the impression she has made at the Australian Open.