The Pandemic Has Diminished Part of Athletes’ Jobs: Signing Autographs

Even where spectators can attend sports events, physical buffers between them and the athletes often prevent autograph seeking. Players and fans miss the interaction.

Feb. 23, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ET

The tennis player Eugenie Bouchard grew accustomed to drawing a crowd of autograph seekers. At tournaments, she routinely scribbled her signature for almost anybody who asked around stadium concourses or outside her hotel.

Bouchard, a 2014 Wimbledon finalist who ranked fifth in the world at her peak, is one of Canada’s most popular athletes. But lately, she has received significantly less attention. She has competed in just four tournaments on the tour since the start of the coronavirus pandemic — sometimes without

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