WASHINGTON • Eugenie Bouchard, the 2014 Wimbledon finalist, has a date with a stranger after losing a Super Bowl bet.
The 22-year-old learned the hard way on Sunday never to bet against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, who rallied from a 25-point deficit to defeat Atlanta 34-28 in overtime to claim the National Football League crown.
With the Falcons ahead 21-0 after running back an intercepted Brady pass for a touchdown, Bouchard was confident enough in the Falcons to start sending Twitter messages predicting victory.
"I knew Atlanta would win btw," the Canadian blonde tweeted, later adding, "Just predicted the future."
So that prompted TW1, a Twitter identity sporting a photo of a man in a Cleveland Cavaliers National Basketball Association jersey, to tweet Bouchard with a long-shot bid of his own.
"If patriots win we go on a date?" came the pitch. "Sure," Bouchard replied, although she shot down a second such suitor with merely "C'mon..."
When the Patriots won the game, and their fifth title with Brady as quarterback, she could only manage letters: "Omfg."
"Lesson learned," Bouchard followed with later. "Never bet against Tom Brady."
On Monday, she tweeted a photo with the message: "Omg... last night really happened."
Realising she had become a major focus on Twitter, Bouchard made it clear she would pay off and reward a date dreamer with an unlikely dream date.
While she held herself to her word, Brady is still trying to get back his missing Super Bowl jersey.
After leading New England to victory, Brady reported that his No. 12 game jersey was nowhere to be found. That white top has sentimental value to him, and then some - it would be worth up to US$500,000 (S$709,000) if sold, said Ken Goldin, founder of Goldin Auctions in New Jersey.
"He is the most popular and most collectable football player ever," Goldin said. The bidding would start, he said, at US$300,000.
Brady, the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player, took the loss of his jersey in his stride at Monday's press conference after he received the MVP award.
"Those are pretty special ones to keep, but what can you do," he said. "I'll take the ring, and that's good enough for me."
The Texas Rangers have been roped in to help the Houston police department retrieve the missing item.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, WASHINGTON POST