By Ian Ransom
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Away from the court, the women's tennis tour can seem a merry-go-round of social get-togethers, support groups and 'selfies' shared between leading players but Eugenie Bouchard has no desire to forge firm friendships with her rivals.
"For me, I see them as competition," the straight-talking Canadian told reporters after mowing through Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia 7-5 6-0 to reach the fourth round at the Australian Open on Friday.
"You know, I don't want to become really good friends with any of the girls or tour.
"I'm definitely friendly with most of them, and that's fine, but I kind of come here, do my job, and leave. I think that's the best way for me to stay focused and not really have distractions."
Many of Bouchard's contenders have been talking up their close bonds.
Eighth-seeded Dane Caroline Wozniacki was eliminated on Thursday by two-time champion Victoria Azarenka, an opponent she describes as a good friend.
Serena Williams has also described Wozniacki as one of her best friends, the amiable Dane gaining some comfort from the American in the wake of her break-up with world number one golfer Rory McIlroy.
For Bouchard, the cold shoulder seems to be working for her at Melbourne Park where she has not dropped a set in her opening three matches.
She next faces Camelia-Irina Begu, an unseeded Romanian making her first appearance in the last 16 of a grand slam.
Bouchard said her favorite movie was 'Mean Girls', a Hollywood comedy about the cattiness and rivalry among 'the popular crowd' at an American high school.
The film was not a great representation of life in the locker room, Bouchard said.
"It's not like that. It's pretty chilled, pretty relaxed," she said. "We're all friendly and talking to each other and that's fine. When it's match day or game time, for me I'm definitely in my own bubble doing my own thing."
(Editing by John O'Brien)