In a stark reversal of their Wimbledon result, Eugenie Bouchard easily dispatches Dominika Cibulkova to move into the Rogers Cup third round for the first timeStephanie Myles at Eh Game4 hrs ago
MONTREAL – Things are falling into place for Genie Bouchard at this Rogers Cup, in that same way they did in 2014 in that when the draws opened up and opportunity knocked, the 22-year-old Montrealer eagerly answered the door.
After a surprisingly routine 6-2, 6-0 win over No. 11 Dominika Cibulkova Wednesday night, Bouchard faces a potentialy far easier task Thursday night when she faces a qualifier, No. 121-ranked Kristina Kucova, for a spot in the Rogers Cup quarter-finals.
If she can win that one, her quarter-final opponent would be the winner between Johanna Konta (whom she beat earlier this month at Wimbledon, on Konta's home ground) or lucky loser Varvara Lepchenko of the U.S., who occupies the very top spot in the draw first owned by Serena Williams and then, after her withdrawal, by No. 3 Garbiñe Muguruza (who also withdrew).
- Kaitlyn McGrath at Eh Game5 hrs ago
TORONTO — While not the official holiday, Wednesday at the Rogers Cup was known as Canada Day. With five Canadians into the second round, all were on the courts of Toronto’s Aviva Centre at some point throughout Day 5.
That collective effort didn’t go unnoticed, especially by the top-ranked Canadian Milos Raonic.
“ When players used to come here at this tournament, it's not necessarily the best thing to say, but if you drew a Canadian you were feeling pretty good about yourself, which was unfortunate. But I think that whole stigma — that whole observation of the situation has definitely changed,” the seventh-ranked Raonic said. “It's a good time, and it's a good time for Canadian tennis.”
Despite the positive first-round push from the Canadians, in the end Raonic was the last man standing as the four others went 0-4 on the day, leaving the 25-year-old from Thornhill to hold up the Canadian flag at the home tournament. Before a crowded Centre Court, Raonic beat Yen-Hsun Lu 6-3, 6-3, advancing to the round of 16 and will play American Jared Donaldson next.
- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game6 hrs ago
MONTREAL – Tennis players – at least the successful ones – have to have a pretty terrible short-term memory in order to turn the page on tough losses as soon as possible when another tournament looms the following week.
So we'll attribute Genie Bouchard'sfailure to remember her previous encounter with Slovakia's Kristina Kucova to that, as well as to the fact that she's still feeling under the weather because of the gastric inflammation she suffered Wednesday.
In fact, the two have met before.
The circumstances, to say the least, were pretty unique.
Before Handshake-Gate, the sequel in Montreal against Alexandra Dulgheru and Romania in April, 2015, there was the original, in Quebec City against Slovakia and ... Kristina Kucova a year before that.
- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game14 hrs ago
MONTREAL – For 22-year-old Saisai Zheng of China, Tuesday evening's marquee match at the Rogers Cup against homegirl Françoise Abanda turned out to be a bit of a nightmare.
As the ball flew off her racquet in the first set when she barely even touched it, and Abanda won the set 6-1, she knew something was drastically wrong. When she changed to her second racquet, same problem.
By the time Zheng got a racquet she could work with, it was a little too late. She ended up losing 6-1, 7-5 and as it turns out, the home stringer inadvertently did Montrealer Abanda a big-time favour.
"At the beginning of the warmup I felt my racquet was really loose, but I thought maybe I was a little bit nervous because of the big crowd. When I started, three games after, I feel right away I cannot play with this because I can only touch the ball, and it flies away," Zheng told Eh Game earlier today, after her warmup for her doubles match.
"Then I changed to another racquet, one pound up, and I played three games again, the same - just too loose. So I told the umpire to string another new one and at the end, they gave me back," she added.
- Dhiren Mahiban at Eh Game16 hrs ago
Max Domi isn’t concerned about the possibility of a sophomore slump.
The Arizona Coyotes forward finished sixth in Calder Trophy voting after scoring 18 goals and 34 assists in his rookie campaign. His 54 points were good for second in team scoring, behind only defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
Domi is more concerned with helping the franchise end its four-year playoff drought.
“Realistically, sports there are huge,” Domi said of Arizona. “It's just like anywhere: if you win, you're going to get the outcome you want, if you don't win, then it's not going to be as much (support) as you want.
“For us, and the hockey side of things, we're out there in Glendale and we're all very happy out there. It's a great facility, great people in the organization. We've just got to find a way to put together some wins next year, and then go from there.”
Off the ice, despite the seemingly constant chatter of relocation and issues with the arena lease, Domi, who grew up in Toronto, is enjoying life in the desert.
- Kaitlyn McGrath at Eh Game16 hrs ago
TORONTO — If this week at the Rogers Cup is any indication, Canadians should remember the name: Denis Shapovalov.
Problem is it’s a little tough to say.
Exactly how many different ways has the promising teenager tennis star heard his name pronounced this week?
“Too many,” he said, smiling, before launching into a brief tutorial for the assembled media.
“ I'll explain it. It's two parts,” said the 17-year-old Canadian, who pulled off a major upset on Monday night, beating world No. 19 Nick Kyrgios in three sets on Centre Court at the Aviva Centre.
“So first part is Shapo, so ‘hat’ in French,” he explained to reporters, who have been trying to master the pronunciation all week. “Then second part is Valov. So if you put it together, Shapo-valov. For everyone to get it right.”
For the record, he also wants to make it clear his first name is spelled with one N, not two.“It also makes me a little bit upset when people write my name with two Ns, ‘Dennis.’ I get that so much. It's just so upsetting every time.”
- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game20 hrs ago
MONTREAL – There has been a lot to cheer for on the Canadian side of things so far in the Rogers Cup – and Milos Raonic has yet to take the court.
The top Canadian and recent Wimbledon finalist finally gets his tournament started tonight and even though it's Wednesday, he'll have plenty of company.
No. 1 men's seed Novak Djokovic and Olympic partner Nenad Zimonjic were shocked Tuesday by the pickup Canadian team of Philip Bester and Adil Shamasdin although Djokovic, who rarely plays doubles, certainly isn't nearly as comfortable in that format. Still, it was another very good win for the Canadian side.
After a dramatic, encouraging victory over Lucie Safarova, Eugenie Bouchard struggles through doubles with stomach problems.Stephanie Myles at Eh Game1 day ago
MONTREAL – With all the background noise leading up to it, and with so much history to overcome, Genie Bouchard’s 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (3) victory over Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic Tuesday afternoon at the Rogers Cup should have been a triumphant moment to savour.
Unfortunately for Bouchard, the rest of the day didn’t go as smoothly.
The 22-year-old, who played doubles later on with countrywoman Carol Zhao, was in some distress on the court in the second part of a 6-2, 6-2 loss to Americans Raquel Atawo and Abigail Spears. She was grabbing her stomach and ran off the court and into a waiting cart no more than 30 seconds after the handshake.
And after a long wait for her press conference, it wasn’t Bouchard herself who walked into the interview room but fill-ins Nick Saviano and Sylvain Bruneau, the captain of the Canadian Fed Cup team. Here’s what they had to say about Bouchard’s absence – and issues.
For all the looking back to Bouchard’s last, disastrous appearance on the Montreal centre court, her effort Tuesday nearly two years later was of such quality and grit that perhaps some of those demons were eradicated once and for all.
- Kaitlyn McGrath at Eh Game1 day ago
TORONTO — Given his season struggles, an easy win might have been just what Vasek Pospisil needed to give himself a boost of confience.
The Canadian advanced to the second round of the Rogers Cup when he defeated France’s Jeremy Chardy 7-6(3), (ret.) on Tuesday evening on Centre Court at Toronto’s Aviva Centre. After losing the first, Chardy called out a trainer in his opening service game of the second set, trailing 0-30. He retired shortly thereafter with an apparent foot injury.
“ You know, a win is a win,” Pospisil said in his press conference afterward. “Obviously played a good first set at the end of the first set there, and obviously unfortunate for me I had to stop, but I will try to take confidence out of that first set.”
With the win, Pospisil joins four other Canadians in the second round, in what has so far been a banner tournament for the host nation. It's the first time since 2013 that Canada has had five players in the second round.
“Seems like we have a lot of young guys coming up right now, so that's exciting. It's good to have a lot of new faces, that's for sure,” he said.
- Kaitlyn McGrath at Eh Game1 day ago
TORONTO — Having two No. 1 ranked players — one former, one current — on the other side of the net with a combined 20 Grand Slam titles between them might be considered intimidating to some tennis players. But Canadian Philip Bester didn’t see it that way.
“ Obviously, it's an exciting matchup — kind of like a popcorn match,” Bester said. “But at the end of the day, you know, putting aside the excitement, I was also excited to go out there with Adil and I knew that we had enough skill and enough game to beat these guys.”
These guys happened to be top-ranked Novak Djokovic and Nenad Zimonjic, a former doubles No. 1, and Bester and his partner Adil Shamasdin did in fact beat them, 7-5, 4-6, 10-2 in their first-round match at the Rogers Cup on Tuesday.
“Going into a match like this we are focused on what we are doing on our end, and we are not really kind of worried about what they're going to do,” Shamasdin said in their post-match press conference. “They are going to have some great shots. (Djokovic) hit some good shots; he hit some bad shots, just like everybody else.”