- Kaitlyn McGrath at Eh Game1 hr ago
TORONTO — Growing up, the Rogers Cup was the only tennis tournament Milos Raonic attended as a spectator. For that reason, this place holds sentimental value for the seventh-ranked Canadian.
“ It's definitely one of the more significant achievements I'd like to reach,” he said about one day winning the title at the only Canadian ATP Tour stop. “Hopefully I can make it count this time around, and it's what I'm training for. My focus is not anywhere, any further along to any other tournaments coming up other than this tournament at this moment.”
On an overcast Thursday evening, Raonic got one step closer to that goal as he cruised to a 6-2, 6-3 win over USA's Jared Donaldson to advance to the quarter-finals of the Rogers Cup on Centre Court at the Aviva Centre.
Raonic opened the match with a 235-kilometre per hour serve that his opponent could only block with his racket before the ball ricocheted out of play. Raonic would hit a few more like that, plus one that clocked in at 236 km/h. Fittingly, he ended the match with a cool 230 km/h ace up the middle.
- Chris Zelkovich at Eh Game12 hrs ago
Olympic marathon swimmers, sailors and windsurfers have always had a defined skill set: strength, balance and coordination.
Now, thanks to the organizers of the upcoming Rio Games, they'll have to add another: the ability to keep their mouths closed during competitions.
That's what health officials are advising after organizers admitted that clean-up efforts at Rio de Janeiro's Guanabara Bay have failed and competitors will basically be swimming in a large outdoor toilet bowl.
One doctor told the New York Times that competitors ``will literally be swimming in human crap."
Outside of the fact that this creates a potential treasure trove of unavoidable newspaper headlines (Olympians flush with pride at Rio, Medal hopes go down the tubes, Crappy performances dog Games), it adds yet another unsavoury layer to the problems facing Rio.
- Chris Young at Eh Game15 hrs ago
When it came to designing a cutting-edge bikini for the upcoming Rio Games' women's beach volleyballers, it turns out the leap from Lululemon's yoga wear foundation to the Olympic rings is not that much of a stretch at all.
The Vancouver-based company signed a deal last year with Volleyball Canada to outfit the men's and women's national teams, and is endorsing and outfitting a handful of athletes in Rio in other sports as well. The unis were designed and tested over a six-month period with the help of 3D technology, in-studio sessions with those athletes and a "climate simulation chamber" that purports to mimic the sun, sand and sweaty humidity of Rio's Copacabana Beach, site of the beach volleyball competition that begins Aug. 6 for the four Canadian teams that comprise the country's biggest-ever Olympic contingent in the sport.
- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game15 hrs ago
MONTREAL – The rest of the Canadians are out of the singles now, leaving just the king and queen of the Canadian tennis prom, Genie Bouchard and Milos Raonic, to fight for the flag.
For Raonic, who only made his debut Wednesday, a qualifier in the third round is probably just fine with him. For Bouchard, who is in the third round of the Rogers Cup for the first time (this is her ninth trip - hard to believe), a qualifier is also just what the doctor ordered.
The best match on paper, for the women, would be between future Olympic teammates Venus Williams, 36 and Madison Keys, 21, the No. 6 and No. 10 seeds.
But will it? There are definitely health concerns for Venus, who was just lobbing in her serve by the end of her second-round match Wednesday against Barbora Strycova. She was typically cagey afterwards about the nature of the problem.
In addition to Raonic's night match, perhaps the match that might produce the most sparks in Toronto will be the doubles clash between Canadians Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil, reunited before the Rio Games, and Jack Sock and Nick Kyrgios.
Eugenie Bouchard easily dispatches Dominika Cibulkova to move into the Rogers Cup third round for the first timeStephanie Myles at Eh Game23 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 Game1 day 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 Game1 day 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.
It was awkward. Here's how it went down.
- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game1 day 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 Game1 day 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 Game1 day 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.”