- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game5 hrs ago
NEW YORK – When this happened Wednesday afternoon, you wouldn't have given too much for Milos Raonic's chances in the second round of the US Open against Fernando Verdasco.
But the 24-year-old Canadian managed. He took a medical timeout to have it worked on before the back spasmed out, and had a couple of other rubdowns later on. The tournament physician came out with a painkiller. He barely sat down on changeovers, preferring to stretch out the back as much as he could.
Somehow, Raonic did more than enough to get past Fernando Verdasco 6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 7-6(1) and move into the third round of the US Open, where he will face another veteran Spanish lefty in Feliciano Lopez.
"When I saw that I was able to hold serve, I guess I was always going to give myself some kind of a chance. There were sometimes doubts, should I keep going or not. The worst part was it was sort of getting worse and worse," Raonic said. "It is what it is. Deal with it and move on."
For the first time since March, Eugenie Bouchard has put together back-to-back wins and is in the US Open third roundStephanie Myles at Eh Game6 hrs ago
NEW YORK – Happy 63rd birthday, Jimmy Connors. Your new protégée came up with a pretty good gift.
That would be Genie Bouchard, who managed to overcome a second set collapse Wednesday at the US Open and prevail 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-3 over Polona Hercog of Slovenia.
“The way I kept my nerve at the end of the third. This year I've had a couple matches where it's been tough to close out. I just tried to block that out of my mind, block the outcome as well out of my mind, you know, and just keep playing tennis. Keep trying to play good tennis,” Bouchard said. “Got tough there at the end, so I'm proud of that.”
Hercog is a tall, rangy athlete with a big serve and a tricky slice backhand who in the end, just wasn’t consistent enough, and perhaps didn’t have enough belief.
Bouchard was down a break early in each of the first two sets, but came roaring back and for the second consecutive match, showed some of the fire and dogged defence that characterized her best efforts of a year ago.
But when it came time to close it out, the 21-year-old Canadian faltered.
- Ian Denomme at Eh Game16 hrs ago
Lost in the Toronto Blue Jays' dramatic 5-3 walkoff win over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night was Edwin Encarnacion’s 26-game hitting streak coming to an end.
Encarnacion went 0-for-2 with a walk and a sacrifice fly, bringing the second-longest hitting streak in Blue Jays history to an end. While the streak itself is over Encarnacion is putting together one of the best stretches in club history.
Encarnacion won’t break Shawn Green’s franchise record 28-game hitting streak, but his numbers over the length of his streak are superior to what Green provided during his run. From June 29, 1999 to July 31, Green slashed .366/.434/.750 with 12 home runs and 27 RBIs in 112 at-bats. Impressive numbers for a team that was 10 game above .500 but already six games behind the first-place Yankees.
A somewhat subdued Nick Kyrgios behaves, but Andy Murray remains a better tennis player in a four-set victoryStephanie Myles at Eh Game1 day ago
NEW YORK – Despite all of the media attention heaped on 20-year-old Australian Nick Kyrgios in the tennis universe the last few weeks, it seemed most of the fans at Tuesday's US Open night session either weren't aware, or had an idea and came to see a show.
What did they get from the current enfant terrible of men's tennis? A little bit of everything, but a whole lot of not much.
The crowd's verdict was rather inconclusive, too, during a 7-5, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 loss to No. 3 seed Andy Murray that only showed flashes of potential when Kyrgios took the third set to extend it.
If you had to boil it down to one word, it was probably "perplexed".
Kyrgios, 20, hit a tweener and ended up winning one point. He leaped into the air in the patented airborne two-handed backhand stance ... only to hit a delicate backhand drop shot down the line for a winner. He took a few mid-match mini-naps.
- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game1 day ago
NEW YORK – Imagine you're sitting in your office after your work's done for the day, chatting with a few colleagues as you lean back in your chair. Normal stuff, right?
Now imagine you're doing just that, and there are a thousand people sitting there watching you – glaring at you, practically – just hoping you'll be done with it soon so you can give them a nanosecond of your time.
That's Roger Federer's life. And since it has been that way for such a long time, it seems he's learned to just ignore it and get on with what he wants to do.
Federer, coaches Severin Luthi and Stefan Edberg, and the Belgian David Goffin and coach Thierry Van Cleemput had a long conversation after their practice on this day, a chat punctuated by a lot of laughing with the relaxed, unshaven No. 2 seed. No matter how much the crowd was screaming for him on this day, a few days before the US Open began, Federer was undaunted.
He was going to get up when he decided to get up.
Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard are still alive in singles as the rest of the Canadian contingent at the US Open gets goingStephanie Myles at Eh Game1 day ago
NEW YORK – The first few days were all about the singles. But now, the rest of the Canadian players begin their US Opens in men's and women's doubles, and mixed.
Here they are, along with their opponents, and when they are scheduled to play.
A few days before his 43rd birthday, Nestor and new partner Édouard Roger-Vasselin begin their men's doubles campaign as the in-form team this summer.
The two reached the final in Montreal at the Rogers Cup and won the Cincinnati Masters 1000 tournament in their first two outings together, and those results helped them to get a higher seed at the Open, at No. 9.
Their first opponents are a pair of tall, big servers in Chris Guccione of Australia and Andre Sa of Brazil. The men's doubles draw is fairly balanced, with a lot of solid teams in the mix; Nestor and Roger-Vasselin are in the opposite half from the No. 1 seed Bryan brothers. Nestor is not playing mixed doubles.
- Chris Zelkovich at Eh Game1 day ago
Life has been a little difficult around TSN headquarters this summer.
After all, it has to be more than a little painful for the sports channel that ruled cable television for decades to stand by and watch rival Sportsnet crow weekly about record ratings for its Blue Jays games. That pain must be a minor headache compared with the agony of reading those Rogers releases that tout the fact that Sportsnet has now surpassed TSN in average ratings -- even if TSN argues those claims are dubious.
Throw in the fact that TSN's biggest champion, Phil King, was ousted in one of those corporate blood-lettingsrecently and it's been a pretty tough summer around the Bell Media playground.
So when TSN has something to crow about these days, it's only fair that the channel that bills itself as ``Canada's sports leader" gets a nod or two. And there certainly are a few things worth a nod.
- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game1 day ago
NEW YORK – Vasek Pospisil's work space on Court 7 Monday night in New York wasn't exactly neat and tidy as it was.
As habitually heavy sweater, a humid day like this one was always going to produce a mass of soaking-wet shirts, dripping wristbands and the remains of various hydration solutions.
But this time, the humidity got to the 25-year-old Canadian on every level – in his body, and in his mind.
In a match that, given reasonable form, he would fully expect to win after a slow start, first the racquet went flying into the net. Then, the massive tennis bag was tossed. Then, a water bottle went flying into the court.
It's quite unlike Pospisil to lose it that way. But the cramps were coming, there was nothing he could do about it, and he pretty much knew he was going to lose the match – which he did, 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (0), 6-0, 6-1 to Andreas Haider Maurer of Austria, a noted hothead who, on this night, pretty much kept his cool.
At 0-3, love-30 in the fourth set, the cramps hit for real.
- Israel Fehr at Eh Game1 day ago
The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro has long been talked about in basketball circles from coast-to-coast as the place where Canada's senior men's national team will announce its arrival as a powerhouse on the world basketball scene.
Before they can do that though, they need to make sure they get there. A top two finish at the FIBA Americas tournament that tipped off Monday in Mexico City is what they need to book their trip to Rio.
Given the depth of the team and the quality of players at coach Jay Triano's disposal, it would be a huge disappointment if Canada doesn't get it done.
The only notable absentee from the FIBA Americas roster is still out of contract forward Tristan Thompson. With a projected starting lineup of Andrew Wiggins, Cory Joseph, Kelly Olynyk, Nik Stauskas, and Anthony Bennett, it's easily the most talented group Canada has ever assembled in international competition, even without Thompson around. The bench features NBA talent in Andrew Nicholson, Robert Sacre, and Dwight Powell and Phil Scrubb, Brady Heslip, Aaron Doornekamp, and Melvin Ejim round out the roster.
- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game2 days ago
NEW YORK – As well as Milos Raonic serves, and for as many years as he has now been piling up a lot of victories on the strength of that serve, his matches often end up a game of cat and mouse.
His opponents will try different return positions to try to upset his rhythm, or get a better strike on the ball, anything to make a dent.
Tim Smyczek, a scrappy American with great wheels but a paucity of weapons, tried just about everything to handle the Canadian's serve, which regularly got into the 140-mile-an-hour range and up.
It didn't really work. While Raonic might admit to benefiting from some good fortune to escape the second-set tiebreak, in the end it was a routine, 6-4, 7-6 (8), 6-1 win that puts him into the second round of the US Open singles against old foe Fernando Verdasco, and likely answers some questions as to his general level of fitness after an injury-marred summer.