- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game10 hrs ago
PARIS – It seems as though it’s one thing after another for Vasek Pospisil, the likeable Canadian player who already has a Wimbledon doubles title under his belt.
The biggest question you get asked about him is about why he always seems to be injured. At 6-foot-4, solidly built with legs like tree trunks, he doesn’t look like the injury-prone type.
It isn’t, in fact, a fair question. Some of Pospisil’s woes have been plain bad luck; certainly the severe ankle sprain he suffered less than three weeks ago in Madrid, the one that compromised his singles effort at the French Open (he's still in the men's doubles), was a freak occurrence.
The back woes Pospisil suffered last year aren’t all that unusual in tennis, which seems littered these days with long-term injuries of all kinds. The number of “protected ranking” players in the men’s singles draw was significant – and it didn’t even include Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia and Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina, both former top-10 players dealing with long-term injuries who ended up not being able to make their date in Paris.
- Andrew Bucholtz at Eh Game15 hrs ago
The FIFA Women's World Cup starts in Canada on June 6, and the ticket sales are already encouraging. Terry Jones of The Edmonton Sun wrote Tuesday that 831,000 tickets had been sold by the start of the day, putting the organizers well on track to blow past the total attendance of 845,751 at the last Women's World Cup, which was held in Germany in 2011. The organizing committee's previously-stated goal of 1.5 million tickets sold, which would surpass the previous Women's World Cup attendance record (1,194,215 in the United States in 1999) still appears in view, too, as national organizing committee CEO Peter Montopoli told Jones:
- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game1 day ago
PARIS – The whole match seemed to go by in a flash - and yet it seemed like an eternity before 22-year-old Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic succeeding in serving it out – on her third attempt.
The 6-4, 6-4 loss sent 2014 French Open semi-finalist Genie Bouchard packing in the first round, as the 21-year-old Canadian's worst-case scenario came true on a gloomy evening in Paris that undoubtedly matched her current state of mind.
Adding insult to injury, Mladenovic is a big-serving, big-hitting, shotmaker. And yet, she basically defeated Bouchard with ... her drop shot. During one stretch, she went 7-for-7 with it.
Bouchard probably wasn't aware of this, but her post-match press conference was broadcast live across the country, in both official languages. Never in recent memory has she seemed so lost, so shell-shocked, really. In a way, she has rarely appeared more sympathetic, more human.
The mask of false bravado she has worn for most of the 2015 season was gone; Bouchard didn't even try to put any kind of positive spin on a decisive defeat that was at once surprising, yet hardly surprising at all.
- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game2 days ago
PARIS – Daniel Nestor, 42 years old and on tour for more than 20 years, has played a lot of tennis matches.
But he remembers this one pretty well, even though it was 19 years ago.
Just 23 and still a few years away from his best singles efforts – and long before he turned exclusively to doubles – Nestor was playing Frenchman Thierry Guardiola in the second round of the French Open singles qualifying in 1996, after having beaten a player named Claude n'Goran from Adzopé, Cote d'Ivoire, in the first round.
He pulled it out – 4-6, 6-3, 22-20.
That total of 51 games stood as a high-water mark in French Open qualifying, where there is no third-set tiebreaker in any round, ever since.
Until Thursday, when Andrea Arnoboldi of Italy and Pierre-Hughes Herbert went about 4 1/2 hours – spread over two days. Arnoboldi won 6-4, 3-6, 27-25, playing 52 games in the third set alone. Their match was halted after three hours and six minutes for darkness Wednesday evening at 15-15 in the third set.
It was pretty crazy stuff. Here's how it looked on the second day.
Nestor's match was all in one day.
- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game2 days ago
PARIS – At the appointed hour of 3 p.m., interested parties trooped over to Court 12, in the back part of the complex right behind Court Suzanne Lenglen, a practice court that has barriers so the fans can't completely surround it. The same court she practiced on Sunday.
No Genie Bouchard. Not even for a nano-second.
It turned out Bouchard practiced at an alternate site earlier in the day (sometimes, this is top-secret information; other times, it's fairly easy to find out) and was already back at her hotel by then. Meanwhile, Vasek Pospisil may have done the same; he didn't have any practices scheduled on site Monday.
There's probably no hidden message of concern with these developments; players regularly book practice courts and fail to show. Sometimes top players with injury concerns choose to practice in private, but in that case they don't book courts. Bouchard certainly has looked healthy in her practices, although she hasn't played particularly well.
Even the Wimbledon traditionalist Roger Federer thinks they've gone too far with the all-white thingStephanie Myles at Eh Game3 days ago
PARIS – For this French Open, Roger Federer is lit up like a My Little Pony Christmas tree.
Candy colours, to some. The only two hues little girls’ clothes come in, to others. The WTA Tour logo colours, to others still.
But in a few weeks, when the seven-time champion hits the lawns of the All-England Club, he knows the party will be over.
And, in discussing fashion in the city that’s famous for it Sunday, Federer couldn’t resist getting in a dig at the overzealousness of the tournament’s “all-white” rule in recent years.
“Obviously it's going to change when Wimbledon comes around because rules have become ridiculously strict over there, and I love Wimbledon, but they have gone too far now,” Federer said after his first-round win over Alejandro Falla of Colombia. “No colour anymore basically. So it's rough there. That's why let's enjoy the color while we can.”
- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game3 days ago
PARIS – Anything for a selfie, apparently.
It’s hard to assess exactly what a person is thinking when they jump onto centre court at a Grand Slam just to try to get a selfie with the great Roger Federer.
First of all, you KNOW it won’t end well, regardless. Secondly, you might not even get the selfie.
This kid decided this was the greatest idea he was going to have all week – and he was guaranteed to make it on TV and YouTube instantaneously. So he jumped onto Court Philippe Chatrier, coming up from behind and startling poor Federer (who had just won his first-round match).
It took far too long for the security to arrive; by that time, the kid was already ready to leave. And Federer – needless to say – was really PO’d.
“I'm not happy about it. Obviously not one second I'm happy about it. It happened yesterday in the practice, too. It's just a kid, but then three more kids came. And today on centre court where you would think this is a place where nobody can come on, just wanders on and nothing happens,” Federer said in his press conference.
Tournament director Gilbert Ysern said he wouldn’t react to Federer’s comments about the incident, but about what happened.
- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game4 days ago
PARIS – Eight days ago, Vasek Pospisil finally got some good news.
Playing the French Open – originally thought impossible – was back on the table.
It was a goal to shoot for as the 24-year-old Canadian spent six hours a day frantically working to heal a bad ankle sprain suffered on the doubles court in Madrid two weeks ago with partner Jack Sock.
"I was very disappointed, obviously. When it happened I thought I broke it. I’ve sprained my ankle several times over the course of my career that that was by far the most painful one. But it turned out to be not as bad as initially thought," Pospisil said. "It was a pretty complicated sprain, it looks pretty good, considering that I’m on the court already. The first couple of diagnoses said I had a fracture, and that turned out not to be the case. It was a tough MRI to read."
On Saturday in Paris, Pospisil played the first competitive points since that injury, against veteran Finnish lefty Jarkko Nieminen.
He had done some limited, controlled movement the previous day; this was the first real test.
- Israel Fehr at Eh Game4 days ago
Add another goal to Sebastian Giovinco's already impressive Toronto FC highlight-reel.
The latest might just be the best of the bunch too, as Giovinco's left-footed strike from 30 yards out in the fifth minute gave the Reds an early lead against the Portland Timbers on Saturday at BMO Field.
Giovinco, who now has five goalsand four assists in 10 games on the season, wasn't done pulling the strings. He came close to adding a second on a couple occasions in the first half, cutting inside the box only to have his effort blocked in front and he also went just wide on another long distance attempt, this one on his right foot.
He ultimately didn't find the back of the net again, but his lone tally was enough to earn TFC a deserved 1-0 win and improved to 4-5-1, giving them 13 points from 10 games. It was a strong performance overall, one that the Reds would surely like to replicate consistently.
- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game4 days ago
PARIS – It's crunch time for Genie Bouchard as she returns to Paris, the scene of her inspiring run to the French Open semi-finals a year ago, which ended with a solid three-set effort against eventual champion Maria Sharapova.
And if you didn't know she was here, you wouldn't even know she was here. Whether it's deliberate or not, it's not a bad way to go given Bouchard's on-court struggles this season.
Bouchard's "it-girl" face hasn't yet been seen in the local media, and the tournament officially gets under way on Sunday. She wasn't even requested by any of the myriad television rights holders here, all of whom lined the "media walk" on Friday with the various top seeds making their way down the line, answering basically the same questions from each camera and presenter.
A request to her representatives by your Eh Game correspondent for a short interview before the French Open was quickly met with an "Unfortunately, that will not be possible."