- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game2 hrs ago
MONTREAL – As Denis Shapovalov prepares to make his Rogers Cup debut Monday night at the Aviva Centre in Toronto, Canada’s new Wimbledon junior champion is being hailed as another success story from the well-funded national development program.
But as 17-year-old Denis Shapovalov and coach Adriano Fuorivia barnstormed through the U.S. south last winter playing at the very lowest level of professional tennis, rather than fly to Australia to play the first junior Grand Slam of the 2016 season, it wasn’t out of choice but out of financial necessity.
As with most national tennis federations, if you don’t get with the program and fit within the fairly rigid structure, you’re on your own.
So far, Shapovalov and Fuorivia have shown their own way has been a winning way. They’ve also shown that there is more than one way to develop a champion and that they don’t always come out of tennis factories like national training centres and high-priced academies.
- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game11 hrs ago
MONTREAL – These big, beefy security people around the Rogers Cup – there are exponentially more of them this year as security around the tournament has been tightened to the extreme – were taking their jobs seriously Sunday.
As hometown heroine Genie Bouchard exited Court 8, where she hit for about an hour and 20 minutes with Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, the demand for pics, selfies and the like was major.
So much so that Bouchard's gorgeous grandmother Huguette was given the big brushoff by a burly guy three times her size and likely one-third her age when she tried to get say hello to her granddaughter.
You can see her here; she's the lovely lady with the short, grey hair, jeans and pale shirt. She sure looks like a security risk, doesn't she? The security guy passed the test.
Finally, not without a lot of effort, she finally got in there for a hug and a kiss. Well done, madame.
- Chris Zelkovich at Eh Game14 hrs ago
The record will show that Jared du Toit finished in a tie for ninth place at the RBC Canadian Open on Sunday, three strokes behind winner Jhonattan Vegas.
But in the hearts of everyone who attended or watched the tournament, the 21-year-old Canadian was the biggest winner on the golf course.
Whether it was marching up the 18th fairway to raucous applause, scrambling to save par or narrowly missing an eagle putt on the final hole for dramatic flourish, de Toit carried himself like a PGA Tour veteran. In fact, he performed better than a lot of the biggest names in the game in doing so, finishing the day one under and tournament 9-under par.
Which is pretty impressive considering that this was his first event on the PGA Tour and one that came with few hopes.
``Honestly I had no expectations coming into this week," the Kimberley, B.C., product said. ``I thought maybe if I play well and make the cut -- I honestly didn't know. To come out this week and play well, Top-10, feels really good."
- Kaitlyn McGrath at Eh Game14 hrs ago
TORONTO — Vasek Pospisil’s pre-tournament Rogers Cup press conference opened up with a reporter asking the Canadian player to assess his game right now.
He gave the answers one would expect. He’s training hard. Playing well in practice. Working on the right things. He’s feeling optimistic about the weeks and months ahead, he said.
“I feel like things are, you know, going to turn around soon. I haven’t had a very good year,” he said, adding that would “be an understatement I guess.”
Indeed, 2016 hasn’t been kind to Canada’s second-ranked men’s tennis player. He’s recorded just five wins thus far this season, along with 18 losses. He heads into the Rogers Cup having exited his last two events — Wimbledon and Washington — in the first round. His ranking, No. 98, dropped substantially after the points fell off from his 2015 run to the Wimbledon quarter-finals.
Certainly, Pospisil is looking to get his season back on track — and here, at the Rogers Cup, on home soil, would no doubt be an ideal place for that to happen, he said.
- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game15 hrs ago
Daniel Nestor likes the heat and humidity about as much as Olympics partner Vasek Pospisil does – which is to say, not at all.
But despite being treated for heat-related issues after the match and having his team get broken serving for the match at 5-3 in the second set, the 43-year-old had enough during to team up with France's Edouard Roger-Vasselin and win the Citi Open doubles title Sunday in Washington, D.C.
The pair, seeded No. 2, defeated Lukasz Kubot of Poland and Alexander Peya of Austria 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4) in the final.
"I feel fortunate, considering the conditions. I'm fortunate the humidity wasn't a factor as much, but the heat was pretty terrible. It was an up-and-down match for both teams. We won a couple more big points than they did," Nestor said in a press conference later.
He missed the trophy presentation while he was being treated.
- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game16 hrs ago
MONTREAL – Serena Williams hadn't played the Montreal Rogers Cup since 2000, when she made her return here two years ago.
She was scheduled for a repeat performance this year and even did some promotional video to announce her participation. But on Sunday, two days after the singles draw was made, the 34-year-old American announced she was withdrawing.
"Due to inflammation in my shoulder, I unfortunately must withdraw from the Rogers Cup. I was looking forward to competing in Montreal and I look forward to returning soon," is the official Serena Williams quote from the Tennis Canada press release.
Tournament director Eugene Lapierre, who also looked forward to the Williams sisters playing doubles, was quoted thusly:
“Of course, we are disappointed that Serena will not play in the tournament this year. The fans really enjoyed the time she spent in the city in 2014. Because this is an Olympic year, the players have very full schedules. Sometimes your body needs rest. We hope that Serena will recover quickly and wish her much success for the rest of the season.”
- Kaitlyn McGrath at Eh Game17 hrs ago
TORONTO — Naturally, the first time Novak Djokovic played hockey should take place in Canada.
That’s exactly what happened Sunday afternoon at Toronto’s Rogers Cup, when a host of NHLers played with some tennis players, including Canadian juniors Felix Auger Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov, Ben Sigouin and, of course, Djokovic, the top men's player in the world right now, in a friendly ball hockey game contested on the Aviva Centre’s Centre Court.
On the NHL side of things, Connor McDavid, Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza participated along with Brayden Schenn, Zac Rinaldo, Ryan O'Reilly, Michael Del Zotto and Dominic Moore. Former NHLer and Sportsnet analyst Nick Kypreos also suited up.
Because it was family weekend at the Rogers Cup, scores of children were in the stands for the game. And while this is technically a tennis tournament, the majority of them were itching to see the Edmonton Oilers’ young superstar, who received a loud cheer when he stepped onto the court. The other big cheer went to Djokovic, who came onto the “ice” shortly after the others and warmed up by taking some penalty shots, much to the delight of the crowd.
After weighing all the issues, Eugenie Bouchard has decided to "cross her fingers" and will compete at the Rio OlympicsStephanie Myles at Eh Game17 hrs ago
MONTREAL – There were – are – concerns about the Zika virus, and concerns about security.
But in the end, Genie Bouchard didn't want to be sitting at home watching the Olympics on television knowing that she might only have two or three chances at playing during her career and having one of them pass her by.
So on the eve of her participation in her hometown Rogers Cup Sunday, the 22-year-old Montrealer announced that she had made her decision and would participate in the Summer Olympics in Rio.
Bouchard left a few things hanging – notably, which events she will take part in.
Originally, the intention was to play the singles, doubles with Gabriela Dabrowski and mixed doubles with Vasek Pospisil.
Asked whether she had given Bouchard any specific assurances about security at the Games, Tennis Canada CEO Kelly Murumets responded via e-mail in general terms. " The safety of all of our players in Rio is extremely important to us and we are working with the COC to ensure the appropriate security measures are in place," she wrote.
- Andrew Bucholtz at Eh Game21 hrs ago
The International Olympic Committee's decision Sunday not to impose a blanket ban on Russian athletes over the country's massive state-sponsored doping program but instead leave it up to individual federations has received plenty of criticism around the world, with the likes of U.S. Anti-Doping Agency president Travis Tygart, English champion rower Sir Matthew Pinsent, and Scottish Olympian-turned-journalist Susan Egelstaff amongst those bashing them. There are plenty of Canadians upset about this too, with one of the strongest takes coming from Olympic hurdler turned CBC analyst Perdita Felicien. Felicien expressed strong disappointment on CBC Sunday morning:
- Kaitlyn McGrath at Eh Game23 hrs ago
TORONTO — Most Canadian tennis fans, even the casual ones, will be familiar with the big four — Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal — along with Canada's Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil. But when the Rogers Cup comes around, many of the world's top players travel to Canada to play in the Masters 1000-level event. While there have been a number of withdrawals at the tournament this year, such as three of the top four players, there are plenty of other captivating players at the event this year. Here's a list of five must-see players you may not be all too familiar with.