- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game15 hrs ago
Wuhan? Withdrawal just before her first-round match
Beijing? Retirement early in the second set of her first-round match.
Hong Kong? Withdrawal.
Genie Bouchard's Asian swing, which under normal circumstances would have been an opportunity to build on the momentum regained during the US Open, is officially a disaster.
The 21-year-old from Montreal tried, but both in Wuhan and in Beijing suffered recurrences of concussion symptoms, in the wake of the notorious locker-room accident at the US Open Sept. 6.
Unless she looks for a wild card at one of the final WTA Tour events of the season the following week in Luxembourg or Moscow, her season from hell is done. The Hong Kong tournament will take place next week.
There are smaller events – $125,000 WTA tournaments, and ITF events with smaller prize money (two of them in Canada) remaining on the schedule. But Bouchard's year-end ranking in 2014 is simply too high to be eligible to compete, even if she had an interest.
- Chris Lomon at Eh Game17 hrs ago
“Just like the old days,” says Tex Thomas with a big smile as he slips a Toronto Blue Jays baseball hat into a red bag and hands it to the middle-aged man. A return to the playoffs as the American League East Division champions has the city buzzing and businesses like Pro League Sports booming.
"It's been unbelievable,” Thomas said a couple of days after the Blue Jays clinched their first division title in 22 years. “The phone hasn't stopped ringing since they clinched the division title. People are looking for just about everything.
"On Thursday morning, I picked up 28 AL East Champs T-shirts, the exact ones they were wearing in the clubhouse after they won, and 18 were gone about an hour after I opened the store."
To quote the late Yogi Berra, it’s déjà vu all over again for Thomas, who opened Pro League Sports – an apparel and memorabilia store in The Beach on Toronto’s east side – in 1991. That was the year the Blue Jays went to the American League Championship Series but were ousted by the eventual World Series champs, the Minnesota Twins, in five games.
But, things would get better for the Jays. And, for Thomas, too.
- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game1 day ago
Milos Raonic has always played the tournament in Tokyo, Japan during this week on the ATP Tour calendar. And it has been very, very good to him.
From his first appearance in 2010, when he qualified and put in an impressive performance in losing 6-4, 6-4 to Rafael Nadal to the last three editions, when he has reached the finals three times, it’s clearly a surface and environment that suit him.
This year, though, Raonic opted for the competing tournament in Beijing for the first time, a tournament that offers twice as much prize money albeit the same number of ranking points as Tokyo because both are 500-level events.
Some of that decision might be sponsor-related, which is understandable; Raonic’s clothing and shoe company, New Balance, has a far more aggressive presence in China than in Japan. And Raonic was the star attraction at the company’s junior clinic late last week.
- Israel Fehr at Eh Game1 day ago
In honour of the Toronto Blue Jays' return to the postseason for the first time in 22 years – Game 1 of the ALDS is Thursday at home against the Texas Rangers – here are 22 stats that tell the story of how they got there.
• 93 – The Blue Jays's 93 wins are the franchise's most in the regular season since 1993. We all know how that season ended.
• 48 – They wouldn't have reached that lofty win total without their incredible second half surge, winning 48 of their final 71 games.
• 53 – The fans at Rogers Centre sure had plenty to cheer about this season, celebrating 53 home wins. Only the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers had more with 55.
• 13 – A huge reason Toronto won the AL East was their 13-6 head-to-head record against the New York Yankees.
• 11 – The Blue Jays ran off not one, but two 11-game winning streaks this season. The first was from June 2 through June 14 and the second from Aug. 2 to Aug. 13.
• 37 – No team in baseball had more blowout (by five or more runs) wins than Toronto's 37. That's not at all surprising considering how potent their lineup is.
• 891 – That lineup produced a major-league leading 891 runs.
Eugenie Bouchard's return to action in Beijing is brief, ends in tears as she retires against Andrea PetkovicStephanie Myles at Eh Game1 day ago
After three consecutive days of practice in Beijing, there was every hope Genie Bouchard's return to tournament play Monday would be without incident.
Unfortunately, that was not the case as the 21-year-old was forced to stop, down 2-6, 1-1 in her first-round match Monday against No. 13 seed Andrea Petkovic of Germany.
The 21-year-old took the main stadium court at the China Open with a vastly different look than Bouchard fans are used to.
In sharp contrast to her usually colourful Nike attire, she was clad in serious-looking basic black – right down to the shoes – with only a white and purple visor and a new pair of pink earphones as colour as she looked to finish a difficult season on a positive note.
It wasn't overly hot in Beijing – 23C at game time even if the city appeared to be having a particularly noxious smog day – and the humidity was under 60 per cent. But Bouchard had already asked for an ice towel by the second changeover as coaching candidate Thomas Hogstedt looked on, observing his charge for the first time in actual match action.
- Israel Fehr at Eh Game2 days ago
VANCOUVER – Dwane Casey warned that his team’s offensive execution isn’t where it needs to be.
In general, he was right. The play was sloppy at times, the ball movement lacking, but the Toronto Raptors still handled the Los Angeles Clippers 93-73 in their preseason opener Sunday afternoon at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
Kyle Lowry was the exception to Casey’s caution, scoring a game-high 26 points to lead Toronto to the win. The focus at training camp has been on defence, and the team will be happy with only allowing 73 points to the Clippers.
Lowry arrived at camp noticeably slimmer than he had been at any time in his Raptors tenure. He was especially dangerous driving to the hoop and earned 12 free throws, making 11, even though he was nursing a sore groin.
The Raptors took a 40-34 lead into halftime and pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring Los Angeles 37-28. Both teams rested their starters in the fourth and Toronto's most recent draft picks Norman Powell and Delon Wright saw the floor.
So the result was positive, but the process was far from the finished product. At this point, that's OK. After all, that’s what the preseason is for.
- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game2 days ago
When they say that tennis is the sport for a lifetime, it's not just a cliché.
As the Canadian teenagers were making a name for themselves in Madrid, Spain, winning the junior Davis Cup title and taking bronze in the girls' junior Fed Cup, players 70 years their senior were also bringing home the hardware in Umag, Croatia.
Westmount, Que.'s Rosemarie Asch, a member of the Canadian Olympic ski team in Oslo in 1952, swept the titles in the 85-and-over category at the International Tennis Federations's super-senior world championships.
The 84-year-old (she turns 85 Nov. 15) didn't just win, she dominated. In the women's singles, she didn't lose a game in posting three match wins in the round-robin portion. In the final, she rolled over Monique Giffard of France 6-0, 6-1.
In women's doubles, Asch teamed up with Erzsebet Szentirmay of Hungary to drop two more bagels, this time on Marj Niccol of Australia and Marlis Jennis of Germany.
- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game2 days ago
Being the No. 1 seeds can sometimes be a curse more than a blessing. But the Canadian junior Davis Cup squad, led by US Open junior doubles champions Félix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov, withstood the pressure even if they needed the deciding doubles match against Germany in the final Friday to get it done.
They lifted the junior Davis Cup for the first time in Canada's history after defeating Germany 2-1. The 2010 squad, led by Filip Peliwo, reached the final but couldn't take that final step.
Meanwhile, the Canadian girls' team, led by Blainville, Que's Charlotte Robillard-Millette and Mississauga, Ont's Bianca Andreescu, shook off the disappointment of their semi-final loss to Russia on Friday and rebounded to win the bronze against Russia.
It was after midnight in Beijing, where Vasek Pospisil was practicing in advance of the China Open. But he was on the job.
- Israel Fehr at Eh Game3 days ago
BURNABY, B.C. – After burning out a bit down the stretch last season, Kyle Lowry is back looking fitter than ever. After missing significant time with a groin injury early on, DeMar DeRozan is eyeing a return to All-Star form. After signing a four-year, $64 million deal, Jonas Valanciunas is working to break out in his fourth year in the NBA.
And after a busy offseason following a humbling first round playoff sweep, the Toronto Raptors believe the comprehensive changes they've made will allow their core players to achieve their individual goals, and in turn, power the team to group success.
The Raptors open their seven-game preseason schedule Sunday in Vancouver against the Los Angeles Clippers. There are plenty of new faces on the team this year, making this past week's training camp and the upcoming exhibition games extra critical.
- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game3 days ago
When we reported just before the US Open that experienced coach Thomas Hogstedt was in the mix for a tryout with top Canadian Genie Bouchard, we were told that while he was keen and ready to come on board, Bouchard and her team had reservations.
Those reservations seemed to have abated and Hogstedt is indeed by Bouchard's side, as she (hopefully) prepares for a return Monday in Beijing, China against Andrea Petkovic.
Clearly this is a short-term experiment, as Bouchard wraps up her star-crossed season. The 21-year-old Canadian went the "coach who has taken players to the top of the game" route already this year, with Sam Sumyk. And no doubt she learned that the coach might have an illustrious resumé, but that doesn't mean that the chemistry will be there or the fit is right.