- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game2 hrs ago
PARIS – Eugenie Bouchard was sitting in an interview room early Thursday evening at Roland Garros, talking about a lost tennis match.
And she was smiling.
The scene was remarkably different than just two days before, when she faced a sea of mostly unfamiliar faces in a massive press conference, trying to find answers for her first-round loss to Kristina Mladenovic.
This time, she was in tiny Room 4 - a room that, given the severe slope on the back wall, is probably nestled right underneath the stands on Court Philippe Chatrier. There were only a few journalists, most of the faces at least vaguely familiar. And the match she lost was her first-round mixed doubles match with Max Mirnyi of Belarus against the No. 2 seeds, Americans Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Mike Bryan.
With Mirnyi's longtime nickname being "The Beast", the potential headlines there were far too easy to write - if you know what we mean.
- Special to Yahoo! Canada Sports at Eh Game3 hrs ago
By Chris Lomon
Canada is on track to add to its impressive roster of high-profile, dual sport female athletes - think Clara Hughes, Cindy Klassen and Hayley Wickenheiser - as Valerie Maltais, who brought home silver from Sochi in short track speed skating, will take part in this weekend’s selection competition for the roller speed skating event at the Pan American Games in July.
The athlete from Saguenay, QC, already has an enviable trophy case, one that showcases a 2014 Olympic silver medal (3,000-metre relay) and a half-dozen World Championship medals. Yet, for the 24-year-old Maltais, the thought of conquering another sport is indeed an enticing notion.
Should she become an inline success story, she’d join some elite company in Canadian sport.
Hughes won Olympic medals in cycling and speed skating. Klassen, a six-time Olympic long-track speed-skating medalist, took part in inline skating events at the end of her junior career, participating in the 1999 Pan American Games. Wickenheiser, a four-time gold medalist in women’s hockey at the Winter Olympics, was a member of the Canadia women’s softball team at the 2000 Sydney Summer Games.
- Andrew Bucholtz at Eh Game7 hrs ago
Being featured in a video game is a huge step for a sport, and that's even more significant when the game in question is in EA Sports' FIFA franchise, whichaccounts for millions of dollars in sales every year and is the world's top-selling sports game. Last year's FIFA '15 sold over 13.38 million unitsbetween its September release and January 31. EA Sports announced Thursday that women's soccer will be represented for the first time in the newest edition, FIFA '16, which is set to be released this September. The game will feature 12 women's national teams, including the Canadian team. Canadian Soccer Association general secretary Peter Montopoli said in a release that this is a big moment for the team and for women's soccer in general.
- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game19 hrs ago
PARIS – The last time Canadian Vasek Pospisil and American partner Jack Sock were on the court three weeks ago, Pospisil jumped for a backhand, came down squarely on Sock's foot, and sprained his ankle badly enough that he barely made it back in time for the French Open.
They very well could have been out in the first round, too, against the little-known but game pair of Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic and Joao Souza of Brazil.
Pospisock, as they've come to be known, survived, winning 7-6 (3), 4-6, 7-6 (4) after they were very nearly down 0-4 in the third set.
The Can-American pair found themselves down 0-3, love-40 and all that increasingly emblematic energy was completely absent. Sock, the loose one of the two, the one who keeps Pospisil laughing and keeps up a stream of entertaining play-by-play during a match, was silent – as was his howitzer forehand.
Pospisil grimaced a few times on the ankle, but he looked a lot more comfortable than he did in his first-round singles match against Joao Sousa (with an "S", the Portuguese Joao).
- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game1 day 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 Game1 day 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 Game2 days 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 Game3 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 Game3 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.