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MessagePosté le: Mer 17 Oct - 00:56:35 (2018)    Sujet du message: that threw us off a little bit. But it will keep Répondre en citant

LONDON -- Canadas Eugenie Bouchard stumbled in her first two Grand Slam semifinal appearances this year. Pierre Desir Jersey . The third time proved to be the charm Thursday at the All England Club. Bouchard defeated Romanias Simona Halep 7-6 (5), 6-2 to become the first Canadian to advance to the womens singles final at Wimbledon. It was the latest achievement in what has already been a historic run for Bouchard at the sports most prestigious event. "After doing well in the past few (Grand) Slams, Ive been believing since the beginning of the tournament that I can do really well," she said. "Im just trying to take it one match at a time. Its really important not to get ahead of ourselves. "I totally feel like I belong, and Im just so excited for the next match." The 20-year-old from Westmount, Que., has yet to lose a set in her six matches so far at Wimbledon. No Canadian had ever reached the womens singles quarter-finals here in the Open era -- never mind the final -- before Bouchard. There could be a Canadian in the mens singles final as well. Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., will take on Switzerlands Roger Federer on Friday with a berth in Sundays championship on the line. This is uncharted territory for Canadian tennis. Before this tournament, no Canadian had ever reached a mens or womens Grand Slam singles final, according to Tennis Canada. The last Canadian to reach a singles semifinal at a major was Robert Powell at Wimbledon in 1908, the organization said. Montreal native Greg Rusedski reached the U.S. Open final in 1997 but he was representing Great Britain at that time. The 13th-seeded Bouchard, who converted her sixth match point to complete the 94-minute victory, will next face sixth-seeded Petra Kvitova on Saturday. "To get to my first Grand Slam final, its very exciting. Its what Ive worked so long for, you know," Bouchard said. "So Im just proud of myself for todays effort." Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon champion, beat fellow Czech left-hander Lucie Safarova 7-6 (6), 6-1 in the early semifinal. Bouchard lost in the semifinals at the years two previous majors, the Australian Open and French Open. Shes projected to rise to No. 7 -- the highest ranking for a Canadian woman -- by reaching the final and would go to No. 6 by winning the championship. Bouchard would also be the youngest Grand Slam champion since Maria Sharapova won the 2006 U.S. Open at age 19. "Ive put in a lot of hard work and its been kind of years in the making to me," Bouchard said. "So I believe in myself and I expect good results. Ive had a good start to the season, but I expect myself to do even better than that." In a semifinal that was delayed twice in the first set -- first by a left ankle injury to Halep, and then when a woman spectator fell ill during the tiebreaker -- Halep double-faulted on break point in the second set and then was broken again by Bouchard to give the Canadian a 4-1 lead. The third-seeded Halep, who saved three match points in the seventh game and two more in the final game, appeared to be increasingly affected by her ankle injury and looked down at her feet several times after hitting shots. "It was difficult to continue ... I felt a big pain in the moment, but then was better with the tape," Halep said. "But still, I couldnt push anymore with my leg. My first serve was really bad after that." On Bouchards first match point, Halep hit an ace, but Bouchard did not appear ready to receive, and she went to speak with chair umpire Kader Nouni. But the point stood and Bouchard failed to clinch the match. "When Simona tossed I heard someone scream in the crowd," Bouchard said. "It had happened a few times already. This time I didnt feel prepared to return, so I put my hand up. I felt like we should have replayed the point, but he said, no, it was her point. Just happy I kept my focus and didnt get distracted." The tiebreaker was delayed briefly when the female spectator became ill. With Halep leading 3-2, Nouni jumped from his chair to alert security officials to the womans illness and told both players to go to their sideline chairs. Temperatures on Centre Court were 25 degrees Celsius under sunny skies. Following a delay of about five minutes and after the woman was escorted from the seating area by medical staff, the tiebreaker resumed. The woman returned to her seat later in the match after treatment. Halep had never been past the third round at a Grand Slam until last year, when she made it to the fourth round at the U.S. Open. Then she reached the quarter-finals at the Australian Open in January, and got to the final at the French Open last month, losing to Sharapova. In the first semifinal, Kvitova -- the only womens player born in the 1990s to have won a major title -- improved her record to 25-5 on the Wimbledon grass. The 24-year-old has made at least the quarter-finals for five years in a row. "I know how (it feels) when you hold the trophy so I really want to win my second title here and I will do everything I can," Kvitova said. She saved her best for last: Up to 6-all in the tiebreaker, Safarova had won more total points, 40-39. From there, though, Kvitova won 31 of the last 48 points in the match. Kvitova beat Bouchard 6-3, 6-2 in their only previous meeting, a second-round match at the Rogers Cup in Toronto last August. "I find her as a very solid and talented player," Kvitova said. "She is confident in her game right now. Shes moving very well ... shes playing aggressively." After sealing the victory, Bouchard appeared pleased with her performance but kept the jubilation to a minimum. "Its not like a surprise to me -- I expect good results like this," she said. "So for me, I was like, OK good. Its a step in the right direction. I get to play in the final and I still have another match so its not a full celebration yet." Bouchard is the only woman to have advanced to all three Grand Slam semifinals this year. The 2012 Wimbledon junior champion said shes proud to be the first Canadian to make it this far in the tournament. "Its always exciting and special when I can make history," she said. "My job is not done, I want to go another step further. So Im going to stay focused and enjoy it after." Also Thursday, Vasek Pospisil of Vancouver and American Jack Sock upset the second-seeded duo of Alexander Peya of Austria and Bruno Soares of Brazil in mens doubles quarter-final play. The third-seeded team of Torontos Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia dropped a 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, 6-4 decision to fifth seeds Leander Paes of India and Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic. Top-seeded Novak Djokovic will play Grigor Dimitrov in the other mens semifinal Friday. The final is scheduled for Sunday. Malik Hooker Jersey . The Marlies surrendered two power-play goals and failed to score on six man-advantage opportunities en route to a 4-1 defeat in American Hockey League action on Saturday. Adam Vinatieri Jersey . Sundays race will be held at the Sepang circuit, adjacent to Kuala Lumpurs main airport where the ill-fated flight took off earlier this month. Authorities now say it is almost certain it crashed in the Indian Ocean, killing all 239 people aboard. http://www.coltsfansshop.com/Colts-Al-Woods-Draft-Jersey/ . The Bruins forward has been fined $5,000 by the National Hockey League for spearing Red Wings defenceman Danny DeKeyser in the groin.TORONTO - After auditioning roughly 60 prospects, including nine Canadians, in 11 sessions spanning over nine workout days this spring, the Toronto Raptors are putting the finishing touches on their wish list heading into Thursdays NBA Draft. For most of the last week, Masai Ujiri and his scouting staff have been mulling over 10 targets they anticipate will be available with the 20th overall pick, their first of three selections, hoping to narrow that list down to five by Tuesday. With three days to go, does he have someone in mind? "Hes around like the back here," said the former scout, gesturing to the back of his head just before the Raptors concluded their final pre-draft workout Monday afternoon. "But he hasnt made it to the front yet. Hes working his way." No, Ujiri wont tip his hand, not with so many variables at play. Fourteen teams occupy the 19 slots that precede the Raptors and will determine who is available to them. They have a list of about 13 players that are expected to be off the board by the time Toronto is on the clock. The pick will be Ujiris first as Torontos primary decision maker - the Raptors did not have a selection in last years draft - and should immediately put his keen eye for talent to the test. Since Ujiri took control of the Raptors, a franchise that has mostly been accustomed to selecting in the lottery, he has emphasized the importance of drafting well regardless of where youre situated in both the first and second rounds. For only the third time in franchise history, and first in 12 years, the Raptors are positioned outside the top 19 in the drafts opening round. Although its not an advantageous spot to find cant miss, NBA-ready talent, history has shown it can be done. In 2000, with the 20th overall pick - the teams lowest ever first-round selection - they found one of their best and most reliable contributors in long-time Raptor Morris Peterson. In 2011, then with the Nuggets, Ujiri used the 22nd pick to snag emerging forward Kenneth Faried. As Ujiri knows, the key is preparation aided by a little bit of luck and the subsequent development that is required to turn a late first-round pick into an impact player at the games highest level. "Its a huge bonus," Ujiri said of finding a diamond in the rough on draft night. "You look at the programs that have done well in the NBA, they just strike with picks like that. Its takes constant study, and really knowing players, believing in players and a system." "I think a big thing is you kind of have to be realistic on the expectations of the players," added Dan Tolzman, Torontos director of scouting, who was also a member of Ujiris front office staff in Denver. "I think everyone wants to find those diamonds and the guys that will be all-stars and MVPs and this and that but those guys are pretty hard to find outside of the lottery and the top-five even." "So I think the idea is if you can find guys at 20 or 37 or wherever that have careers," he continued, "that are eight-year players and theyre role players on your team and theyre doing good things to help you win, thats a successful draft pick. You might get lucky and hit a guy thats going to be a big time contributor and hes pushing for all-stars and that kind of thing, but thats not really what youre looking for when youre outside of the top-five or the top-10. Clayton Geathers Jersey. " Over the last four weeks, the Raptors brass have seen around a dozen players that figure to be selected in the latter half of the first round, or early in the second. According to team sources, there are roughly five prospects of interest that were either unable or unwilling to come in for a workout. While the workouts are not the be all and end all - the team has scouted them all in live action - they can go a long way in getting the coaching staff and trainers on board with a potential pick. Should a player fall to them unexpectedly, Ujiri will keep his options open and hasnt ruled out the possibility of trading up, if the price is right. Still, the focus is on making their make at 20. "Those trades and talks, people dont understand," said the Raptors GM. "We talk about like maybe 100 trades and then two happen. Thats the nature of our business. We will be aggressive but our energy is focused on 20, rather than wasting our time on [something else]." In addition to their first-round pick, the Raptors also own a pair of second rounders, 37 and 59 - the second to last pick in the draft. Regardless of whether or not theyre able to address their needs in the draft, Ujiri has prioritized his offseason to-do list. "We need a big wing at the three position," he said. "We [also] need some kind of shot blocking big. We have good, skilled bigs, we have a shooting big, we have a big down low, but we want to figure out how we can protect the rim a little bit. That may come now, it may come later but its something we know we need on our roster. So those two positions look like something we need." His top priority has not changed. "Were going full force after Kyle Lowry," Ujiri said, speaking of the teams coveted free agent point guard. "And if theres a talented point guard in the draft we know that its going to be tough to come and contribute to where our team is off the bat, but well go for talent in the draft. But Kyle Lowry is our target and well try to get that done." In just over a week, the Raptors - and other teams for that matter - can begin negotiating with Lowry, unable to officially sign him or announce a deal until the moratorium period ends on July 10. Until then the focus will be on the draft, one of the most chaotic events on the basketball calendar and an invaluable opportunity to add young talent, provided youre well prepared for it. The Raptors have done their homework. "I was walking into the conference room where our guys were meeting and I was like okay, no news that will throw me off right now," Ujiri joked. "Because you know its going to keep coming. There will be something tonight and something else tomorrow morning. Thats just the nature of the draft. I heard something yesterday that threw us off a little bit. But it will keep coming and coming and coming until that last minute. Thats the joy of it, I mean you love it. Thats why we do it. There is always action. As long as we come out on top, then were fine." 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