What’s it go­ing to be, Eu­ge­nie?

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - BILL BEA­CON

MON­TREAL — Mi­los Raonic has al­ready pulled out of the Olympics and now Ten­nis Canada is await­ing fi­nal word on whether Eu­ge­nie Bouchard will play at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Bouchard, ranked 41st in the world, is en­tered in the event, but no one is sure if Canada’s top women’s sin­gles player will go.

“I know that she wants to play the Olympics and she’s been part of our cam­paign and she’s wear­ing the Cana­dian flag on her heart,” Ten­nis Canada chief ex­ec­u­tive Kelly Mu­rumets said Tues­day. “I think the health con­cerns in Rio are scar­ing her a bit, so I think she’s a lit­tle bit on the fence.

“She’s signed all the pa­pers and we have ho­tel and flights for her, but I think she’s a lit­tle ner­vous.”

Gabriella Dabrowski of Ot­tawa, Canada’s top dou­bles player, may be even more ner­vous. She’s sched­uled to team with Bouchard in Rio, but if the West­mount, Que., na­tive pulls out, Dabrowski won’t go, ei­ther.

Mu­rumets, who spoke to Bouchard at a photo shoot in Toronto last week, ex­pects that Bouchard will talk to Dabrowski be­fore mak­ing her de­ci­sion. Both are to play at the women’s Rogers Cup in Mon­treal next week.

Sev­enth-ranked Raonic an­nounced this week he will not go to Rio due to con­cerns over health, in­clud­ing the Zika virus.

Mu­rumets said the Thorn­hill, Ont., res­i­dent will fo­cus on the men’s Rogers Cup in Toronto and the U.S. Open at the end of Au­gust in­stead.

“Mi­los is a very in­tense, in­tel­li­gent man and I re­spect his de­ci­sion,” she said. “He does not take this lightly.

“He has rep­re­sented Canada all over the world with great pride. I re­ally do think it was about the health con­cerns in Rio and he just didn’t want to take any chances.”

The women’s Rogers Cup ex­pects a full field of the world’s top play­ers ex­cept for Vic­to­ria Azarenka, who has taken a break be­cause she is preg­nant. It’s an ideal prepa­ra­tion for the Olympics, which will also be played on hard courts.

The men’s Rogers Cup saw world No. 2 Andy Mur­ray, com­ing off a win over Raonic in the Wim­ble­don fi­nal, pull out this week be­cause of fa­tigue, which didn’t sur­prise Ten­nis Canada vice-pres­i­dent Eu­gene Lapierre.

“Mur­ray’s had a long sea­son,” said Lapierre.

“He’s been do­ing good in al­most ev­ery tour­na­ment he played — fi­nals, win­ning events, win­ning Wim­ble­don.

“It’s tough. The guy was hurt. In the fi­nal match, if Mil­ios could have taken that third set, I don’t think Mur­ray was there any more.”


Eu­ge­nie Bouchard is booked and en­tered in the Rio Olympic Games, but no­body knows for sure if she’s go­ing.

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