Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Raonic, Bouchard ousted at U.S. Open

NEW YORK—Eugenie Bouchard was done in by heat; Milos Raonic lost in an early-morning marathon.
Either way, the last Canadians remaining in the main draw at the U.S. Open both were eliminated in dramatic fourth-round matches.

Bouchard, of Westmount, Que., needed a medical time-out to treat dizziness and exhaustion in the second set of her 7-6 (2), 6-4 loss to left-hander Ekaterina Makarova—a match played in sweltering heat yesterday afternoon.
Raonic, meanwhile, was beaten 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-4 by 10th-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan in a four-hour, 19-minute struggle that tied a record as the latest-to-finish match in U.S. Open history.
The Thornhill, Ont. resident’s match began just after 10 p.m. (ET) on Monday and ended at 2:26 a.m. today—equalling the latest finish first set in 1993 by Swedes Mats Wilander and Mikael Pernfors and repeated in 2012 by John Isner and Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Asked if he was impressed by that record, Raonic replied, “Not in the slightest bit.”
It was a scary moment when Bouchard needed treatment at her courtside chair, but the 20-year-old said she will be fine and is looking forward to playing tournaments in Asia later this year.
Her U.S. Open, however, was lost to the heat and the heavy workload as her bid to reach at least the semi-finals of a fourth Grand Slam event this year fell short.
It was a scary moment, but she got up and finished the match.
“I was feeling very light-headed and dizzy on the court—you know, just seeing things a little blurry,” Bouchard said.
“They think the heat got to me a little bit.
“And they know I probably was more tired than usual from the past few matches,” she added.
Doctors kept her from doing her post-match interview for more than two hours as they helped her to recuperate.
She said playing the two three-set matches late at night in the previous two rounds also played a part.
“I think I did well to push myself through those matches, but I also need to have the endurance,” Bouchard conceded.
“I haven’t had that in the past few months, basically. So it’s not a huge surprise to me.
“It’s disappointing but I know there’s no reason to worry,” she added.
“Once I do a lot of good training, I can compete at this level for two whole weeks, hopefully.”
Bouchard has been battling minor injuries that were built up during her stirring run at the biggest events this year.
She became the most talked about player on the WTA tour as she reached the semi-finals of the Australian and French Open, and then went to the final at Wimbledon in June.
Despite the U.S. Open setback, her 19 wins are the most by any WTA player at Grand Slams this year.
But Bouchard hasn’t been in top form since the hardcourt season began more than a month ago.
The 17th-seeded Makarova advanced to the quarter-finals against Victoria Azarenka.
Raonic, meanwhile, was not happy with the schedule-makers, who had him play the first match of the day in the third round and then put him on last two days later.
“It’s a little weird, that aspect of scheduling, but the atmosphere and all that was fun,” he remarked.
“It was fun how many people stuck around.”
Nishikori now will face third-seeded Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland in the quarter-finals.

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