Those immersed in all things Canadian sport – as frequent visitors to Olympic.ca and its social media sites tend to be – experienced a difficult Tuesday.
“A series of unfortunate events,” is how one Canadian athlete described her difficulties, but it could apply to nearly an entire nation on the day.
In the north of Toronto Canadian men’s tennis players fell one after another.
By the lake, the national women’s under-20 soccer team dropped its opening match in the World Cup.
Over in Montreal, a curious power outage during the day. Then things got even more strange when Eugenie Bouchard, Canada’s best hope for a major women’s singles tennis title on home court, exited the tournament. Although Gabriela Dabrowski in doubles pulled something back for Canada winning with her Israeli partner Shahar Pe’er.
Some solace may have come from a result in Edmonton, where in Group B of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup match, Canada’s archrival United States was beaten 2-0 by Germany. We’re allowed to take comfort in that and all American soccer losses forever after London 2012.
Thankfully, more Canadian good news could be found in northeastern Italy of all places, where Canada’s touring men’s basketball team beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 84-66.
Back on home soil, it was an ominous start at the Rogers Cup in Toronto. Vasek Pospisil, coming off a string of good results, couldn’t overcome a leg injury or his French opponent Richard Gasquet, losing his singles match and then withdrawing from his doubles encounter due to that knock on his right peg.
After Pospisil, Frank Dancevic fell in singles and doubles, youngster Brayden Schnur too was out and Swiss superstar Roger Federer – as he is against most – was too much for Peter Polansky.
On the women’s side of the tournament in Montreal, the power went out during the day, and at night so did Stephanie Dubois joining Bouchard who said goodbye so early and unexpectedly, losing 6-0, 3-6, 6-0 to American Shelby Rogers.
Bouchard tried to make sense of her ouster as many noted that the off court demands on her have increased since she reached three consecutive Grand Slam semifinals and the Wimbledon final.
“I’ve definitely noticed a change in my life a little bit since the beginning of the year, even more so since Wimbledon. It’s just something I’m going to have to get used to, especially coming to Montreal is definitely a little crazier than any other tournament.”
Despite the “unfortunate events” surrounding and encapsulating her performance Bouchard gave credit to her opponent.
“She was solid during the whole match, and she was there to take it,” the Canadian said of Rogers.
On the football pitch, Canada’s U-20 women had a timid start, gave up an early goal to Ghana and then couldn’t find the back of the net despite a plethora of second half chances, losing their inaugural match 1-0.
In a supposedly easier Group A where the top two countries will advance, Canada suddenly has roadblocks ahead of it in the form of Finland and North Korea to reach the knockout stage, though it’s still early and winning the next two matches will overcome all obstacles. Still, a bad start on a tough day delivers a bigger collective national sting than it should.
On Wednesday, Canadian sport will look to a familiar face for some redemption. Olympic champion Daniel Nestor takes the doubles court in Toronto and his current successor for notable results in Canadian men’s tennis, Milos Raonic, will look to continue his good form in singles.
No pressure on these two, but Canada could really use a lift.