ADSHADE: Grand future in works for Eugenie Bouchard

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Headlines and Sidelines - By Kevin Adshade

Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard lost in the semifinal at the French Open on Thursday afternoon against Maria Sharapova – it was her second straight Grand Slam semifinal appearance for the 20-year-old Montreal area native, the first coming at the Australian Open last January, when she lost to eventual winner Li Na. 

While she's no doubt disappointed that her run at the French Open was stalled, Bouchard is knocking on the door at big tennis events, and building experience. It will only be a matter of time before she kicks the door in and starts winning Grand Slam titles. 

Bouchard's playing tough against the big names: Sharapova is a four-time Grand Slam winner, no dink-and-dunker, and Bouchard came close to sending her home in Thursday's three-set loss. She likely will make some noise at Wimbledon later this month, and for years beyond that, barring injury. She is too good and too fearless. 

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Know what else is looking dominant? That Toronto Blue Jays offence. The Jays' surge to the top of the American League East over the last five weeks has been impressive,  not just because they're winning games, but the way in which they're doing it. They are getting good pitching, led by 10-game winner Mark Buehrle, and that was the big question mark heading into the 2014 season. Of course if a team isn't getting good pitching they usually aren't winning many games, but what the Jays really have going for them is an explosive offence: with all those good bats in the lineup from top to bottom (well, almost to the bottom but you can't have everything) the Blue Jays can put up a lot of runs in a hurry, which means they're never really out of a game. 

Edwin Encanarcion has been pounding the baseball, with 16 homers and 33 runs-batted-in during the month of May. Scorching bats almost always cool off, but the Jays can afford to have one or two players go into a bit of a slide and their offence will still be more than adequate. If they stay healthy, their run at the top of the AL East could last awhile.

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Non-Sports Thought of the Week: So someone is walking down Provost Street in New Glasgow, and they spot some small trees that have been planted to make the downtown look a little nicer, and they get the idea to destroy the trees. Which they subsequently do, because after all, once a brilliant idea like that occurs to someone they must follow through with it. 

Seriously? Nothing better to do? That's all they've got?  

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The New York Rangers took the Los Angeles Kings to overtime in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final before falling in L.A, and while the Kings are the favourite (according to most), New York's speed gives them a fighter's chance. If they managed to squeak out a victory in Friday night's Game 2, we should settle in for a long series. Aside: I complain about this every June, but hockey should be over by now. The NHL season needs to end in mid-May, not mid-June. It'll officially be summer in two weeks and whether NHL commissioner Gary Bettman knows it or not, summer is not hockey weather.

 

Kevin Adshade is a sports columnist for The News.

Organizations: French Open, Toronto Blue Jays, Australian Open American League East Los Angeles Kings NHL New York Rangers

Geographic location: Montreal, Wimbledon, New Glasgow Los Angeles New York

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