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fresh off her stunning run to the Australian
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MONTREAL - A recharged Eugenie Bouchard, fresh off her stunning run to the Australian Opens final four, says shes ready to lead the Canadian team against Serbia at this weekends Federation Cup. Bouchard, who grabbed the tennis worlds attention at last months Grand Slam, will be joined in the best-of-five series by Gabriela Dabrowski of Ottawa, Sharon Fichman of Toronto and Aleksandra Wozniak, of Blainville, Que. The 19-year-old rising tennis star said Wednesday she took time off after the Australian Open, and only worked a little bit on her serve and a few technical issues. "I was definitely physically and mentally tired," Bouchard told a news conference at Montreals Claude-Robillard Sports Complex, the site of Saturday and Sundays indoor World Group II first-round series womens tie. "Im happy with what I did, but never satisfied. I wanted to do better. At the end of the day I lost in the semifinals, so ... I hit the practice court and Im going to continue to work hard on court to try and do better." Bouchard, whose success in Melbourne moved her up to No. 19 in the world rankings, made her Fed Cup debut in 2011 and has a record of 7-2. Last year in Kyiv, Bouchard battled an injured ankle and won two matches, including the decisive doubles match alongside Fichman. That victory gave Canada a place in World Group II for the first time since 2010. Dabrowski, the countrys top-ranked female doubles player at No. 61 in the WTA computer, reached her first two WTA doubles finals in 2013 at Brussels and Linz in addition to winning two doubles titles of the ITF Challenger Circuit. The 26-year-old is 3-0 in Fed Cup play. The 23-year-old Fichman has a 22-7 career record at the Fed Cup, while Wozniak, 26, is 37-9. The Canadians will square off this weekend with a young, less-experienced Serbian team that will be missing two of its top players: Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic, a former world No. 1. Bouchard, who upset Ivanovic in the quarterfinal at the Australian Open, said Wednesday her team would have liked to meet them in the Fed Cup. "I think were all disappointed not to have the two best, Ivanovic and Jankovic, here," said Bouchard. "But now we will take advantage, we will try to do our best and I think we have all the best players in Canada here. They might not have their best, so we will use that to our advantage." Serbian team captain Dejan Vranes said Ivanovic wont play this weekend due to injury and that Jankovic no longer competes in the event. The country will be represented by Nina Stojanovic, 17, Aleksandra Krunic, 20, Jovana Jaksic, 20, and Vesna Dolonc, 24, who at No. 117 is its top-ranked player. Vranes called the Canadians the favourites, particularly since they will be playing in front of a home crowd in a venue that holds some 4,000 fans. "We have a great challenge in front of us, but I believe in our team and I think we have a chance in every match," a confident Vranes told reporters. "Well be ready to fight." The Canadian women, however, are aiming to continue Canadas recent stretch of strong tennis performances. On the mens side, Milos Raonic climbed into the top 10 in the world last year, while Vasek Pospisil also rose in the rankings. Both reached the Rogers Cup semifinals in Montreal last summer and led the Davis Cup team to a first-ever semifinal appearance. Wozniak said she hopes the women can also deliver their own record-breaking finish. "Were looking forward to the challenge, and what the men did, its made history in Canada," Wozniak said. "So, I think for me, and for the team, its important. We would love to make a new history for Canada and win this tie." For Bouchard, who grew up in the Montreal Island community of Westmount, theres the bonus of playing a match in her hometown for the first time in a year and a half. "Its always fun to play in Montreal," said Bouchard, who was asked whether more people seem to recognize her in the city since the Australian Open. "Yeah, for sure, there are people who say, Good luck and that they are proud of me. Its special. Im happy to get compliments like that." Discount Yeezy Boost 350 .com) - The game was all punts and field goals before Kodi Whitfields catch. Cheap Yeezy Boost 350 China . "If we could score a six in every game, obviously I would be pretty excited," Jones said. "Its a long week but a short week. Its a pretty short round robin from what were used to so you dont want to get behind the eight ball early. http://www.discountyeezy350.com/ . In five games last month, Billings led all scorers with 11 goals, 27 assists and 38 points as the Rock posted a 2-3 record. Discount Yeezy 350 Sale . Under the deal, the Vikings will donate an undisclosed sum of money to five gay rights-related charities over the next five years. Kluwe said he wont receive any money as part of the settlement. "This will help a lot of people that really do need that help," Kluwe said. Yeezy Boost 350 China Wholesale . But history aside, theyre still happy to participate in the Par 3 contest, traditionally held on the day prior to the first round of the Masters.FLACHAU, Austria - In the final slalom before her home world championship, Mikaela Shiffrin can become the first American skier to rack up three straight World Cup wins in the discipline.Shiffrin, from Vail, Colorado, has won the night race in Austria the past two years, and starts as a clear favourite again Tuesday after dominating the recent events in Kuehtai and Zagreb.The 19-year-old Olympic champion posted the fastest time in all four runs of those events to shrug off a two-month period of equipment troubles and poor results.She seems to be turning things around at the right time, while also dealing with personnel changes around her.Tuesdays race is Shiffrins second without her long-term coach Roland Pfeifer, who has been removed from the womens technical team.According to the Alpine director of the U.S. ski team, Patrick Riml, the coach had been focusing too much on his most successful athlete.We have more athletes on the technical team, and they also belong to the team, Riml said. Its important to have a good atmosphere in the team, that they all work together and with each other.For the past 3 1/2 years, Pfeifer had been instrumental to Shiffrins rise to the top.The 50-year-old Austrian, a former professional skier who specialized in slalom and giant slalom, led the team since 2011, the same year Shiffrin made her debut on the World Cup.Under Pfeifers guidance, Shiffrin won two crystal globes for the most successful slalom skier of the World Cup season, the world title, and Olympic gold.Roland has done a great job, Riml said. He will switch to the mens side. He is a top coach.Still, Riml said it was better for everyone involved to separate Pfeifer and Shiffrin, even if the timing has not been ideal, with the world championship slalom and GS less than four weeks away.ddddddddddddOnly if all the girls on the team are happy and the coaches are co-operating well, results will come, said Riml, who hasnt replaced Pfeifer but will be travelling himself with the womens team for the rest of the season.Riml said he will also try to intensify the co-operation between the technical and the speed team.That could help Shiffrin, who wants to start competing in super-Gs in the near future and, eventually, downhill races.And Shiffrin can still work with her own small group of people, most notably her mother Eileen.Eileen is part of the team, no doubt, Riml said. Eileen has been there since day one and she is still there. She is very important to Mikaela, she is a pillar to the whole system.Shiffrin also emphasized how important harmony in the team is to her.I learned a lot about the people around me, she said. And how my entire team handles the stress of not winning, or not reaching my potential, it puts stress on really everybody. Whether they say that or not, I know its there and I felt a lot of pressure in November. It got to me a little bit.After her two recent wins, Shiffrin is now eager to make it three in a row before defending her world slalom title on Feb. 14.I cant wait, she said. I love it that were going to have so much time to train, to prepare. And some time to rest and energize and then go out and hammer some training. By the time we race, anything can happen. That makes it very exciting for everybody. ' ' '
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