MONTREAL - It was an intense week at the Bouchard household as daughter Eugenie worked her way to the Australian Open semifinals. "We were yelling like idiots," Mike Bouchard, the players father, said Thursday of his daughters stirring win over Ana Ivanovic in the quarter-finals, which made her the first Canadian to reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament since Carling Bassett-Seguso in 1984. It wasnt quite as frenzied at their Westmount, Que., home two nights later, when Bouchard bowed out with a 6-2, 6-4 loss to fourth-seeded Li Na of China in the semis. "It was also exciting, but in the first set Li Na came out strong and Genie was a little nervous," he said. "I felt for her, but she came back well in the second set. Overall, it was an excellent tournament." Bouchard stole the show in Melbourne, where a dozen or so local fans formed Genies Army to cheer her on and toss her stuffed Australian animals after her wins. Several commentators spoke of Bouchard, the 2012 Wimbledon junior girls champion, being the next big thing in womens tennis and a potential future Grand Slam tournament winner. Already, her results are expected to move her from 31st into the top 20 in next weeks rankings. And it has stirred ticket sales for her next appearance on home turf. She will play for Canada against Serbia Feb. 8-9 in a Federation Cup tie at the Claude Robillard Centre in Montreal. Eugene Lapierre of Tennis Canada, tournament director for the Montreal half of the Rogers Cup, said 500 to 600 tickets per day have been sold since Bouchards win over Ivanovic. The 4,000-seat venue will likely be sold out. And ticket sales have picked up for the womens Rogers Cup at Uniprix Stadium next summer, which is rare in January. "It will drag a lot of people out to come and watch her play," said Lapierre. "It will be interesting to see how she makes the switch from a Grand Slam and playing in a 20,000 seat stadium to the Claude Robillard here with 4,000. But it will be a lot of fun." Canadian tennis has been on a high lately with Milos Raonics rise into the top 10 in the world on the mens side and Vasek Pospisil also climbing in the rankings. Both made the Rogers Cup semifinals in Montreal last summer and led the Davis Cup team to a first-ever semifinal appearance. "Its phenomenal what Eugenie has done," said Lapierre. "I wouldnt say she opened the gates for Canada. The boys started that last year. "But its a new era thats started with the sport of tennis in Canada. Itll be tremendous for the promotion of the game in Canada. Thats our goal at Tennis Canada — to get more kids playing the game. Everyones talking about Eugenie, and thats bound to be good for the sport." Louis Borfiga, Tennis Canadas high performance director, said Bouchard could have a similar impact to Nadia Comaneci, the Romanian who drew slews of girls to try gymnastics after her stunning performance at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. Or the effect that Anna Kournikova and Maria Sharapova had on womens tennis in Russia. "It will enlarge the pool of players and that will produce more very good players," said Borfiga. "Thats the difference between Canada and countries like France and Spain — their pool of players is larger." Mike Bouchard, an investment banker, is fine with having a daughter who may be seen as a role model for young players. He doesnt even mind that she is quickly becoming a celebrity. "Its good for her," he said. "Shes put in so much work and effort. "If she can be an ambassador for tennis and help tennis grow in Canada, thats fantastic. If it becomes bigger than that — international stardom — good for her. She has a strong head. Shes well grounded, and I think shell be able to go through that unscathed." Mike Bouchard knew he had a special daughter when Eugenie was a young child. When she was 12, the family the moved to Florida so she could learn at an academy run by Nick Saviano, who remains her coach. She spent more than three years in Florida before returning to Montreal to work at the national tennis centre. "It was difficult to find players at her own level to play against, and we also wanted to expose her to international coaching," said Mike Bouchard. "It takes a lot of dedication. Everyone in the family chipped in." Eugenie has a fraternal twin sister Beatrice, an 18-year-old sister Charlotte and a 14-year-old brother William, so the move was a big commitment for all of them. It paid off when Bouchard became one of the worlds top junior players and then made a rapid rise in WTA rankings. The group cant go to every tournament and they elected not to go to Australia, where Eugenie lost in the qualifying tournament last year. But her father said he was tempted to jump on a plane when she reached the semifinals. "We never anticipated shed go this far in the first Grand Slam of the year, so we gathered the kids and some friends and we watched (on TV)," he said. "There was a lot of emotions when she was hitting some winners. We were screaming and laughing and encouraging her." He was a little taken aback at a bizarre question put to Eugenie by an on-court interviewer after the quarter-final. She was asked who shed most like to date. To the apparent displeasure of Genies Army, she named Canadian pop star Justin Bieber. "Youve got to get used to that if youre going to become a celebrity," Bouchard said. "I actually thought she answered pretty well. She said Justin Bieber with a question mark at the end. It was tongue in cheek." It became a little awkward when Bieber was arrested in Florida on Thursday for reportedly taking part in an early morning drag race. "I actually dont follow anything that goes on in his life," Bouchard said with a laugh. "But I did hear about that." http://www.demarcuswarebroncosjersey.com/
. Instead, Gardenhire said Thursday that right-hander Nick Blackburn was going on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left quadriceps. Blackburn was pulled after two innings in his start Wednesday night at Detroit. INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts have decided who to take with the No. 1 draft pick. Theyre just not planning to let the secret out until April 26. After months of speculation, scouting and scrutinizing, Colts general manager Ryan Grigson finally told reporters Wednesday that the Colts have a plan for their first No. 1 overall selection in 14 years. "Weve known for a little while. Weve done all our due diligence," Grigson said during a 30-minute news conference. "Unless theres an unforeseen problem or something like that, we know what were doing." Team owner Jim Irsay has repeatedly said the team will choose Peyton Mannings successor, presumably either Stanfords Andrew Luck or Baylors Robert Griffin III, the Heisman Trophy winner. If the Colts take Luck, the Washington Redskins are expected to take Griffin with the second pick next Thursday night. Luck was expected to go No. 1 in 2011 before returning to school for his fourth college season. His resume looks like an exact replica of Mannings -- both stayed in school one year longer than expected, both finished as Heisman Trophy runner-ups and both had fathers who played quarterback in the NFL. While the Colts sent a larger contingent of scouts to Griffins pro day in Texas than Lucks pro day at Stanford, Luck had a personal workout for the Colts and travelled to Indianapolis for a personal interview. Griffin was advised by his agent to do neither and, apparently, it wasnt the only reason Griffin didnt come to town. "You get to a point where you know what youre going to do," Grigson said. Grigson would not say whether the Colts have started negotiating with either player. In an email sent to The Associated Press, Lucks agent, Will Wilson, declined to comment on whether the Colts had told him of their decision or whether contract talks had begun. Lucks father, Oliver, also did not provide those answers. Luck has been attending classes at Stanford, and is trying to finish one architectural course that is offered only in the spring. "I have not had any communication with any of the folks with the Colts. I stay out of all that," Oliver Luck said in a phone interview. "And Ill keep my conversations with Andrew private." Whether the Colts would start talking about a contract over the next week, in hopes of having a deal in place before next Thursday, remains unclear. "Weve kicked it around. I dont know what the true advantage is to go early," Grigson said. "At this point, were focused on picking the guys." The Colts are still trying to figure out where they are in their massive off-season overhaul, too. Grigsonss comments came less than an hour after the Colts wrapped up another voluntary workout at the team complex, a practice that included perennial Pro Bowl receiver Reggie Wayne, who usually stays in Miami for workouts until the teams mandatory off-season mini-camp.dddddddddddd. Wayne altered his traditional plans because of all the changes Indy has made. Grigson replaced the father-son front office tandem of Bill and Chris Polian in January, then brought in new coach Chuck Pagano to replace the fired Jim Caldwell. Pagano has almost an entirely new staff, and some players have even found new spots for their lockers. The biggest change, of course, is not seeing No. 18 around town. Manning was released March 7, a move designed to help quicken the rebuilding process, and eventually signed with Denver. Two days later, the Colts cut a handful of other veterans including defensive captains Gary Brackett and Melvin Bullitt, Pro Bowl tight end Dallas Clark and running back Joseph Addai. Longtime centre Jeff Saturday, emerging receiver Pierre Garcon and backup tight end Jacob Tamme all left in free agency. And those who returned, like Wayne, are still trying to get acclimated to their new surroundings. "Im moving around, can you believe that? Its the first time in 11 years." Wayne said, drawing laughter. "My game plan is the same whoever throws the ball -- catch and make something happen with it. I met Drew Stanton, I know that guy." By next week, Wayne will have to introduce himself to another new quarterback. Until then, hell be catching passes from someone else. "I dont know his name," Wayne said when asked about quarterback Trevor Vittatoe. "I know it starts with a V." Inside the locker room, players are content to stay out of the great draft debate. Most have only seen Luck or Griffin play in small bits on television, and nobody wanted to debate the merits of how the new quarterback would fit in with a team that is trying to replace Manning and starting almost completely over. Instead, theyre trying to get their minds wrapped around a playbook that Wayne described as Greek. Not everything is new, though. "I was very fortunate to play with a guy like that (Manning) and you see the work habits he had and I try to emulate those habits every day," running back Donald Brown said. "He will always have an influence here, him and guys like Jeff, like Dallas, like Joseph, they left a footprint on us and were trying to carry that legacy on." With a new quarterback under centre. "I think when you know, you know," Grigson said. ' ' '