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2022 NHL draft tracker: Start time, draft order, latest NHL mock draft, news, trades, rumors, top prospects – Yahoo Canada Sports

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The Montreal Canadiens selected Slovakian forward Juraj Slafkovsky with the first overall selection in the 2022 NHL draft. (Getty Images)

It’s shaping up to be a wild first round of the NHL draft from Montreal. Follow along for live updates of every selection, signing and trade as they happen.

Canadiens select Slafkovsky with No. 1 pick

The Montreal Canadiens have selected Slovakian forward Juraj Slafkovsky with the first-overall selection of the 2022 NHL draft.

Slafkovsky registered five goals and five assists in 31 games for TPS in the Finnish Liiga last season. The hulking 18-year-old was also named men’s Olympic MVP after tallying seven goals in Beijing last February.

Here’s each first-round selection as it happens, by team

1. Montreal Canadiens

F, Juraj Slafkovsky, TPS (Finnish Liiga)

2. New Jersey Devils

D, Simon Nemec, Nitra HMC (Slovak Tipos Extraliga)

3. Arizona Coyotes

F, Logan Cooley, United States National Development Program

4. Seattle Kraken

C, Shane Wright, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)

5. Philadelphia Flyers

F, Cutter Gauthier, USNTDP

6. Columbus Blue Jackets (from Chicago Blackhawks)

D, David Jiricek, HC Skoda Plzen (Czech Extraliga)

7. Chicago Blackhawks (from Ottawa)

D, Kevin Korchinski, Seattle Thunderbids (WHL)

8. Detroit Red Wings

C, Marco Kasper, Rogle BK (SHL)

9. Buffalo Sabres

C, Matthew Savoie, Winnipeg Ice (WHL)

10. Anaheim Ducks

D, Pavel Mintyukov, Saginaw Spirit (OHL)

11. Arizona Coyotes (from San Jose Sharks)

C, Conor Geekie, Winnipeg Ice (WHL)

12. Columbus Blue Jackets

D, Denton Mateychuk, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)

13. Chicago Blackhawks (from New York Islanders)

F, Frank Nazar, USNTDP

14. Winnipeg Jets

F, Rutger McGroarty, USNTDP

15. Vancouver Canucks

F, Jonathan Lekkerimaki, Djurgårdens IF (SHL)

16. Buffalo Sabres (from Vegas)

C, Noah Ostlund, Djurgårdens IF (SHL)

17. Nashville Predators

F, Joakim Kemell, JYP (Liiga)

18. Dallas Stars

D, Lian Bichsal, Leksands IF (SHL)

19. Minnesota Wild (from Los Angeles)

F, Liam Ohgren, Djurgårdens IF (SHL)

20. Washington Capitals

F, Ivan Miroshnichenko, Omskie Krylia (VHL)

21. Pittsburgh Penguins

D, Owen Pickering, Swift Current Broncos (WHL)

22. Anaheim Ducks (from Boston)

C, Nathan Gaucher, Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)

23. St. Louis Blues

F, Jimmy Snuggerud, USNTDP

24. Minnesota Wild

F, Danila Yurov, Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk (MHL)

25. Chicago Blackhawks (from Toronto)

D, Sam Rinzel, Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)

26. Montreal Canadiens (from Calgary)

F, Filip Mesar, HK Poprad (Slovakia)

27. San Jose Sharks (from Arizona via Carolina via Montreal)

C, Filip Bystedt, Linköping HC (SHL)

28. Buffalo Sabres (from Florida)

C, Jiri Kulich, HC Energie Karlovy Vary (Czechia)

29. Arizona Coyotes (from Edmonton)

D, Maveric Lamoureux, Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)

30. Winnipeg Jets (from New York)

F, Brad Lambert, Pelicans (Liiga)

31. Tampa Bay Lightning

F, Isaac Howard, USNTDP

32. Edmonton Oilers (from Arizona)

F, Reid Schaefer, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)

Latest news from the NHL draft

Leafs trade goaltender Petr Mrazek, No. 25 pick to Blackhawks

In a salary-dump move from Kyle Dubas and Co., the Toronto Maple Leafs have traded goaltender Petr Mrazek along with the No. 25 pick in this year’s draft, to the Chicago Blackhawks for the 38th overall pick in 2022.

The Leafs did not have to retain any of Mrazek’s $3.8-million salary in the deal, according to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli. With the 25th pick, Chicago selected defenseman Sam Rinzel from the USHL’s Waterloo Blackhawks. The Leafs will make the No. 38 pick in Round 2 on Friday. — Kyle Cantlon

Oilers trade Zach Kassian to Arizona

The Edmonton Oilers have traded forward Zach Kassian, the 29th overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, a future second-round pick and a future third-round pick for the 32nd pick in this year’s draft.

Avalanche’s Joe Sakic wins Jim Gregory award as top GM

Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic has been awarded the Jim Gregory award, honouring the league’s top general manager.

Canadiens land Kirby Dach from Blackhawks in wild 3-way deal

Moments after drafting Juraj Slafkovsky No. 1 overall at the NHL draft, the Montreal Canadiens orchestrated a series of stunning moves to land former third-overall draft selection Kirby Dach from the liquidating Chicago Blackhawks. First Hughes sent Alexander Romanov and the No. 98 overall selection to the New York Islanders for the 13th pick. The Canadiens then flipped that lottery selection, plus the 66th overall pick, to the Blackhawks for Dach. — Justin Cuthbert (edited)

Marc-Andre Fleury is staying in Minny

Pending free-agent goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has decided not to test the UFA waters, instead re-upping for two years with the Minnesota Wild, who acquired him at the 2022 trade deadline from the Chicago Blackhawks.

According to Wild beat writer Michael Russo, Fleury’s deal is worth $7 million over the next two seasons, for an AAV of $3.5 million. Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli added that Fleury will have a full no-move close for the duration of the deal. — Kyle Cantlon

Penguins and Malkin not close on extension

According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, negotiations between the Pittsburgh Penguins and star forward Evgeni Malkin are “somewhat on life support.” The Penguins are reportedly unwilling to offer the term Malkin is likely seeking on a possible deal.

Pittsburgh answered one of their biggest offseason questions earlier on Thursday when they re-signed veteran defenceman Kris Letang to a six-year, $36.6 million deal.

NHL announces partnership with BioSteel

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced prior the draft on Thursday that the league has made BioSteel the official hydration partner of the NHL and NHLPA.

BioSteel, a Toronto-based company founded in 2009, will replace PepsiCo’s Gatorade as of the official drink of the league and its players. While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, Bettman said that the NHL will partner with BioSteel for “many years to come”.

Senators land Alex DeBrincat from Blackhawks

The Ottawa Senators have acquired winger Alex DeBrincat from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for the seventh and 39th picks in the 2022 draft, along with a third-round pick in 2024.

One of the premier snipers in the NHL, DeBrincat scored 41 goals last year to go along with 37 assists, marking the second time he has hit the 40-goal mark in his five-year career.

The 24-year-old has one year remaining on his current contract, which carries a cap hit of $6.4 million. He will become a restricted free agent at the end of his deal if he isn’t extended before then.

DeBrincat joins a promising young core in Ottawa, who now boast one of the East’s most dangerous forward groups led by captain Brady Tkachuk, Josh Norris, Tim Stützle, Drake Batherson and Alex Formenton, all of whom are under the age of 24.

New Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson, meanwhile, will get a building block for the future with the seventh overall pick after former GM Stan Bowman dealt Chicago’s first-rounder to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Seth Jones deal last July.

Chicago might not be done just yet, either, as reports surfaced ahead of the NHL draft that the team was actively listening to offers on 2019 third-overall pick Kirby Dach. — Mack Liddell

Penguins sign Kris Letang to 6-year deal

The Pittsburgh Penguins ended the speculation surrounding their No. 1 defenseman in the hours leading up to the NHL Draft, signing pending unrestricted free agent Kris Letang to a six-year extension Thursday afternoon.

Letang, 35, will earn a shade over $6 million each year in a $36.6 million agreement that will take him into his 40s.

For his part, Letang maximized his worth this past season, turning in one of the best of his 16 years with the organization. He finished with 10 goals and a career-high 68 points, while turning in some impressive underlying data in big minutes. He accumulated enough Norris Trophy consideration to finish seventh on the ballot.

There was some belief the Penguins, who have taken on new ownership, would step away from the partnership with older members of the existing core this offseason. In addition to Letang, Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust were on expiring contracts. However, the Penguins have now retained Letang and Rust on six-year agreements, while leaving the door open for Malkin. — Justin Cuthbert

Reports: Avalanche acquire Alexandar Georgiev from Rangers

Moving decisively again after seemingly failing to come to an agreement with one of their own netminders, the Colorado Avalanche will try on a new starter in 2022-23, having acquired Alexandar Georgiev from the New York Rangers in exchange for three draft picks.

New York will add third- and fifth-round picks to their collection at the 2022 NHL Draft, while also securing a third-round selection in 2023 for the backup netminder who supported Vezina Trophy winner Igor Shesterkin last season. The move signals that netminder Darcy Kuemper will move on through free agency after backstopping the Avalanche to their first Stanley Cup in 21 years last month.

Kuemper was originally acquired last summer in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes after Philipp Grubauer exited in free agency. — Justin Cuthbert

Where is the 2022 NHL draft?

The 2022 NHL draft will be held at the Bell Centre in Montreal. It is the 27th time the event has been hosted by Montreal, and the first since 2009. The NHL draft was hosted in Montreal from its inception in 1963 until 1984 before it was moved to a different city annually, beginning with Toronto in 1985. Montreal also held the draft in 1992, 1988 and 1986.

What time is the 2022 NHL draft?

The 2022 NHL draft will be held Thursday July 7 and Friday July 8. The first round will get underway Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, while Rounds 2-7 will take place on Friday beginning at 11 a.m. ET.

What TV channel is the 2022 NHL draft on?

The first round of the NHL draft will be televised on Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada and on ESPN and ESPN+ in the United States. Day 2 coverage of the NHL draft will be available on Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada, and on ESPN+ and NHL Network in the U.S.

Click here for our 2022 NHL mock draft

Who are the top prospects for the 2022 NHL draft?

1. Shane Wright, C, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL): In the past, top prospects have been all about their offensive flair. Wright brings elite skating, leadership, and scoring skills to the table, but perhaps most notably, he is a two-way threat. His best NHL comparison is often Patrice Bergeron, who is a four-time Selke Trophy winner, Mark Messier Award and King Clancy Award winner, and Stanley Cup champion. Not a bad comparison for Wright, who is a future No. 1 NHL center.

2. Logan Cooley, C, U18 (USNTDP): The top scoring threat from the US National Team Development Program, Cooley enters the draft as a likely top-line center who plays an intelligent two-way game. He plays as well away from the puck as with it, driving play and generating offense for his linemates. In the offensive zone, Cooley uses pace changes to create space, allowing him to distribute the puck or step into open space for shot attempts.

3. Juraj Slafkovský, LW, TPS (Liiga): The Olympic MVP and standout for Slovakia at the men’s world championships, Slafkovský has size and scoring prowess. Benefiting from his frame and puck protection skills, Slafkovksy has unique upside. The expectation for immediate impact is reminiscent of Jesse Puljujarvi. He has played his way into a top-five spot, but how patient a team is willing to be with his development could determine his immediate and short-term impact at the NHL level.

4. Simon Nemec, D, HK Nitra (Slovakia): Whether it is Nemec, or the soon-to-be-mentioned David Jiricek, a European defender will be the top blueliner selected in this draft. Nemec’s game is mature and balanced. Against his peers, and at the pro level, he has shown offensive upside, but it’s his consistency as a teenager playing against adults that has helped his star to rise. He had 26 points in 39 games in Slovakia’s top pro league, placing him eighth among defenders. When the playoffs rolled around, Nemec showed his season-long development, putting up 10 points in 13 games to top all blueliners.

5. David Jiricek, D, HC Plzen (Czechia): Some people see a little bit of Moritz Seider in the young Czechian defender. Mobile, assertive, and capable of generating offence from the back end, Jiricek could be the first defender selected. An injury earlier in the year cooled some scouts, but upon his return, he looked dominant beyond his years playing in Czechia’s top pro league.

Click here for our full draft rankings

Team previews: NHL draft needs, top prospects

Anaheim Ducks

Arizona Coyotes

Boston Bruins

Buffalo Sabres

Calgary Flames

Carolina Hurricanes

Chicago Blackhawks

Colorado Avalanche

Columbus Blue Jackets

Dallas Stars

Detroit Red Wings

Edmonton Oilers

Florida Panthers

Los Angeles Kings

Minnesota Wild

Montreal Canadiens

Nashville Predators

New Jersey DevilsNew York Islanders

New York Rangers

Ottawa Senators

Philadelphia Flyers

Pittsburgh Penguins

San Jose Sharks

Seattle Kraken

St. Louis Blues

Tampa Bay Lightning

Toronto Maple Leafs

Vancouver Canucks

Vegas Golden Knights

Washington Capitals

Winnipeg Jets

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What you need to know ahead of the restaged 2022 World Junior Championships – ESPN

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The World Junior Championship is a holiday hockey tradition like no other.

This year is an exception.

The tournament is still coming your way during peak vacation time, only now it’s happening mid-summer, rather than post-Christmas. Confused? Let’s recap.

The 2022 WJC was set to be played as usual last December. Due to COVID-19 concerns, the location was moved to Edmonton, Alberta, under restrictive “bubble” conditions. The International Ice Hockey Federation hoped strict protocols would allow the event to go off as scheduled. Spoiler: It did not.

Four days in, the IIHF was forced to call things off after the United States, Czechia and Russia each forfeited preliminary round games because of mounting COVID cases through their ranks. The IIHF didn’t know at the time whether the tournament could be rescheduled.

In April, a new plan was announced. The IIHF said it would restage the 2022 iteration of its event from Aug. 9-20 in Edmonton. The results from games that were played last December would be thrown out. Players born in 2002 or later would retain their eligibility to participate. And so, here we are.

When preliminary action begins (again), all eyes will of course be on the tournament’s perennial favorites from the U.S. and Canada. Those countries highlight two groups of participating nations: Group A has the U.S., Austria, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland, while Group B is Canada, Czechia, Finland, Latvia and Slovakia.

Austria retained its place in a top division despite finishing in 10th place last year. Normally, it would have faced relegation, but the cancellation of various U20 tournaments altered regulations and they remain in the mix.

The top four teams from each group will play in the quarterfinals, starting on Aug. 17. That will be followed by the semifinals on Aug. 19, and the gold and bronze medal games on Aug. 20.

Before things get rolling, we’re checking in on some of the major storylines and more intriguing players populating this year’s tournament. As hockey fans know, there is no comparison for the drama the World Juniors can bring. (Editor’s note: A version of this story was posted in December ahead of the initial start of the tournament. This has been updated to account for what has changed between then and now)

Can Team USA go back-to-back?

Spencer Knight made 34 saves and Trevor Zegras recorded two points when Team USA shut out Team Canada 2-0 to win gold at the 2021 World Juniors tournament.

That marked the fifth WJC title for Team USA, along with victories in 2004, 2010, 2013 and 2017. What the U.S. has never accomplished is winning gold in consecutive years. And there’s no time like the present to give it another shot.

Head coach Neal Leaman will be behind the bench again this year, after guiding Team USA to gold in 2021. Leaman has been the men’s coach at Providence College for 11 seasons and won an NCAA title in 2015.

Team USA has four skaters returning from that championship-winning roster in 2021 in Brock Faber, Landon Slaggert, Brett Berard and Tyler Kleven, and retained 17 of the 25 players who were originally slated to be in the December tournament.

Standing prominently in the U.S.’s way of a repeat will be Team Canada, although they’ve suffered significant losses to their numbers from before. Nine players from Canada’s December roster aren’t returning this time around, including Owen Power and Kaiden Guhle. However, Canada does boast impressive goaltending depth highlighted by the Canadian Hockey League’s goalie of the year, Dylan Garand.

Canada was also the last team to win consecutive WJC titles, earning five straight gold medals from 2005 to 2009. Will the U.S. be next to go back-to-back?

Can Connor Bedard dominate — again?

Technically, the last 16-year-old to play for Canada in the World Juniors was some guy named Connor McDavid.

In December, another Connor followed in McDavid’s footsteps — and the (then) 16-year-old Connor Bedard was off to a great start. Bedard entered Canada’s winter selection camp with an outside shot at being the team’s 13th forward. He made the final roster and proceeded to become the youngest player in tournament history to score four goals in a game during Canada’s preliminary round rout of Austria. One day later, the IIHF shut the championship down.

Bedard returned then to the Western Hockey League’s Regina Pats and produced an electrifying 76 points in 38 games.

It’s no wonder then that Bedard enters this tournament re-do not only on Canada’s top line with Mason McTavish, but as the favorite to go No. 1 overall in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.

Canada’s head coach Dave Cameron said the three months of playing time that elapsed for Bedard between one championship and the next made a “huge” impact on his overall game. The center agrees, telling reporters this week he felt improved from the second half of last season, particularly when it comes to his face-off percentage. Bedard will be angling to show off those advancements on an international stage.

There’s no reason to doubt he can. Bedard has long been an overachiever, like when he became the first player in WHL history to be granted exceptional status to join the Pats as a 15-year-old. So maybe it shouldn’t have been a surprise when Bedard came to last winter’s camp and was Canada’s leading scorer through exhibition play with two goals and four assists.

Even still, Bedard wasn’t projected to play a huge role for Canada. That’s changed quickly. Expectations are now sky-high for what Bedard can produce on a squad hungry to get back on top.

Same goes for the USA’s Logan Cooley. He was part of the team’s original WJC roster, tallying an assist in one preliminary round game before the COVID shutdown. Leman thought Cooley made great plays in that match against Slovakia and expected he’d rely on Cooley more from there.

That should be especially true now, given all that’s happened for Cooley since. He returned to the US National Team Development Program and had a terrific year with the U-18 squad, collecting 75 points in 51 games. That translated to Cooley being drafted third overall by Arizona in last month’s NHL Entry Draft. Confidence boost? You bet.

Cooley wants to go pro quickly but is committed to play at Minnesota next season. The World Juniors should be an ideal segue into his freshman year. The Pittsburgh native is a highly skilled center who can take on a top-six role for the USA and be toe-to-toe with Bedard and other elite skaters in this tournament.

Where’s Russia?

This is the first time ever that a World Junior championship won’t include Team Russia.

They’ve been involved since the tournament’s outset in 1974 and claim the most medals (37) of any participating nation. Russia was also part of the championship taking place in December. But in February, the IIHF ruled all teams from Russia and Belarus were suspended from competing in any IIHF-sanctioned events. The verdict was made amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of the Ukraine.

“The IIHF is not a political entity and cannot influence the decisions being taken over the war in Ukraine,” IIHF President Luc Tardif said in a statement at the time. “We nevertheless have a duty of care to all of our members and participants and must therefore do all we can to ensure that we are able to operate our events in a safe environment for all teams taking part in the IIHF World Championship program.”

So, with Russia out, Latvia is now in. This will be Latvia’s first appearance in the tournament since 2017, and its seventh trip overall. Latvia earned its spot by placing second in the tournament’s Division 1A competition in December. Belarus finished first and would normally take Russia’s spot in this instance, but Belarus is also banned.

Will new faces emerge?

All players from the tournament in December could have returned for this summer showcase. Naturally not all of them will be, requiring some reinforcements on just about every roster.

Say hello to (a few of) the new guys.

William Dufour, F (Canada)

Dufour didn’t made Team Canada the first time he tried out. But that was then. The New York Islanders’ prospect put together a tremendous 2022 season with the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs, leading the league in goals (56) and finishing second in points (116). It was good enough to earn Dufour the QMJHL’s Michel-Briere trophy as league MVP — and he didn’t stop there. Dufour earned another MVP title when he led the Sea Dogs to a Memorial Cup championship this spring, tallying the most goals (7) and points (8) in the tournament. Dufour has the goal-scoring prowess that Canada needs and should be a lock for big minutes at even-strength and on the power play.

Sean Behrens, D (USA)

Technically, Behrens isn’t totally new here. He did make Team USA’s roster in December but couldn’t travel to the tournament after testing positive for COVID-19. The defenseman has another crack at playing now and will be coming into this championship on a high. The Colorado prospect just wrapped up a sensational freshman season at the University of Denver, producing 29 points in 37 games and helping guide the Pioneers to a national title. Behrens is a talented overall skater with great puck-moving ability that will make him especially fun to watch in Edmonton.

Thomas Bordeleau, C (USA)

This opportunity has been a long time coming for Bordeleau. He was supposed to play for Team USA in both 2021 and last winter but was thwarted by COVID-19 protocols on both occasions. The 20-year-old did get to play a small role for the U.S. during the men’s World Championship this year. He should have a bigger role at the Juniors. Bordeleau projects to be a top-six center, using his creativity and high-end skill set to generate plenty of offense for the U.S. A San Jose Sharks draft pick, Bordeleau signed his entry-level contract with the team at the end of last season.

Jonathan Lekkerimaki, F (Sweden)

Keep an eye out for this Vancouver Canucks draftee. Lekkerimaki has had a great international season for Sweden already, notching a tournament-high 15 points in the U18 World Championship (where he won gold) and five goals at the Hlinka tournament. Add to that a seven-goal performance back in the Swedish Hockey League and there is little surprise the 18-year-old is generating some big buzz — and expectations — about how he’ll help lead Sweden’s offense in this championship.

Aatu Raty, F (Finland)

This season was a real turning point for Raty. The Islanders’ prospect got off to a poor start with the Finnish League’s Karpat, registering little ice time through the team’s first six games. Raty was then traded in October from Karpat to Jukurit, where he played under head coach (and former NHLer) Olli Jokinen. It was a perfect match, and Raty excelled in his new quarters putting up 13 goals and 40 points in 41 games. After being left off Finland’s roster entirely last year, he’s now centering their top line with Roni Hirvonen and Joakim Kemell and could end up being the tournament’s top scorer. Talk about a glow up.

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Tennis legend Serena Williams to retire after U.S. Open in September – CBC Sports

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Serena Williams’ appearance at the National Bank Open in Toronto will be the final one of her career.

The tennis legend said earlier Tuesday she is planning to retire from tennis sometime following the U.S. Open, which begins later this month.

Williams, who won her opening match at the National Bank Open on Monday, made the announcement in an essay released by Vogue magazine.

“I’m turning 41 this month, and something’s got to give,” Williams wrote in an essay released Tuesday by Vogue magazine.

She said she wasn’t sure she’d be able to look at the magazine when the issue hit newstands, “knowing that this is it, the end of a story that started in Compton, California, with a little Black girl who just wanted to play tennis.”

Williams, one of the greatest and most accomplished athletes in the history of her — or any other — sport, said she does not like the word retirement and prefers to think of this stage of her life as “evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me.”

Williams is playing this week in Toronto, at a hard-court tournament that leads into the U.S. Open, the year’s last Grand Slam event, which begins in New York on Aug. 29.

WATCH | Williams advances to 2nd round:

Serena Williams advances to the 2nd round of the National Bank Open

1 day ago

Duration 0:33

Serena Williams defeated Nuria Parrizas-Diaz in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4, her first singles win since the 2021 French Open.

The American has won more Grand Slam singles titles in the professional era than any other woman or man. Only one player, Margaret Court, collected more, 24, although she won a portion of hers in the amateur era.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want that record. Obviously I do. But day to day, I’m really not thinking about her. If I’m in a Grand Slam final, then yes, I am thinking about that record,” Williams said. “Maybe I thought about it too much, and that didn’t help. The way I see it, I should have had 30-plus Grand Slams.”

I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family. I don’t think it’s fair.— American tennis player Serena Williams

But, Williams went on to write, “These days, if I have to choose between building my tennis resume and building my family, I choose the latter.”

Off tour for a year

She and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, have a daughter, Olympia, who turns 5 on Sept. 1.

“Believe me, I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family. I don’t think it’s fair,” said Williams, who was pregnant when she won the 2017 Australian Open for her last Grand Slam trophy. “If I were a guy, I wouldn’t be writing this because I’d be out there playing and winning while my wife was doing the physical labour of expanding our family.”

Williams was off the tour for about a year after getting injured during her first-round match at Wimbledon in 2021. She returned to singles competition at the All England Club this June and lost in the first round.

After that defeat, Williams was asked whether she would compete again.

“That’s a question I can’t answer,” she said at the time. “I don’t know. … Who knows? Who knows where I’ll pop up?”

Williams hints in the essay that the U.S. Open will be her last tournament but does not say so explicitly.

“I’m not looking for some ceremonial, final on-court moment,” Williams wrote. “I’m terrible at goodbyes, the world’s worst.”

Plans to celebrate in Toronto

The announcement has already set off plans to celebrate Williams, along with ticket sales having skyrocketed according to tournament director Karl Hale.

“Tremendously (impacts everything with the tournament). Ticket sales have gone through the roof, we’ll be sold out by (6 p.m.) today, which doesn’t happen on a Wednesday, typically,” he said. “The media requests have been significant to say the least, everybody wants to see Serena and talk to her. Even the players in the players lounge, everybody’s talking about Serena.”

“Tomorrow night, we’ll celebrate her for sure.”

The American has won more Grand Slam singles titles in the professional era than any other woman or man. Only one player, Margaret Court, collected more, 24, although she won a portion of hers in the amateur era.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want that record. Obviously I do. But day to day, I’m really not thinking about her. If I’m in a Grand Slam final, then yes, I am thinking about that record,” Williams said. “Maybe I thought about it too much, and that didn’t help. The way I see it, I should have had 30-plus Grand Slams.”

But, Williams went on to write, “These days, if I have to choose between building my tennis resume and building my family, I choose the latter.”

She and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, have a daughter, Olympia, who turns 5 on Sept. 1.

News saddening to younger players

Despite Williams’ announcement being considered imminent, for younger players like American Coco Gauff, the news is still saddening.

“A little bit sad because I’ve always wanted to play her so I’m hoping my draw in Cincinnati or the U.S. Open or even here, can work out so we could play each other because that’s one of my goals,” the 18-year-old said.

Her legacy has been one to behold and one that Gauff believes may be untouchable.

“I think the legacy she’s left on the world just through her tennis career is something that I don’t think any other player could touch. I think the legacy she’ll continue to leave throughout her life is something that can inspire many more generations,” she said.

When asked about her impact on her being young Black tennis player, Gauff made sure to point out it wasn’t just Williams who made an impact, it was also her dad Richard Williams.

“I grew up watching her. That’s the reason why I played tennis. Tennis being a predominantly white sport, it definitely helped a lot because I saw somebody look like me dominating the game and it made me believe that I could dominate too.

“Mr. Williams and all that he’s done for both (Venus and Serena) of them, inspired my dad to continue to coach me and help me even though he didn’t (have much) tennis experience. He was like, ‘if Mr. Williams could do it, then I can.’ It’s not so much just what Serena and Venus have left, it’s also the whole Williams family in general.”

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Kevin Durant Didn't Previously Express Wish For Nets To Fire Steve Nash, Sean Marks – RealGM.com

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Kevin Durant met with Joe Tsai recently in London and it was revealed he expressed a lack of faith in the direction of the Brooklyn Nets. Durant reportedly issued an ultimatum that he is not interested in continuing with the Nets if Steve Nash remains as head coach and Sean Marks continues running the front office.

“The timing of it is also unusual,” said Brian Windhorst on Tuesday. “While star players have gotten coaches fired for decades and will get them fired for decades, he didn’t express this, as far as I’m aware to the Nets at the end of the season. And he didn’t express this to the Nets when he made his trade demand. So doing it now is a maneuver. A maneuver that I don’t think worked. 

“Because as I talk to teams out there, they don’t think his increased his trade value, they think this hurt his trade value.”

Windhorst also noted that Tsai statement of support for Nash and Marks also includes a sentence the league paid strong attention to stating “We will make decisions in the best interest of the Brooklyn Nets.”

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