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Andy Murray playing only doubles at his last Wimbledon after back surgery




LONDON (AP) — Two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray will play only doubles at his last appearance at the All England Club after back surgery.

The 37-year-old Murray withdrew from the singles competition hours before he was supposed to play in the first round on Tuesday.

“Unfortunately, despite working incredibly hard on his recovery since his operation just over a week ago, Andy has taken the very difficult decision not to play the singles this year,” his management team said in a statement. “As you can imagine, he is extremely disappointed but has confirmed that he will be playing in the doubles with Jamie and looks forward to competing at Wimbledon for the last time.”

Murray had surgery on June 22 to remove a cyst from his spinal cord.

Murray has said he wants to retire after the Paris Olympics, which start later this month.

He has dealt with injuries in recent years, including a bad hip that required two procedures.

Murray stopped playing during a second-round match at the grass-court tournament at Queen’s Club in London last month because he was having trouble walking. He later explained that the cyst was compressing a nerve in his back and leaving his right leg numb.

Murray owns three major championships: The U.S. Open in 2012 and Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016. His 2013 title made him the first British man to win the Wimbledon singles in 77 years.

He reached No. 1 in the ATP rankings and is the only player with two consecutive tennis gold medals in Olympic singles. He won at London in 2012 — when the Summer Games matches were at the All England Club — and at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Murray underwent hip operations in 2018 and 2019. While he thought he would need to retire after the second surgery, in which he received a metal hip implant, Murray eventually returned to action.

He has since been hampered by various issues, including tearing ligaments in his left ankle at the Miami Open in March.

Murray lost in the first round of the French Open in May.

He had been practicing in recent days at the All England Club and undergoing medical tests to see whether he would be able to compete at what was expected to be his farewell to Wimbledon.


AP tennis:

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Sleep Country to be acquired by Fairfax Financial Holdings for $1.7 billion



TORONTO – Sleep Country Canada Holdings Inc. says it has agreed to be sold to Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited for around $1.7 billion.

The deal would see a subsidiary of the financial holding company acquire all issued and outstanding common shares of Sleep Country for $35 per share.

The sale is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2024, subject to court approval and other customary conditions. Once completed, Sleep Country says it will apply to have its common shares delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Sleep Country president and CEO Stewart Schaefer says the transaction “clearly demonstrates the value and strength of our brands and organization.”

The company’s co-founder Christine Magee, who chaired a special committee of independent directors that oversaw the negotiation, says the deal provides “certainty of significant and immediate value to shareholders.”

Prem Watsa, chairman and chief executive of Fairfax, says it looks forward to working with Schaefer and the entire Sleep Country team “to further develop this remarkable Canadian success story over the long term.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 22, 2024.

Companies in this story: (TSX:ZZZ, TSX:FFH)

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Canada’s athletes began their Olympic journeys from humble beginnings



Parents, siblings and love of sport, although not necessarily their own Olympic sport at first, is a common origin story of how Canada’s athletes got started in their chosen sport.

A capsule look at some beginnings:

Tammara Thibeault, Shawinigan, Que., boxing

“I got into boxing when I was nine. My dad was a CFL player, a wide receiver with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. During his off-season, he’d go to the boxing club to stay in shape. He dragged his three kids along at the time and I fell in love with the sport.”

Phil (Wizard) Kim, Vancouver, breaking

“I started breaking because there was a local crew called the Now or Never Crew and they were performing in front of the art gallery in Vancouver, which is a very common busking spot. I saw it, it blew my mind. I was like ‘that would totally impress people. I could get girls with that.’ One of them actually came to my school. They were teaching hip-hop choreography, but I went up to him and I asked him if he taught breaking. He said yes and gave me a card.”

Eric Peters, Ottawa, archery

“I was a nerdy kid who played a bunch of video games and read a bunch of books and thought it was really cool. I decided I wanted to do this and then I found out it was in the Olympics. I was like ‘OK, I guess I really want to do this now.'”

Katie Vincent, Mississauga, Ont., sprint canoe

“I got into canoeing at the Mississauga Canoe Club, which is the local canoe club near my house. It was just their summer camp that my parents put my brother and I into when I was around 10. We’ve been members ever since, and it’s gotten me from summer camp to the Olympics.

Aaron Brown, Toronto, track and field

“The common denominator with all the sports that I did was that I was fast. It was a natural progression for me to get into track. I did soccer, I did football, I played basketball, a little bit of volleyball, some tee ball, and then track just for fun. When my club coach in high school Bill Stephens saw me run, he said, ‘hey, I think you should take this seriously and come up from a club team because I think you can go pretty far.'”

Fay De Fazio Ebert, Toronto, skateboarding

“I did track and cross-country when I was in elementary school. There was a March break lesson at Impact Skate Club. We went and we bought a board right after because I felt so connected to it. I don’t remember the exact feeling, but I remember feeling I’ve done it before. People were asking ‘has she done this before?’ and I said ‘No, I haven’t.'”

Sarah Mitton, Brooklyn, N.S., shot put

“I got into shot putting in junior high school. It was kind of the next sport on the docket and I was a super-athletic kid. Went out to a local competition and I ended up doing really well. This coach came up to me and she was like, ‘who are you? we need to get you throwing the shot put.’ I remember having to beg my mom to let me join like this track club after like one day of track and field.”

Felix Dolci, Laval, Que., gymnastics

“I started doing many sports such as hockey, soccer. I had too much energy. My mom said ‘you need something else. Something that is more demanding.’ She put me in gymnastics because she was a gymnast when she was younger. She thought it was a great idea because I was jumping everywhere on the walls.”

Charles Philibert-Thiboutot, Quebec City, track and field

“I tried all sports. The common denominator for all of those was that I was the quick one, or the one that never got tired. Against my will, my phys-ed teacher put me in cross-country and track every year in high school. That’s the sport I hated the most. I would rather run after a ball. By my last year of high school, it was pretty obvious the one sport I had the most talent in was track and field and middle-distance running.”

Olivia Apps, Lindsay, Ont., rugby

“I started playing in Grade 10 at high school. I played soccer all my life. Growing up, I actually wanted to go to the Olympics for soccer or for hockey, and then I found rugby. Anyone who plays rugby would say the same thing, the off-field environment and the passion for the game is pretty addictive.”

Cam Levins, Black Creek, B.C., marathon

“I started running, my parents would say as soon as I could walk. My first actual race was a short cross-country race in second grade. It was a 2k loop in our area and we got to race with the third graders. It’s like their last race of the year, and they let second graders do it. I really just wanted to do every sort of sport I could. I had an older brother, who was also doing it and quite good at it, and so I wanted to do everything he did as well. I ended up joining a local track club in seventh grade.”

Sanoa Dempfle-Olin, Tofino, B.C., surfing

“I went into surfing because of my oldest sister and my mom. My mom, she loved the ocean and she liked surfing when she got out there. My sister got into it. Because she’s almost three years older than me she kind of helped me get out there and anything she was doing, I wanted to keep up and do it as well.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 22, 2024.

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10,000 unionized employees return to work, stores to reopen Tuesday: LCBO



TORONTO – Workers are back on the job today at Ontario’s main liquor retailer, but the Liquor Control Board of Ontario says stores won’t be open for business until Tuesday.

The union representing 10,000 of its workers announced Sunday members had ratified a new deal with the liquor retailer to end a strike that had closed its stores for two weeks.

The ratification came after the deal seemed to be up in the air on Friday.

Both OPSEU and the LCBO had announced a tentative agreement had been reached but the union said the strike would continue after the employer refused to sign a return-to-work protocol.

The retailer said the union had introduced new monetary demands and the employer would file an unfair labour practice complaint.

But the LCBO issued a statement on Saturday saying reopening plans were back underway, and a return-to-work protocol signed by both parties does not include any “new monetary items.”

OPSEU had said they believed Premier Doug Ford’s plan to expand alcohol sales to convenience and grocery stores would threaten union jobs and the public revenue the LCBO provides to the province.

Ford has sped up those plans since the strike began on July 5, allowing grocery stores already licensed to sell beer and wine to also sell ready-to-drink cocktail beverages as of Thursday.

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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