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Auger-Aliassime, Shapovalov among Canadian tennis players on the rise: McEnroe – The Globe and Mail



Tennis legend John McEnroe went into last year’s Laver Cup an underdog.

He’d captained Team World through the first four iterations of the international tournament, falling each time to a star-studded Team Europe helmed by his long-time rival Bjorn Borg.

The losses were beginning to weigh.


“I was starting to feel like the Washington Generals playing the Globetrotters,” McEnroe told reporters on a video call Thursday. “This was getting to be too much.”

It was a Canadian that proved to be the difference maker.

Montreal’s Félix Auger-Aliassime teamed up with American Jack Sock to down Andy Murray and Matteo Berrettini in doubles action, then stunned onlookers with a singles win over Novak Djokovic to give World a lead that ultimately turned into the team’s first Laver Cup title.

“Félix was our MVP last year,” McEnroe said. “He really turned the tide for us big time, beating Novak, winning a huge doubles match. And that was critical for us.”

The 22-year-old Canadian will look to help Team World defend its title when the tournament founded by Roger Federer’s management company comes to Vancouver Sept. 22-24.

The annual event sees six of the top men’s players from across Europe battle six of the top players from around the world, and Auger-Aliassime became the first player named to McEnroe’s 2023 squad earlier this month.

Bringing the current world No. 9 back was a “no brainer,” the captain said.

“It seemed like he got a spark from [last year’s] Laver Cup because he went out and had a great fall and showed who was boss out there for the next two, three months,” he said. “So he’s got to bring that type of energy and willingness to keep improving.”

Auger-Aliassime won four ATP Tour titles in 2022 and helped Canada to its first Davis Cup victory. He also climbed to a career-high sixth spot on the world rankings in November.

There are higher accolades in the young athlete’s future, McEnroe said.

“I think he’s going to win a major in the next year, 18 months at the most,” he said. “I think he’s made great progress.”

Canadian tennis as a whole has captured the world’s attention in recent years.

Back in 2019, Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, had just defeated Serena Williams to win the U.S. Open, while Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., sat above a number of Americans in the world rankings.

“We’re like, ‘Wait a minute. What’s going on? I thought Canada was just hockey players.’ They were better in tennis than we were and we [Americans] were like ‘What the hell’s going on up there?’” said McEnroe, an American who won 77 ATP singles titles and 78 doubles titles over the course of his playing career.

“Back in my day, you’re like ‘I hope I play a Canadian.’ Not the case anymore.”

Tennis Canada appears to have given young, up-and-coming athletes the support they need, and more success is likely to come, he added.

Shapovalov is one player that McEnroe believes could be in for bigger wins.

The 23-year-old is currently ranked 27th in the world, down from the career-high 10th he achieved back in September, 2020.

He’s been compared to McEnroe for his intensity and occasional on-court incidents, including vocal disputes with umpires.

“Denis is hugely talented. He’s a good kid, he works at it. At times, he’s a little bit like a chicken with his head cut off – you don’t know exactly what you’re going to get from him, which is difficult to play against,” McEnroe said.

What Shapovalov needs in order to take another step is consistency, said the legend, who now runs a tennis academy in New York

“You’ve seen signs with Denis that he can go a long way. And I wouldn’t say he couldn’t win a major. He could absolutely win a major. But he’s got to shore up a couple things in his mind and be able to sort of, as seldomly as possible, beat himself,” McEnroe said.

“I firmly believe he could be in the top 10.”

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Washington Wizards vs. Toronto Raptors Live Score and Stats – March 26, 2023 Gametracker – CBS Sports



TORONTO (AP) O.G. Anunoby scored 29 points, Fred VanVleet had 28 and the Toronto Raptors never trailed in a 114-104 win over Washington Wizards on Sunday.

Pascal Siakam had 19 points and 11 rebounds and Jakob Poeltl had 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Anunoby had 11 made baskets, two shy of his career-high. All four of his 3-pointers came in the first quarter.


“O.G. obviously had it going tonight,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said.

Ninth-place Toronto clinched the three-game season series with the Wizards and maintained a three-game lead over 11th-place Washington in the Eastern Conference standings. Both teams have seven games remaining.

Toronto and Atlanta have identical 37-38 records, but the Hawks won two of three against the Raptors this season to clinch the tiebreaker.

Scottie Barnes scored 13 points in his return to the starting lineup after missing two games because of a sore left wrist as the Raptors won for the ninth time in 10 home games.

Kristaps Porzingis scored 26 points and Corey Kispert had 19 for the Wizards, who have lost eight of 10.

Washington made 18 turnovers, leading to 25 points for Toronto, and was outscored 27-11 in second-chance points.

“Our ball security wasn’t where it should be,” Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. said. “Obviously they thrive in that area. We allowed their strengths to beat us.”

Deni Avdija and Johnny Davis each scored 15 points for Washington and Daniel Gafford had 10.

The short-handed Wizards played without guard Bradley Beal (left knee) for the third straight game, while forward Kyle Kuzma (right ankle) sat for the fourth straight game. Washington was also without guard Monte Morris (left groin).

“Right now, those guys are a level higher,” Porzingis said of Toronto. “ Us without our main guys, it’s a difficult task.”

Anunoby almost single-handedly outscored the Wizards with a career-high 18 points in the first quarter as Toronto led 37-21 after one. Anunoby shot 7 for 10 in the first, making 4 of 6 from long range.

“He got hot,” Porzingis said. “He was hitting 3’s, he was hitting some post-up shots. He was hitting everything else.”

Held scoreless in the opening quarter, Siakam scored 11 points in the second to give the Raptors a 63-46 halftime lead.

Porzingis scored 12 points in the third as Washington outscored Toronto 38-24. The Wizards closed to within a point, 80-79, on a 3 by Davis with 2:16 left in the quarter, but were unable to take the lead. Toronto took an 87-84 lead to the fourth.

Anunoby scored five points as the Raptors opened the fourth with a 13-3 run to restore their double-digit lead.


Wizards: Shot 1 for 8 from 3-point range in the first quarter, but went 15 for 28 over the final three quarters. Washington shot 8 for 12 from long range in the third. … Former Raptor Delon Wright shot 2 for 9 and scored five points. Wright had eight assists and seven rebounds. … Lost their fourth straight road game. … Avdija had nine rebounds and seven assists.

Raptors: F Precious Achiuwa also returned after missing two games because of a sore right hamstring. … G Gary Trent Jr. (right elbow) sat for the third straight game. … G Will Barton left in the first quarter because of a sprained left ankle and did not return.


Barnes forced a steal and finished with a 360-degree dunk for his first basket of the game.

“I thought it was great,” Anunoby said.


Toronto has won or tied the past 12 season series with Washington. The Raptors lost three of four to the Wizards in 2007-08.


The Raptors won without trailing for the fifth time. They also did it Dec. 7 against the Lakers, Jan. 12 against Charlotte, Jan. 28 at Portland, and March 14 against Denver.


Wizards: Host Boston on Tuesday.

Raptors: Host Miami on Tuesday. —

AP NBA: and

Copyright 2023 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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Maple Leafs @ Predators 3/26 | NHL Highlights 2023 – NHL



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Switzerland win LGT World Women’s Curling Championship 2023



Defending champions Switzerland beat Norway by 6-3 in Sunday afternoon’s gold medal final at the LGT World Women’s Curling Championship 2023.

This was a fourth successive world title for skip Silvana Tirinzoni, fourth player Alina Paetz and second Carole Howald. For Paetz and Howald it is a sixth world women’s championship title.

After blanking the first end, Switzerland’s fourth player Alina Paetz opened the scoring with a single point in the second end when she played a raise take-out.

Team Norway © WCF / Jeffrey Au

The Swiss still led by 1-0 in the fourth end when Norway’s fourth player Kristin Skaslien had a complete miss on an attempt to blank the end and gave up a steal of one point to double Switzerland’s lead to 2-0.


In the fifth end, Skaslien made amends with a draw to put two points on the board for Norway, that levelled the score at 2-2.

After another blank end in the sixth, Switzerland took the lead again in the seventh end when Paetz brought her last stone draw inside three Norwegian stones to score one (3-2).

Norway levelled again at 3-3, in the eighth end when Skaslien played a hit to promote one of her own stones into scoring position.

In the ninth end, Switzerland’s Paetz played her final draw precisely onto the button and inside three Norwegian stones, to score one and nudge her team into a 4-3 lead.

In the tenth end, Norway’s Skaslien had a draw to tie the game and force an extra end, but her shot came up short to hand Switzerland a steal of two points and a 6-3 win.

Swiss celebration after the final © WCF / Jeffrey Au

The gold medal winning Swiss team are: skip and third player Silvana Tirinzoni, fourth Alina Paetz, second Carole Howald and lead Briar Schwaller-Huerlimann, supported by their coach Pierre Charette.

The silver medal winning Norwegian team are: skip Marianne Roervik, fourth Kristin Skaslien, second Mille Haslev Nordbye, lead Martine Roenning and alternate Maia Ramsfjell, supported by their coach Rune Steen Hansen.

Gold medal game result

Norway-Switzerland: 3-6

Engage with the World Curling Federation about the LGT World Women’s Curling Championship 2023 on TwitterInstagramFacebook and Weibo and be searching the hashtags #WWCC2023 #curling


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