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Bianca Andreescu loses in semifinals at Phillip Island Trophy –



Canada’s Bianca Andreescu is out of the Phillip Island Trophy after a semifinal loss on Thursday in Melbourne, Australia.

The No. 2 seed from Mississauga, Ont., dropped a 6-7 (9), 6-2, 7-5 decision to No. 13 seed Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic on Friday.

Bouzkova, who improved to 1-2 against Andreescu, will face unseeded Russian Daria Kasatkina in the final of the WTA Tour 250 event.

Kasatkina beat eighth-seeded American Danielle Collins 6-2, 6-7 (6), 6-1 in the other semifinal.

WATCH | Andreescu ousted by Marie Bouzkova at Phillip Island Trophy:

Marie Bouzkova of Czech Republic defeats Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., 7-6 (9), 6-2, 7-5 in the semifinals of the Phillip Island Trophy. 3:05

Andreescu, who won the US Open in 2019, is now 4-2 in 2021 after ending a 15-month absence from the tour at the ongoing Australian Open.

The 20-year-old Andreescu entered the new WTA Tour event for early losers at the Australian Open after being ousted in the second round of the Grand Slam last week.

Ranked ninth in the world, Andreescu got a bye in the first round of the Phillip Island Trophy. She then beat 85th-ranked Madison Brengle in the second round, 83rd-ranked Zarina Diyas in the round of 16 and world No. 74 Irina Camelia-Begu in the quarterfinals.

Andreescu is expected to rise to No. 8 when the WTA Tour rankings are updated Monday. She is scheduled to stay in Australia to play in the Adelaide International next week.

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Kane scores 400th NHL goal as Blackhawks dominate Red Wings –



CHICAGO — No. 400 for Patrick Kane was just like so many others.

A slick move, and then one well-placed shot.

Kane scored his 400th career goal, Kevin Lankinen made a career-high 44 saves and the Chicago Blackhawks closed out a successful February with a 7-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday night.

Kane and Alex DeBrincat got loose for a 2-on-1 midway through the third period. The 32-year-old Kane kept the puck, waited for sprawled Detroit defenceman Filip Hronek to slide by him and then beat Thomas Greiss on the stick side for his team-best 11th of the season.

“I think the biggest thing is once you start reaching these types of milestones, 400 goals and 1,000 games coming up, it leaves you wanting more,” Kane said. “It’s exciting to achieve them.”

Kane pumped both of his arms after becoming the 100th NHL player to reach 400 goals. The three-time Stanley Cup champion is the fourth player in franchise history to reach the milestone with the club, joining Hall of Famers Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita and longtime star Steve Larmer.

“Tonight was all about Kaner,” teammate Ryan Carpenter said. “It’s nice for him to get that goal, and we all admire him for it.”

Carpenter, Pius Suter, Dominik Kubalik and DeBrincat also scored in the third as Chicago broke open a tight game against lowly Detroit. Carpenter also scored in the first, DeBrincat added three assists and Kane posted a three-point night in his 996th NHL game.

Bouncing back nicely from a 5-3 loss to the Red Wings on Saturday night, the Blackhawks closed out a 9-3-1 February with their third win in four games.

“Our team, it’s coming together,” Kane said. “We have a lot of young guys that are just going to keep getting better and better.”

Evgeny Svechnikov scored for the second straight game for Detroit, which had won two in a row. Sam Gagner also scored.

The Red Wings played without captain Dylan Larkin for the second straight game because of an upper-body injury. They went 5-8-1 in February.

“It’s disappointing, obviously. I think (Greiss) battled really hard for us and kind of hung him out to dry there at the end,” Gagner said.

Chicago jumped in front on Nikita Zadorov’s first goal since he scored three times for Colorado in the playoffs last year. The 6-foot-6 defenceman, who was acquired in an October trade with the Avalanche, got a pass from David Kampf and beat Greiss from the high slot 11:41 into the first.

The Blackhawks then caught a break when Carpenter’s shot went off Red Wings defenceman Alex Biega in front and was inadvertently kicked in by a scrambling Greiss, making it 2-0 with 2:47 left in the opening period.

The Red Wings, who put 21 shots on net in the first, got one back when Gagner redirected Jon Merrill’s shot past Lankinen with 2:09 to go. It was Gagner’s fourth goal in three games after he had a hat trick in Detroit’s 5-2 victory against Nashville on Thursday night.


Carpenter’s goal in the third period was his first career power-play goal in his 216th NHL game.

It was the highest scoring game of the season for Chicago.


Red Wings: Visit the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.

Blackhawks: Open a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.

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Tiger Woods thanks golfers for red shirt tribute – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News



Tiger Woods offered a heartfelt thanks to his fellow golfers for their tribute on Sunday, where many donned the 15-time major champion’s signature Sunday red and black for the final round.

Woods suffered a car accident on Tuesday and was being treated at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles with a fractured right leg and a shattered ankle, calling into question the future of the 45-year-old’s historic career.

An 82-time PGA Tour winner, Woods famously wears a red shirt and black trousers on Sundays.

“It is hard to explain how touching today was when I turned on the TV and saw all the red shirts,” Woods said in a Twitter post shortly after the conclusion of the World Golf Championships event in Florida.

“To every golfer and every fan, you are truly helping me get through this tough time.”

With his win on Sunday, rising star Collin Morikawa joined Woods as the only two golfers to win a major championship and a World Golf Championship event before turning 25 years old.

Morikawa, 24, took time after his victory to thank Woods directly.

“Tiger means everything to me,” Morikawa said.

“He had the crash and thankfully he’s alright and hopefully he has a quick and great recovery, but I don’t think we say thank you enough.

“So, I want to say thank you to Tiger. Sometimes you lose people too early. Kobe, I lost my grandpa about a month ago, and you don’t get to say thank you enough.

“So thank you, guys.”

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Toronto Raptors are latest team to be hit hard by COVID-19 and NBA protocols – TSN



TORONTO – Earlier in the week, and just before the NBA released its schedule for the second half of the season, Raptors head coach Nick Nurse expressed his concern over the sheer volume of games headed his team’s way, while also making sure to knock on wood.

At the time, Toronto was one of just four teams that hadn’t missed a game due to postponement – meaning its remaining slate would be lighter than most – but with the league hoping to squeeze the rest of the campaign, play-in games and playoffs into a tight window, Nurse knew that these next few months were going to be hectic.

“I think that the schedule feels heavy,” he said ahead of last Tuesday’s contest. “This year already, it’s felt heavy and I think it’s going to be even heavier. I think we’ve been fortunate – let’s hope we can get to this break without having any postponements or cancellations, but we’ve been fortunate.”

With just a few games to go before the upcoming all-star weekend, the Raptors had been fortunate, all things considered. Every team’s been impacted by the COVID-19 virus and the NBA’s health and safety protocols in some way, but Toronto nearly made it to the halfway point with minimal disruptions to its schedule – aside from the notable exception of having to move its operations across the continent and play its home games in Tampa, of course.

However, with a chaotic few days for the organization serving as yet another cruel reminder, in these times, things can change quickly.

On Sunday morning, the NBA announced that the contest between the Raptors and the Chicago Bulls – initially scheduled for later that evening – had been postponed. As a result of positive test results and ongoing contact tracing within the organization, Toronto would not have the league-required eight available players to proceed with the game, according to the league. This, coming two days after the team played Friday’s game – a 122-111 win over Houston – without Nurse, five members of his coaching staff, and Pascal Siakam, who were all unavailable due to the health and safety protocols.

Knowing what we know now, it’s fair to wonder whether that game should have taken place at all. In hindsight, the easy answer is, no, it should not have been played. But even without the benefit of hindsight, privately, there were at least a few people within the organization that expressed some trepidation about taking the court that night.

That wasn’t their call to make, though. It’s up to the league to determine if a game needs to be cancelled, and with enough players and personnel returning negative tests throughout the day, they felt comfortable giving both clubs the green light.

“One way to think about it is, we get tested twice in the morning, and so if those tests come back negative, that kind of gives you the clearance to participate in activities that day, and then you can even do some testing later in the day if you’re concerned about it,” Raptors general manager Bobby Webster said ahead of Friday’s game. “Once the negative tests came back this afternoon, I think that gave the NBA the comfort that at least for today, we’re clear.”

The question most people still have – not just as it pertains to the Raptors’ current situation – is, what goes into the contact tracing process?

According to sources, at least one of Toronto’s coaches tested positive ahead of Friday’s game, with the rest of the front-of-the-bench staff told to isolate from the team because they were considered close contacts. There was enough concern over Siakam’s status that he entered the protocol, as well. The Raptors did not play or practice on Thursday, but why weren’t the players or coaches that shared the court – or the locker room – with the aforementioned individuals in Miami on Wednesday also deemed to be close contacts?

Similar questions emanated from both the Raptors and Nets locker rooms after a game in Brooklyn earlier this month, when Kevin Durant was pulled from the starting lineup just prior to tip-off, allowed to enter the game in the first quarter, and then ruled out again in the second half – all in the name of contact tracing.

“You can probably imagine it’s just the natural course of how groups work,” said Webster, who was asked about the protocol on Friday. “So, if your department or whatever group you’re with at work, if someone within that group had an exposure you go back and say who did you hang out with and who were you around the most? Who do you sit with on the plane? Who do you sit with on the bus?”

These incidents were unavoidable once the NBA and its players’ association decided to go forward with this season – playing basketball in the midst of a global pandemic and outside of a contained environment, like the Disney bubble that allowed them to finish the 2019-20 campaign safely. With teams travelling around the United States and playing in different markets, some of them in front of a limited numbers of fans, this was inevitable – players and staff were going to contract the virus and games were going to be lost.

Sunday’s game between the Raptors and Bulls was the 34th postponement of the season. It was the 30th time that a team could not dress the minimum required number of players.

Like just about everything else in basketball, in sports, or in life right now, this is a fluid situation. All of Toronto’s players and staff have been asked to quarantine at their respective homes in Tampa, only leaving to undergo testing a couple times per day. The league will monitor the results of those tests closely and determine what the next steps look like.

The Raptors have two more games scheduled before the all-star break – Tuesday against Detroit and Thursday in Boston. As of Sunday afternoon, no decision had been made in regards to those contests, but given the circumstances, it’s hard to see them being played.

Do the math. They have 17 players on the roster. Two of them, rookie Jalen Harris and recently signed big man Donta Hall, are on assignment in the G League bubble. Siakam was already in the protocol and had been ruled out, which means that at least seven other players have either returned positive tests or are in contact tracing. Then you factor in the coaching staff, which was down to four available members – including acting head coach Sergio Scariolo, who only avoided contact tracing because he had just cleared quarantine after returning from leading the Spanish National Team in FIBA qualifiers overseas – on Friday.

Postponed games are re-scheduled on a case-by-case basis. If there isn’t time to make up all of them, some teams could end up playing fewer than the planned 72 contests, according to recent reports. If the Raptors are in fact sidelined until after all-star, their next scheduled game would come against Atlanta on March 11 – ironically, the one-year anniversary of Rudy Gobert’s positive test bringing last season to a halt.

First and foremost, you hope that everybody within the organization is safe and doing well. When they’re healthy and able to get back on the court, you look forward to watching them play again. When will that be? That remains to be seen.​

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