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Canada's Einarson picks up fourth win in women's world curling championship – TSN

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PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. — Kerri Einarson’s foursome played a complete game as a team in the women’s world curling championship en route to a 10-4 win over Japan on Tuesday.

“That was our strongest team game,” second Shannon Birchard said. “Everyone was firing on all four cylinders. Everyone was really comfortable and we had a lot of control in that game.”

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The victory improved the host country to 4-2 at the tournament. Canada faces Sweden (6-1) and will earn a win over Scotland by forfeit Wednesday.

After two losses, the Scots withdrew Sunday because four members of the team tested positive for COVID-19.

Defending champion Switzerland and South Korea were tied atop the standings at 6-0. Denmark won a pair of extra-end games Tuesday to get to 4-2 alongside Canada and the United States.

Japan lost twice to drop to 4-3. Germany and Norway were both 3-4 ahead of the Czech Republic at 1-5, Italy at 1-6, and winless Turkey.

The top six teams at the conclusion of the round robin on Friday advance to the playoff round.

The top two seeds earn byes to Saturday’s semifinals with third through sixth playing off that day to join them. The medal games are Sunday.

Einarson was 1-5 after six games in her world championship debut last year in Calgary’s curling bubble.

Einarson, third Val Sweeting, Birchard and lead Briane Meilleur — out of the Gimli Curling Club in Manitoba — won six of their last seven to make playoffs in Calgary. Their position after the fourth day in Prince George, B.C., felt less precarious.

“Every chance you get to wear the Maple Leaf on your back is a great opportunity to feel that pressure and then get used to that,” Einarson said. “I think we are used to that and we’re just really enjoying it out there.”

Canada split games Saturday and Sunday to open the championship, before doubling Denmark on Monday. Einarson missed shots early against the Danes, but run support from her lineup helped generate a victory.

The four Canadians were a model of efficiency against Japan scoring multi-point ends with hammer and holding Ikue Kitazawa to single points without it.

Einarson counted deuces in the second and fourth ends and three points in the eighth.

But while the Canadians outcurled their Japanese counterparts at every position, the hosts still led by just one point after seven ends.

A three-point eighth gave Canada complete control of the game, however. Sweeting’s raise double hit to lie two Canadian counters put pressure on Japan.

Kitazawa’s wide and heavy freeze attempt left Einarson a tap for three. Kitazawa conceded in the ninth end when her hit against three Canadian stones rolled wide.

A big triple peel by Birchard and Einarson’s wide double takeout in the seventh had left Kitazawa nothing but a draw for one.

Einarson wrecking on a guard with her first shot of the sixth left her a difficult draw around a guard for a piece of the button for a single point. The Canadian skip hit the bull’s-eye for a 5-3 lead.

“I thought we played really well and we knew that they were playing well coming into this so we just needed to put some pressure on them and just manage our rocks better,” Einarson said.

Sweeting had an up and down opening weekend, but Einarson’s vice posted a second straight game of shooting accuracy over 90 per cent.

“We’re just focused on getting on a roll at this point and stringing together a few wins,” Birchard said.

Einarson had husband Kyle and her twin daughters cheering her on at the CN Centre on Tuesday.

Kamryn and Khloe wove red and white streamers and lights through their hair lit by battery packs atop their heads.

“They’re dressed to the nines,” their mom said. “It’s so nice to see their little faces in the crowd.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 22, 2022.

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Novak Djokovic shares message to Australian Open runner-up Elena Rybakina – Tennis World USA

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Novak Djokovic congratulated Australian Open runner-up Elena Rybakina on “an amazing tournament.” On Saturday, 23-year-old Rybakina fell just short of landing her second Grand Slam title. In the Australian Open final, Rybakina was up by a set before 24-year-old Aryna Sabalenka stormed back to win 4-6 6-3 6-4.

Six months ago, Djokovic and Rybakina lifted titles at Wimbledon. “@lenarybakina, amazing tournament,” Djokovic captioned his Instagram Story.

Djokovic congratulates Rybakina

Rybakina has now made Grand Slam finals in two of the last three Major tournaments.

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After winning Wimbledon and finishing as runner-up at the Australian Open, Rybakina admits her confidence levels have increased and she now believes even more that she can win Grand Slams. “For sure, that’s the goal, to be in the second week of all the Grand Slam, to play finals.

I mean, now I have more confidence of course even after this final. I just need to work hard, same as I did during pre-season and actually throughout the years, be healthy, and for sure the results are going to come. I would say I’m trying to not think about expectations and everything.

Still after a great pre-season like this I was thinking I should show it on the court. Then, of course, the results are going to be there. First few weeks was not that great…but I think in the end it’s just confidence to go forward, to keep on working.

I feel now good physically also. I know if I’m going to keep on working, the results are going to be (good),” Rybakina said after the match, per Tennis Majors. Rybakina has proved over the last six months that she has what it takes to be a legitimate Grand Slam contender.

En route to reaching the Australian Open final, Rybakina defeated world No 1 Iga Swiatek. It will be interesting to see how will Rybakina do after a strong Australian Open run.

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Maple Leafs’ Murray dealing with ankle injury, Samsonov to start vs. Capitals – Sportsnet.ca

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Bo Horvat puts up four assists as Canucks top Blue Jackets – Sportsnet.ca

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