As expected when going up against one of the game’s greatest players, the tale of the tape doesn’t give many edges to Canada’s Denis Shapovalov in his Wimbledon semifinal tilt with top-seed Novak Djokovic.
Watch the semifinal clash Friday morning at approximately 11am ET/8am PT on TSN 3/4 and streaming on TSN.ca, the TSN App and TSN Direct.
Grand Slam success? Advantage Djokovic. The Serbian star has won 19 major titles, just one shy of the record held jointly by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. He’s won five Wimbledon titles alone, including the last two at the All England Club. Shapovalov, meanwhile, is in a Slam semi for the first time in his career.
Consistency? Advantage Djokovic. The World No. 1 is playing excellent tennis this year even by his already lofty standards. He has a 27-3 record this year with three titles, including the Australian Open and French Open.
Experience? Advantage Djokovic. The 34-year-old won his first ATP Tour match in 2004, which launched a career that saw Djokovic set a record for most weeks at the No. 1 ranking with 322. Shapovalov made his Tour debut in 2017 and is still considered a rising star.
And, of course, Djokovic has a 6-0 advantage in head-to-head meetings.
What Shapovalov does have heading into Friday’s match, however, is confidence and the respect of his elite opponent.
“I do believe that I have the game to beat (Djokovic),” the 22-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont., said following his quarterfinal win over Karen Khachanov of Wednesday.
“Obviously he’s been playing super well this season and he loves this (grass) surface. Definitely a super-difficult match ahead of me, but I believe in my game. I think I’ve been playing really good tennis.”
Djokovic’s most recent win over Shapovalov was a 7-5, 7-5 victory in the round robin the ATP Cup at Melbourne, Australia back in January. They have met once at a Grand Slam, with Shapovalov taking a set from Djokovic — no mean feat — before falling in the third round of the 2019 Australian Open. That same year they faced off in the final of the prestigious Paris Masters, with Djokovic winning 6-3, 6-4.
Friday is a blank slate, according to Shapovalov.
“When you walk out on that match, it’s 0-0,” he said. “That’s it. It’s a tennis match at the end of the day. Experience, this, that — it comes down to that moment and who’s playing the best.”
Djokovic said Shapovalov will present his biggest challenge at Wimbledon.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Djokovic said after his quarterfinal win over Marton Fucsovics. “It’s going to be a battle and I need to be at my best.”
Djokovic called Shapovalov one of the leaders of the next generation of tennis stars.
“Maybe he was not winning big matches over the last couple of years, (but) it seems like he’s maturing,” Djokovic said. “You would expect that from a player like him that has really an all-around game.”
As daunting an opponent as Djokovic is, Shapovalov does have unique weapons in his arsenal. He plays with an exciting high-risk, high-reward style that become more effective after being tempered with experience. And his strong serve, coming from his left-handed delivery, is a danger that gives even Djokovic pause.
“It’s always tricky to play someone who is left-handed on the quick surfaces,” Djokovic said.
“You don’t get many opportunities against his service game, especially on grass,” he added.
Shapovalov is looking to become the first Canadian to win a men’s Grand Slam singles title. Milos Raonic reached the Wimbledon final in 2016 before falling to Andy Murray.
Bianca Andreescu became the first Canadian Grand Slam singles winner when she beat Serena Williams in the final of the 2019 U.S. Open,
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 8, 2021.
Pistons select Cade Cunningham with No. 1 overall pick in 2021 NBA Draft – Sportsnet.ca
The Detroit Pistons selected Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham with the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft Thursday night.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) July 30, 2021
Cunningham had been widely expected to be the first name called in New York, though Pistons general manager Troy Weaver wouldn’t reveal plans earlier this week and said the team would look at every scenario, including trades.
In the end, Detroit stuck with the 19-year-old mentioned as a potential top pick before ever stepping foot on the Oklahoma State campus.
The 6-foot-8, 220-pound point guard from Arlington, Texas, lived up to expectations with his size and fluid game to become a first-team Associated Press All-American. He averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists with a game that allowed him to hit from 3-point range, score off the dribble or find teammates out of traps.
Cunningham — the first player in Oklahoma State history to be picked No. 1 overall — joins a Pistons franchise that has won 20 games for two straight seasons and hasn’t finished better than .500 for five straight years.
Cunningham was the headliner of a class that included scorers, playmakers and potentially elite defenders at the top. That group included Southern California freshman big man Evan Mobley, Gonzaga freshman point guard Jalen Suggs and Florida State freshman forward Scottie Barnes.
There are also a pair of preps-to-pros prospects in guard Jalen Green and forward Jonathan Kuminga, both of whom bypassed college basketball to play in the G League.
The draft is later than its traditional late-June slot for the second straight year due to the COVID-19 pandemic that interrupted the 2019-20 season. The 2021-22 season is scheduled to return to its normal schedule, with next year’s draft set for June again.
NBA Draft 2021: Toronto Raptors select Scottie Barnes with the 4th overall pick – RaptorsHQ
The Raptors have upended consensus in the 2021 NBA Draft, opting to select Florida State forward Scottie Barnes with the fourth overall pick. To say this was a complete shock is not entirely true — there was buzz the Raptors were at least somewhat intrigued by Barnes’ potential — but it also felt like Toronto would not take the gamble (e.g. it felt like Jalen Suggs at no. 4 was a lock).
Barnes joins the Raptors just before his 20th birthday. He’s listed at 6’9” and 227 pounds, which puts him in the small forward category, by my math. Barnes spent one season at Florida State during which he averaged 10.3 points, 4.1 assists, and 4.0 rebounds per game across 24 contests. Admittedly, the numbers don’t exactly pop — Barnes only started seven games — but Toronto must love his potential.
Said potential is what our guy JD got at in his column here. Barnes has serious defensive skills, a player who can already guard almost every position via his strength, speed and know-how. The broadcast compared him to Draymond Green, which is not a bad place to be — particularly for a Raptors team that obviously values defensive ability and versatility. Like Green, Barnes has flashed an advanced play-making game for a forward, and he also has a limited offensive arsenal. Few are looking at Barnes, who shot 28 percent from three and 62 percent from the free-throw line, to be a lights-out gunner. Maybe he gets there in time, or maybe his skill-set is less dependent on his shot.
So then the risk: did the Raptors just get a player who can’t start for the current squad with OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam locked in at the small and power forward position? Could it be that Barnes only tracks as another second or third-ranked player on a championship calibre team? (If that; some are worried he’s the next Stanley Johnson.) In all, the question remains: will Toronto regret missing on Suggs?
Or do the Raptors have something else planned with regards to their roster construction? Right now it’s unclear, but we do know one thing for now: Toronto has selected Scottie Barnes in the 2021 NBA Draft.
Canada's women's eight rowing crew captures Olympic gold for 1st time in 29 years – CBC.ca
Canada’s women’s eight crew captured gold on the final day of Olympic rowing at the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo on Friday, winning the event for the first time in 29 years.
New Zealand claimed silver, finishing ahead of bronze winners China.
The only other Olympic gold for Canada in women’s eight came at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, their first time reaching the Olympic podium. Canada’s crew enjoyed continued success with silver in 1996 and bronze in 2000.
Canada claimed silver in the women’s eight event at the 2012 London Olympics before missing the podium in Rio with a fifth place finish.
The men’s eight final wraps up the rowing competition at 9:25 p.m. ET.
More to come.
Bring on the cheers
Find live streams, must-watch video highlights, breaking news and more in one perfect Olympic Games package. Following Team Canada has never been easier or more exciting.
WATCH l CBC Sports’ The Olympians feature on women’s eight rowing:
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