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Fernandez eager to return to action after Sharapova pep talk

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Canada‘s Leylah Fernandez, who lost in the final of the U.S. Open, said on Tuesday she has since received advice from five-times Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova and cannot wait to get back on court.

A day after falling to British teenager Emma Raducanu in last month’s final, Fernandez attended New York’s annual Met Gala where she had a chance to speak with Sharapova.

“She gave me some pretty good advice,” Fernandez, 19, told reporters ahead of her return to competition this week at Indian Wells for the BNP Paribas Open. “I don’t want to disclose any of it because it’s very personal for me.

“She’s an amazing person. She told me her own experience and the way that she was able to bounce back and she’s just a great person, great inspiration to kind of look up to.”

Fernandez won the Monterrey Open in March but upped her game considerably in New York where she beat defending champion Naomi Osaka, three-times Grand Slam winner Angelique Kerber and world number two Aryna Sabalenka en route to the final.

Against Raducanu, an 18-year-old qualifier making only her second Grand Slam appearance, Fernandez struggled with her serve during a straight sets loss but still showed enough to suggest she could be a lasting force.

Fernandez has since faced a surge in demand for her time since the U.S. Open but credits her team for allowing her to stay focused on tennis.

“I’m very lucky to have a great team around me to just let me focus on my craft, on my tennis, and not be overwhelmed with everything that’s going right now,” said Fernandez.

“Honestly I just can’t wait to be back on the tennis court competing again.”

The Canadian has shot up to 28th in the rankings and is the 23rd seed at Indian Wells, where she will get a first-round bye at an event widely considered the unofficial fifth Grand Slam.

While Fernandez’s U.S. Open run has resulted in a slew of new off-court obligations, she admits that it has also opened the door to fun opportunities, including attending the Met Gala.

“That was definitely an experience to get ready, to put on the makeup, get the hair done, putting on the heels for the very first time,” said Fernandez.

“It was a little hard to walk on at first. The one thing on my mind going up the stairs in the Met was don’t fall down. Just walk one foot in front of the other.”

 

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis)

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Alouettes trade for QB Trevor Harris – CFL.ca

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MONTREAL — The Montreal Alouettes announced on Sunday that the team has acquired veteran quarterback Trevor Harris from the Edmonton Elks in exchange for American defensive end Antonio Simmons.

In six games this season, Harris completed 135 of 192 passes, collecting 1,568 yards, adding six majors.

Harris (six-foot-three, 212 pounds) is in his ninth season in the CFL after playing in Toronto, Ottawa and Edmonton. In 139 career games, he completed 1990 passes for 23,750 yards, adding 126 touchdown passes. The 35-year-old quarterback has hoisted the Grey Cup twice (2012, Toronto; 2016, Ottawa). The Waldo, OH native was selected on the East Division All-Star Team in 2016. The former Edinboro University Fighting Scots suited up for the Jacksonvile Jaguars in 2010 and the Buffalo Bills in 2011.

“Trevor is a veteran who knows the league well and what it takes to win”, said Montreal Alouettes General Manager Danny Maciocia. “We are pleased to have been able to complete this transaction. We are confident that Trevor will work well with our quarterbacks. We thank Antonio for his services and wish him well.”

In 23 career games with the Alouettes, Simmons made 52 defensive tackles, five quarterback sacks and forced a fumble.

Simmons is currently in his second CFL season and joins the Elks after originally signing with Montreal in May of 2019.

The Georgia Tech product played all 18 regular season games for the Als in 2019, recording 45 defensive tackles, three sacks, and a forced fumble. In five games this season, Simmons has registered seven defensive tackles and two sacks.

A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Simmons played four years (2014-17) at Georgia Tech, collecting 83 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and seven quarterback sacks. He spent time in 2018 with both the Denver Broncos and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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Flames D Andersson fined $5K for roughing Oilers F Yamamoto – TSN

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Calgary Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson has been fined $5,000 for roughing Edmonton Oilers forward Kailer Yamamoto.

Andersson was fined the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and the Players’ Association.

The money goes to the players’ emergency assistance fund.

Andersson was assessed minor penalties for both roughing and elbowing at 14:33 of the first period Saturday in Edmonton.

The Flames lost their season-opener 5-2 to the Oilers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 17, 2021.

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Report: Maple Leafs to ease up on dress code restrictions for game days – Sportsnet.ca

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The Toronto Maple Leafs are apparently planning to loosen up on dress code restrictions for players on game day.

Players are required to wear jackets, ties and dress pants to and from the arena, as outlined in the CBA, however, teams can ease up on the mandate if they choose.

The Arizona Coyotes were the only team that opted to do so entering the season, but the Maple Leafs now plan to follow suit, according to Lance Hornby of The Toronto Sun.

The decision comes just a few days after ESPN published an article on Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews, who has shown a flair for unique fashion while away from the arena, discussing his displeasure with the NHL’s strict dress code.

“I don’t mind wearing a suit, but it gets old pretty quick,” Matthews said. “I think it’d be fun to wear different things and be able to express yourself, similar to what the NBA does or even the NFL a little bit.”

The 24-year-old Matthews, who led the NHL with 41 goals in 52 games last season, missed the first three games of the season while recovering from wrist surgery and is expected to make his 2021-22 debut Monday night against the New York Rangers on Sportsnet.

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