Connect with us


Leylah Fernandez rides superior serve at US Open to 1st-round victory –



Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime and Leylah Fernandez have advanced to the second round of the U.S. Open in New York.

Leylah Fernandez of Laval, Que., moved on with a 7-6 (3), 6-2 win over on Croatia’s Ana Konjuh on Monday.

Later, Montreal’s Auger-Aliassime, seeded 12th in the men’s draw, won three tiebreaks in a 7-6 (0), 3-6, 7-6 (1), 7-6 (8) win over Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy.

Fernandez was more opportunistic and more accurate than her first-round opponent.

She was good on 76 per cent of her first serves, winning 65 per cent of those available points.

Konjuh was accurate on just 63 per cent of her first serves. While she slightly outpaced Fernandez by winning 68 per cent of first serve points, she won just 35 per cent of second serve points, compared to 47 per cent for Fernandez.

WATCH | Fernandez posts straight-sets win over Konjuh in Round 1:

Laval’s Leylah Annie Fernandez forges ahead into U.S. Open 2nd round

5 hours ago

Leylah Annie Fernandez of Laval, Que., advanced to the second round of the U.S. Open with a 7-6(3), 6-2 win over Ana Konjuh of Croatia. 3:11

Konjuh also committed 10 double faults, compared to just three for her opponent.

Fernandez made the most of her break-point chances, converting four of her seven opportunities. Konjuh had 10 break point chances against Fernandez but was only good on two.

4-hour match ends on missed backhand

Fernandez next faces Kaia Kanepi of Estonia. It will be the first meeting between the players.

WATCH | Fernandez bows out in 2nd round of Olympic tourney:

Leylah Annie Fernandez falls to Barbora Krejcikova at Tokyo 2020

1 month ago

Leylah Annie Fernandez is eliminated in the second round after a 6-2, 6-4 loss to Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova. 2:09

Vancouver’s Rebecca Marino faced fifth seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine later Monday.

Auger-Aliassime was down 8-7 in the tiebreak with Donskoy serving, but the 21-year-old Montrealer shifted momentum in the set with a pair of receiving points.

Auger-Aliassime completed the four-hour marathon by converting his first match point chance when Donskoy missed on a backhand.

WATCH | Auger-Aliassime notches 14 aces in 4-set win:

Felix Auger-Aliassime survives U.S. Open 1st round 4-hour marathon

3 hours ago

Montreal’s Felix Auger-Aliassime outlasted Russian qualifier Evgeny Donskoy 7-6(0), 3-6, 7-6(1), 7-6(8) to advance to the second round of the U.S. Open. 3:55

The Canadian fired 14 aces in the match to Donskoy’s eight, but also had seven double faults to Donskoy’s one.

Auger-Aliassime was effective when accurate. While he was good on just 59 per cent of his first serves, he picked up 83 per cent of those available points.

Donskoy saved four of the five break points he faced, while converting two of three break-point opportunities against Auger-Aliassime.

Next up for Auger-Aliassime is a match against world No. 116 Bernabe Zapata Miralles of Spain.

Halep victorious in Grand Slam return

Simona Halep, who missed three of the year’s biggest events while recovering from a calf injury, delivered a statement win in her return to Grand Slam action as she beat Italian Camila Gorgi 6-4 7-6(3) on Monday to reach the second round.

The former world No. 1, who is seeded 12th in New York, relied on a solid serving game to get by in-form Gorgi, who won the biggest title of her career just two weeks ago in Montreal.

Halep missed the French Open, Wimbledon and Tokyo Olympics due to an injury suffered in Rome and then, in only her second tournament back, was forced to withdraw from a U.S. Open tune-up event in Cincinnati due to a right thigh injury.

The 29-year-old Romanian was considered to be one of the more vulnerable seeds in New York but showed she was up for the task at hand in the day’s first match on Grandstand.

Halep, a two-time Grand Slam champion whose best U.S. Open finish came in 2015 when she reached the semifinals, won 83 per cent of her first-serve points, fired down six aces and faced just two break points during the 93-minute match. Next up for Halep will be Slovakian lucky loser Kristina Kucova.

Rublev downs qualifier Karlovic

World No. 7 Andrey Rublev made short work of veteran qualifier Ivo Karlovic in the first round, beating the tricky Croatian 6-3 7-6(3) 6-3.

The Russian came into the year’s final Grand Slam having reached the Cincinnati title clash and made a blistering start on Grandstand, winning the opening three games of the match before taking the first set with ease.

The 42-year-old Karlovic, the oldest U.S. Open qualifier in the Open Era, launched his comeback in the second set but Rublev held his nerve in the tiebreak, which he claimed with a forehand winner, before shifting gears in the final set.

After racing to a 5-3 lead, the 23-year-old former Flushing Meadows quarter-finalist closed out the match on the back of his superb serve, forcing a backhand error from the towering Karlovic on match point.

Brady, Ostapenko, Tsonga out of tourney

Australian Open runner-up Jennifer Brady has withdrawn from the U.S. Open because of an injury.

Brady, a semifinalist last year in Flushing Meadows, has not played competitively since being forced to retire from her second-round match against Jelena Ostapenko in Cincinnati. The U.S. Tennis Association did not specify her injury.

Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open champion, also pulled out Monday for medical reasons.

On the men’s side, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also withdrew. The 2008 Australian Open finalist has a right leg injury.

Adblock test (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading


AC Leonard receives an additional one-game suspension; six players fined –



TORONTO — The Canadian Football League announced the following on Thursday:

Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive lineman A.C. Leonard has been suspended for one additional game due to a verbal abuse and unacceptable behaviour towards the doping control officers. Leonard was previously suspended for two games for failing to provide a sample for drug testing.

Fines from Week 6:

  • Saskatchewan Roughriders safety Mike Edem was fined for a tourist hit on Winnipeg Blue Bombers receiver Nic Demski.
  • Winnipeg Blue Bombers running back Andrew Harris was fined for grabbing Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive back Christian Campbell’s facemask in a reckless and unsafe manner.
  • Winnipeg Blue Bombers offensive lineman Drew Desjarlais was fined for his involvement in instigating the altercation between the two teams.
  • Calgary Stampeders offensive lineman Justin Lawrence was fined for a chop-block on Edmonton Elks defensive lineman Jake Ceresna.
  • Edmonton Elks linebacker Nyles Morgan was fined for kicking Calgary Stampeders offensive lineman Bryce Bell.

An additional fine from Week 5:

  • Toronto Argonauts defensive back Shaquille Richardson was fined for unsportsmanlike conduct in the Labour Day Classic against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

As per league policy, the amounts of the player fines were not disclosed.

Adblock test (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading


Hopkins converts second chance to give Washington wild win over Giants –



LANDOVER, Md. — Taylor Heinicke and Dustin Hopkins made the most of their second chances.

Washington needed every last second — and then some — to earn a long-awaited win over the New York Giants.

Hopkins made a 43-yard field goal on an untimed down — after a penalty negated his miss seconds earlier — and Washington beat New York 30-29 on Thursday night, snapping a five-game win streak for the Giants in the series.

It also gave Heinicke another moment in the sun after he cost Washington dearly with a late interception. The 28-year-old quarterback was making his second career start in the regular season and first since 2018 with Carolina. He became a bit of a sensation when Washington had to use him in last season’s playoffs against Tom Brady and Tampa Bay, but his team lost that game.

“It’s amazing,” Heinicke said. “The first start was what, two or three years ago in Carolina? Threw three picks, tore my tricep, it was just a brutal thing — and that was my last start until last year (against) Tampa. Come in to Tampa last year, had a good game, but ultimately fell up short. And finally get that first win.”

Heinicke, playing because of an injury to Ryan Fitzpatrick, threw for 336 yards and two touchdowns.

His interception set up Graham Gano’s fifth field goal of the game, which gave the Giants a 29-27 lead with 2:00 remaining. Heinicke then guided Washington back into field goal range.

“He does have the ability to throw the ball and make all the throws. We’ve seen that,” coach Ron Rivera said. “And he’s got a lot of confidence.”

Hopkins missed his first attempt to win the game, but he was given a reprieve when Dexter Lawrence was flagged for being offside. His next attempt was good, giving Washington (1-1) a wild victory.

“Somebody out there check on my mother,” Hopkins said. “She’s probably had a heart attack.”

Daniel Jones threw for 249 yards and a touchdown for the Giants (0-2). He also ran for 95 yards and a TD.

For most of the night, it was Washington’s highly touted defense that wasn’t pulling its weight. New York scored on its first four possessions of the second half, but after the Giants went up 26-20, Heinicke needed just 17 seconds to put Washington ahead.

J.D. McKissic slipped downfield for a 56-yard reception, and then Ricky Seals-Jones outjumped Adoree’ Jackson in the corner of the end zone for a 19-yard TD that put Washington up 27-26.

The Giants had to punt after that, but as Washington was trying to run out the clock, James Bradberry picked off a pass by Heinicke, giving the Giants the ball at the Washington 20.

Washington’s defense forced a field goal, giving Heinicke another chance. Then the penalty on Lawrence gave Hopkins his extra opportunity.

“It’s going to be a tough lesson,” Giants coach Joe Judge said. “I’m not going to put this on Dexter.”

After struggling to stop Justin Herbert and the Chargers last weekend, Washington’s defense had its problems again at the start of this game. New York went 79 yards in 11 plays the first time it had the ball, taking a 7-0 lead on a 6-yard run by Jones.

After Washington tied it on Heinicke’s 11-yard scoring pass to Terry McLaurin, Jones broke free for what initially looked like a 58-yard touchdown run. That play was shortened by a holding penalty, however, and the Giants settled for a field goal.

Washington took a 14-10 lead on a 2-yard TD run by McKissic in the final minute of the half.

Jones found Darius Slayton for a 33-yard TD in the third quarter that put New York ahead 20-14.


Washington’s biggest defensive breakdown wasn’t punished. With the Giants up 23-20 in the fourth quarter, Slayton was all alone behind the defense, but the pass bounced off his outstretched hands.

That play — and the penalties on the final field goal and the long run by Jones — will likely haunt the Giants during their long break before the next game.

“It’s a pretty tough one. You give it your all and fight and it comes down the tail end,” Giants receiver Sterling Shepard said. “See that first one miss and you see those flags it’s not a fun feeling at all.”

The Giants had 11 penalties for 81 yards. Washington had nine for 80 — and some of those were costly, too.


Gano has now made 35 consecutive field goals, the longest active streak in the NFL. His five field goals Thursday included kicks from 47, 52 and 55 yards.


Giants: OL Nick Gates was carted off with a broken leg in the first quarter. Gates, normally a center, played guard Thursday after New York put Shane Lemieux on injured reserve.

Daniel Jones threw for 249 yards and a touchdown for the Giants (0-2). He also ran for 95 yards and a TD.

For most of the night, it was Washington’s highly touted defense that wasn’t pulling its weight. New York scored on its first four possessions of the second half, but after the Giants went up 26-20, Heinicke needed just 17 seconds to put Washington ahead.

J.D. McKissic slipped downfield for a 56-yard reception, and then Ricky Seals-Jones outjumped Adoree’ Jackson in the corner of the end zone for a 19-yard TD that put Washington up 27-26.

The Giants had to punt after that, but as Washington was trying to run out the clock, James Bradberry picked off a pass by Heinicke, giving the Giants the ball at the Washington 20.

Washington’s defense forced a field goal, giving Heinicke another chance. Then the penalty on Lawrence gave Hopkins his second chance.

Washington: DT Matt Ioannidis left in the first half with a knee injury but returned to the game.


Giants: New York returns home to face the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 26.

Washington: Two straight road games await Washington, with the first coming Sept. 26 against the Buffalo Bills.

Adblock test (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading


Rays skip thinks Blue Jays’ Charlie Montoyo should be manager of the year –



TORONTO — Kevin Cash rolls his eyes when told about all the second-guessing Charlie Montoyo gets in the Toronto Blue Jays discourse, knowing well that anyone looking to solve a baseball problem can find an easy answer in pointing fingers at the manager.

The relentless scrutiny can be a lot to take.

“Correct, that’s fair,” says the Tampa Bay Rays skip, the reigning American League manager of the year. “You’ve got to have a really strong support group, where you can have some of those venting conversations. But when three o’clock rolls around and the guys start filtering into the clubhouse, you’ve got to find that consistency that you show day in and day out.”

The ability to remain on even-keel no matter the circumstance is, to Cash, what’s been most impressive about the way Montoyo, his former bench coach, has stewarded the Blue Jays through the pandemic, and the two seasons of franchise displacement it caused.

“Charlie should be manager of the year,” says Cash. “I mean, what he has gone through over a two-year period, it’s pretty remarkable. It’s a special group over there but he has helped keep that group together and unified it with all the B.S. that has taken place because of the travel and inconsistencies.

“Look at the uncertainty that all those players, certainly Charlie and the staff, but ultimately all the players faced. You’ve got three home ballparks, you’re getting booed half the time because when we played them in Dunedin, we’ve got fans there, in Buffalo, you’ve got New York Yankees fans there — that’s not how you draw it up. And the way that team has shown over the last two years the ability to just wipe that off and be very, very good is a testament to the players, but also Charlie.”

That viewpoint from a rival dugout runs contrary to the daily griping about Montoyo within the larger Blue Jays conversation, with venomous posts questioning each call he makes and blaming him for each failure.

Now, debating different approaches to key strategic moments is part of baseball’s beauty, because ballgames can be won and lost in so many different ways. Analytics have transformed the traditional discussion by replacing long held pieces of conventional wisdom — like platoon advantage above all else, sacrificing a runner to second base or constantly trying to steal bases — with real data that can be used to develop more insightful planning.

As an unintended consequence, too much data has essentially created a new conventional wisdom that relies solely on stats-based decision-making and wholly discounts gut-feel, with decisions that buck the numbers immediately excoriated. In truth, a balance between the two approaches is best in which the objective information is weighed against a subjective sense of what players may be feeling or going through at a given time.

For instance, Montoyo’s decision last week to use Corey Dickerson at leadoff to not disrupt the rhythm of Marcus Semien, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Bo Bichette batting two, three and four didn’t make much sense on an analytical front. But the Blue Jays factored in the rhythm the three of them had at that point, didn’t want to alter their timing and prep process by moving them up in the order and really like Bichette in an RBI spot. So, they decided for a short period, there was more value in maintaining all of that rather than adjusting the lineup just so Dickerson wouldn’t potentially be in the leadoff spot at a key time late in the game.

Or take last Saturday, when Montoyo stuck with a shaky Hyun Jin Ryu to try and escape a bases-loaded jam in the third inning, rather than go to a warmed Ross Stripling. Ryan McKenna then ripped a cutter up for a two-run double that put the Baltimore Orioles up 7-3, leading to the usual finger-pointing.

Lost in the vitriol was that Montoyo was consistent in showing trust for one of his aces, desperate for innings in the first game of a doubleheader and that if Ryu executes the cutter down he’s probably out of the inning with a double play.

That doesn’t make the decisions right, it doesn’t make them wrong. But judging them strictly based on outcome and ignoring nuance isn’t fair, either. There are many variables in each call the public isn’t aware of and pivotal is that a team’s players understand why things happen the way they do so the public discourse doesn’t penetrate their bubble.

The Rays and Cash have made that a priority.

“Our guys are so good, so bought in and so willing to remove the game last night from the next one,” he says. “Over time, we’ve gotten more of that buy-in because winning helps. But there were three and four years of decisions that we made early on that were challenging not only to the fanbase, but also to the players in there. We owed it to the players to sit them down and say, this is what we’re thinking. We pride ourselves so much on communicating with them and trying to get ahead of and out front of those decisions before they happen.”

The Blue Jays, similarly, have excelled at preventing one game from carrying over to the next. Last year, they shook off not knowing where they would play their home games until the morning of opening day and calling triple-A Sahlen Field in Buffalo home to win a wild card. This season, they began at their spring home in Dunedin, Fla., moved to Buffalo and finally to Toronto. They’ve shaken off gutting bullpen losses, an offensive dry spell that threatened their season and key injuries to contend for a wild card in a four-team deep American League East.

Full credit goes for that goes to the players. Some of it should go to the manager, too.

“They play with a looseness. They don’t play with any panic. They’re having fun in the dugout,” Cash says of where he sees Montoyo’s impact on the Blue Jays. “Granted, you score 47 runs in Baltimore, everybody’s going to have fun. But they’ve shown that consistently all year long, even when we were in Dunedin and we swept them (May 21-24). You saw frustration like, all right, we’re pissed we’re losing, which you should be. But it wasn’t demoralizing to where everybody was hanging their head. That’s where Charlie is special because he’s pretty darn consistent. I know he was helpful for me. I admired and strived to be the level of consistent he showed day in and day out while he was here, and tried to take some of those things from him.”

That’s high praise from one of the better managers in the game, which doesn’t mean Montoyo’s decisions, the moves made and those not, are immune from debate or criticism. That’s part of the territory and part of the fun. But, maybe the game doesn’t need to turn into a referendum on his merits, because there’s more than meets the eye, too.

Adblock test (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading