The fourth round of the 2019 Australian Open would prove a far more significant event in recent tennis history than anyone present could have foreseen. As Novak Djokovic continued his attempts to regain the title that had evaded him for two years, he came across a 22-year-old Russian named Daniil Medvedev.
While most players step on to the court with Djokovic wary of his defensive and physical capabilities, Medvedev, then ranked 19th in the world, was merely curious. He wanted to see just how far he could push those strengths, how much he could make Djokovic hurt. From the beginning he deliberately forced his opponent into endless, excruciating exchanges, breathlessly defending the baseline and refusing to miss. Countless 30-40 stroke rallies followed, with both players frequently reduced to gulping in air from behind the baseline with hands on knees.
After one of the most exhausting three-hour, four-set matches either had ever played and a near-1am finish, Medvedev had a simple question as they shook hands at the net: “He asked me whether he made me sweat at all tonight,” said Djokovic. “I just laughed. I think the answer is obvious.”
At that time, the Russian had only recently begun to take a step forward in his career. But that was the moment that he showed his heart, a quality that has sustained his rise to greater heights.
They will meet again in Sunday’s US Open final with everything on the line. Since that meeting in Australia, this match-up has morphed into one of the premier rivalries on the ATP Tour, with Medvedev the only player of his generation to compete with Djokovic as an equal. It has evolved from that attritional battle into one of the most tactical, cerebral rivalries on the circuit. Like Carlos Alcaraz, Djokovic has adopted serve and volleys, dropshots, angles and ample variety in order to counter Medvedev’s return position. Medvedev, meanwhile, has found himself essentially serving two first serves at times just to remain unpredictable.
The pair have faced each other 11 times since, with Djokovic narrowly leading 6-5. In completed matches, they are tied at 5-5 during this period.
Among those meetings is a landmark moment in recent tennis history. Two years ago Djokovic chased immortality as he arrived in the US Open final with a 27-0 record in the majors, only one win away from becoming the first man in the Open era to win a sweep of grand slam titles. Instead Medvedev produced the statement performance of his career, giving a full reflection of his mental strength and self belief by shutting out the Serb in straight sets, refusing him the opportunity of a second wind or inspiration from the crowd.
It has been some road back for Medvedev since that clash. He followed up the US Open by reaching the 2022 Australian Open final against Rafael Nadal, leading Nadal by two sets before falling in five. Just as it seemed that he had reached the top table though, he fell apart. He was a shadow of himself for most of 2022 and by February this year, from scaling the No 1 ranking, he had fallen out of the top 10. He has gradually found his way back to the top of the game and Friday’s incredible win over Alcaraz suggested that he may have surpassed previous heights.
It may not be quite the same challenge as a few years ago when winning a major inevitably required a player to go through two of the big three players, but Medvedev is now charged with pulling off the toughest achievement in men’s tennis this year. Two days after that incredible win over Alcaraz, in which he was spotless for four sets, he must now elevate his level again and beat a 23 time grand slam champion in a major final. Asked what he believes he can take from that victory two years ago, Medvedev said that Djokovic’s loss there will only make him greater.
“I think the only way I can use it is, as I say, thinking that Novak, when he loses, he’s never the same after,” he said. “So he’s different. It’s just a different mentality. That’s why he has 23 grand slams, whatever Masters 1000s, weeks at No 1. So I have to use it knowing that he’s going to be 10 times better than he was that day. And I have to be, if I want to still beat him, 10 times better than I was that day. That’s what I’m going to try to do.”
As Medvedev tries to become a multiple grand slam champion, Djokovic is again in pursuit of 24. Should he win, he will be the oldest player to win the US Open in the Open era. After so many years of success, he says he is in a different mental space now, more conscious of the significance of these moments and aware that he does not know how long the good times will last.
“I probably value these occasions and opportunities to win another slam as more than I have maybe 10 years ago, because 10 years ago I felt like: ‘Hey, I still have quite a few years ahead of me,’” he said. “I don’t know how many I have ahead of me now, or I don’t know how many of the years where I play four slams in the whole season do I have in front of me. So of course I am aware of the occasion. But I try to approach Sunday’s match as basically any other match with intention to win, and I’ll play my opponent.”
How to Spot a Trustworthy Online Casino in Canada
Spotting a trustworthy online casino isn’t hard once you know what to look for, but until then, you better hold off on signing up or making a deposit. This quick guide on how to find a reputable online casino will cover five different factors you can evaluate to determine whether or not a casino is trustworthy. While you could just use a site like the trusted source WikiHow that lists the best online casinos Canada, it does help to be able to evaluate the trustworthiness of casinos on your own. Likewise, you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet. Casino review sites are a great resource, but it doesn’t hurt to also do a little digging of your own. Without further delay, here’s a quick and easy guide on how to spot a trustworthy online casino.
Checking for Proper Licensing and Regulation
One of the first things you should do when assessing the trustworthiness of the best online casinos Canada is to check for proper licensing and regulation. Reputable online casinos are licensed by recognized regulatory bodies such as the Malta Gaming Authority, the UK Gambling Commission, or the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. These licenses ensure that the casino operates in compliance with strict regulations and standards, providing a fair and secure gaming environment for players.
Never play at a casino that does not have a license or whose license is unverifiable. The easiest way to verify a license is to head to the licensor’s website and cross-check their registry with the name of the casino you’re looking at. If a license does appear in the registry, always double-check the names and domain names associated with the license. Some scam sites use domains that look similar to real casinos and act as if they are operating under their license. When in doubt, head to the URL listed on the license you find in the registry to be sure that you’re at the right site.
Evaluating the Casino’s Security Measures
Examining the Casino’s Game Selection
Game selection is another important factor to consider when choosing from the best online casinos Canada. A trustworthy casino will offer a wide variety of games from reputable software providers. Look for popular titles from well-known developers such as Microgaming, NetEnt, and Playtech. Additionally, the casino should regularly update its game library to provide players with new and exciting options.
Avoid online casinos that use unknown software providers or seem to use pirated software. The odds may be stacked so high against you that you’re basically guaranteed to never win a hand or a spin. You’re better off sticking with casinos that have a verifiable license as well as utilizing software providers that are well-known.
Verifying the Casino’s Customer Support
Good customer support is essential for a positive online casino experience. A trustworthy casino will have a responsive and knowledgeable support team available to assist you with any queries or concerns. Look for casinos that offer multiple support channels, such as live chat, email, and telephone. Additionally, check for the casino’s operating hours to ensure that support is available when you need it. You should also try and give their customer support a test run. By simply asking their 24/7 Live Chat simple questions about the site, you can get a feel for their response time and overall knowledge. Sites with poor customer service will often take a long time to connect to an agent and be unable to answer even the simplest of queries.
Looking for Fair and Transparent Bonus Terms
Bonuses and promotions are a common feature of online casinos, but it’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions associated with these offers. A trustworthy casino will have fair and transparent bonus terms, clearly outlining the wagering requirements, maximum bet limits, and any other conditions that apply. Avoid casinos that have overly restrictive or confusing bonus terms, as this may indicate a lack of transparency.
In conclusion, when looking for a trustworthy online casino, it’s important to consider factors such as proper licensing and regulation, security measures, game selection, customer support, and bonus terms. By taking the time to evaluate these aspects, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable gaming experience. Remember to always gamble responsibly and set limits for yourself to avoid any potential issues.
Canadiens acquire Tanner Pearson, trade Casey DeSmith to Canucks
A third-round pick in 2025 also goes to Montreal in the deal completed Tuesday.
Pearson hasn’t played since suffering a broken hand last November during a game in Montreal.
Pearson, 31, had one goal and four assists in 14 games last season.
In 590 career games with the Canucks, Pittsburgh Penguins and Los Angeles Kings, Pearson has 133 goals and 139 assists for 272 points.
The Kings picked the Barrie Colts product in the first round (30th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.
Pearson is in the final year of a three-year contract with a cap hit of $3.25 million.
DeSmith, 32, has been with the Pittsburgh Penguins since 2017-18. He was acquired by the Canadians in a three-team deal also involving the San Jose Sharks last month.
DeSmith was 15-16-4 with a 3.17 goals-against average and .905 save percentage last season.
In 134 career games, the undrafted DeSmith is 58-44-15 with a 2.81 GAA and .912 save percentage.
DeSmith is on the final year of a two-year deal with a cap hit of $1.8 million.
Blue Jackets GM, president admit fault in Babcock debacle, reveal more red flags
Days after Mike Babcock was accused of inappropriate workplace conduct by podcast host Paul Bissonette — with the retired NHL player claiming Babcock was forcing players to airplay personal photos on television in his office — Columbus Blue Jackets management addressed the debacle in a tense press conference at Nationwide Arena.
“It’s on us. It’s on me…. Sometimes you flat-out make a mistake. We made a mistake,” said Blue Jackets president of hockey ops John Davidson, per Associated Press reporter Stephen Whyno.
“Maybe they were right,” Davidson said of people who were critical of Mike Babcock’s hiring in the first place.
Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen, meanwhile. said he apologized to Blue Jackets players this morning for hiring the embattled head coach.
“I believe that Mike Babcock deserved another opportunity to coach,” Kekalainen said. “Obviously that was a mistake and that responsibility’s mine.”
Still, even with the talk of accountability, Kekalainen detailed what should’ve been a red flag: Babcock apparently pulled the same phone stunt he was accused of pulling with his players on the 57-year-old executive.
GM Jarmo Kekalainen said Mike Babcock did the phone thing with him as well. “Personally I had no problem with it but I can see how it might put someone in an uncomfortable situation.”
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) September 18, 2023
But while Kekalainen stated he doesn’t believe there was any ill intent behind Babcock’s actions, he admitted that some of his players were not comfortable with his methods and that was concerning.
Blue Jackets majority owner John H. McConnell announced in a team-issued statement Monday morning that he does not anticipate further changes to the team’s leadership, erasing speculation that one or both of Kekalainen and Davidson would end up on the chopping block alongside Babcock.
“Additional disruptions would be detrimental to our players and coaches as they prepare for the opening of training camp in two days,” McConnell’s statement read.
To say this story escalated rapidly would be the understatement of the century. Initially, it seemed like it would die quickly after both Babcock and captain Boone Jenner released statements through the team on Wednesday morning refuting the Spittin’ Chiclets host’s version of events.
Both Columbus’ captain and the now-former coach described their encounter as nothing more than a way of sharing snippets of one another’s life in an effort to build a working relationship. During an appearance on the 32 Thoughts Podcast on the same day as Jenner and Babcock condemned Bissonette’s comments, Blue Jackets star winger Johnny Gaudreau gave a similar account to Jenner when asked about his photo-exchange meet-and-greet with Babcock.
But the story didn’t end there, obviously, with Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reporting things changed on Wednesday night when the NHLPA received information that some of the younger Blue Jackets players were uncomfortable with their interactions with Babcock.
Friedman later reported that the information gathered on Wednesday night prompted NHLPA executive director Marty Walsh and assistant executive director Ron Hainsey to begin an investigation before flying out to Columbus and leading what was described as an “intense” meeting.
On Friday, Walsh and Hainsey relayed their findings during a joint meeting with the NHL and NHLPA. Saturday was arguably the quietest day of the scandal in the public eye, according to ESPN’s Greg Wyshinski, because that’s the day Columbus and Babcock started plotting his exit.
By Sunday, the Blue Jackets announced that Babcock had resigned and Pascal Vincent would be taking over as the team’s head coach.
Vincent, 51, had served as the Blue Jackets’ associate coach since the 2021-22 season. Before joining Columbus, Vincent spent 10 seasons with the Winnipeg Jets organization, serving as an NHL assistant for the first half of his tenure before pivoting to head coach of the organization’s AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose. Vincent was named AHL Coach Of The Year for the 2017-18 season.
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