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Shapovalov becomes 1st Canadian man to reach U.S. Open quarter-finals –



Denis Shapovalov has become the first Canadian to reach the quarter-finals in men’s singles at the U.S. Open following a four-set victory over No. 7 seed David Goffin of Belgium on Sunday.

The 12th-seeded Shapovalov toppled Goffin: 6-7 (7), 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in the fourth round of the Grand Slam tournament to advance.

He will face No. 20 seed Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain in the quarters. The Spaniard got into the final eight when No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic was defaulted — the tennis equivalent of an ejection — from their fourth-round match after he accidentally hit a line judge with a tennis ball.

Shapovalov was broken only once and it came in the fourth set, while converting five break points against his opponent. He fired 13 aces and 52 winners.

WATCH | Denis Shapovalov becomes 1st Canadian man to reach U.S. Open quarters:

Denis Shapovalov became the 1st Canadian man to reach the quarter-finals at the US Open. 1:33

Shapovalov gave up the first set on a tiebreaker before taking the next three.

He broke Goffin for the first time on his sixth opportunity, with some help, as the Belgian double faulted to give the Canadian a 3-1 lead and a chance to even things in the second set.

The 21-year-old left-hander broke Goffin a second time in the opening game of the third set, then held serve to go up 2-0 and cruised from there for a 2-1 advantage.

Shapovalov converted his third break point to make it 2-1 in the fourth set, and Goffin couldn’t hold serve with the Canadian breaking him a fourth time to go up 4-1.

WATCH | Shapovalov steals point with running cross-court winner:

Denis Shapovalov stole a point from David Goffin with a great running cross-court winner following a long rally. 1:07

Goffin hung around and finally broke Shapovalov to make it 5-3 only for the native of Richmond Hill, Ont., to convert a break point on the next game to take the match.

Shapovalov, ranked No. 17 but seeded 12th at the Grand Slam tournament that’s missing some top stars, came into the match 0-1 against 29-year-old Goffin in his career. The previous loss came last year on a hardcourt ATP 500 event in Tokyo.

With reigning U.S. Open champion Rafael Nadal, who cited concerns about travelling amid the pandemic, and Roger Federer, sidelined after two knee operations, not in the field, the 33-year-old Djokovic from Serbia was expected to claim a fourth trophy in New York.

In 2017, Shapovalov was also defaulted from a Davis Cup match against Britain when he accidentally hit the chair umpire in the face with a ball.

“I’ve been through that myself. Honestly, I feel awful for him. I feel terrible for everybody. Nobody wants to be in this situation,” Shapovalov said. “Just a fluke. It’s accidents like this that happen. Same thing with me.”

Djokovic’s departure means there is no man left in the field who has won a Grand Slam singles title. Whoever emerges as champion will be the first first-time major trophy winner in men’s tennis since 2014, when Marin Cilic won the U.S. Open.

Plus, each of the last 13 Grand Slam trophies had been won by a member of the Big Three of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic.

“This is definitely not the way we wanted to have a new Grand Slam champion,” Shapovalov said, before noting: “It’s been getting pretty boring with these three guys winning every tournament.”

3 Canadians could potentially reach quarters

Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., is one of three Canadian men to play into the Round of 16, along with Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal and Vasek Pospisil of Vancouver.

That’s the most Canadian men to have advanced to the fourth round of the event in the same year. But no Canadian man had reached the quarter-finals in the history of the U.S. Open, going 0-12 in the round of 16 before Shapovalov on Sunday.

Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., won the women’s singles championship in New York a year ago.

Auger-Aliassime and Pospisil both play their respective fourth-round matches Monday.

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Nate Pearson active for Blue Jays vs. Yankees, expected to pitch in relief –



The Toronto Blue Jays activated right-hander Nate Pearson before Thursday night’s home game against the New York Yankees.

Pearson spent just over a month on the injured list due to right elbow tightness. The 24-year-old rookie, who didn’t record a decision over four starts this season, will most likely serve as a reliever.

“If he comes out and he looks good out of the ‘pen, throwing 98, 97, I wouldn’t mind using him in high leverage,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said on a pre-game video call with reporters. “But he could also open for us if we need him.”

To make room on the roster, the Blue Jays designated reliever Wilmer Font for assignment.

The Blue Jays occasionally use openers, a term for pitchers who start the game but only throw an inning or two.

Toronto entered the finale of the four-game series against the Yankees with a magic number of one to clinch a playoff spot. The Blue Jays, who last reached the post-season in 2016, will close out the regular season with a three-game weekend series against the Baltimore Orioles at Sahlen Field in Buffalo.

Selected 28th overall by Toronto in the 2017 draft, Pearson is considered one of the top prospects in the major leagues. The six-foot-six right-hander can reach 100 m.p.h. with his fastball.

Pearson opened the season on the three-man taxi squad. He spent last year with class-A Dunedin, double-A New Hampshire and triple-A Buffalo.

His presence would give a boost to an injury riddled bullpen that has been uneven over the last couple weeks.

Closer Ken Giles is out for the season (elbow) while Jordan Romano (finger) of Markham, Ont., and Julian Merryweather (elbow) are on the IL. Rafael Dolis, who has served as closer and a setup man this year, is nursing a tender knee.

Over 16 1/3 innings this season, Pearson had 14 strikeouts, 12 walks and a 6.60 earned-run average.

Romano, who has been making strides in recent days, was scheduled to throw a bullpen session Friday, Montoyo said. Merryweather, meanwhile, remains day to day.

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Steven Stamkos' comeback is something to admire –



This is an excerpt from The Buzzer, which is CBC Sports’ daily email newsletter. Stay up to speed on what’s happening in sports by subscribing here.

Here’s what you need to know right now from the world of sports:

Steven Stamkos made a surprising and dramatic return

Before last night, the injured Tampa Bay Lightning star hadn’t played since Feb. 25. That was 210 days, a core-muscle surgery and the declaration of a global pandemic ago. He’d finally started practising with his team again, but Stamkos still seemed very iffy to suit up before the end of the Stanley Cup final. And pretty much no one expected him to for Game 3.

So what a surprise when, about half an hour before puck drop, word arrived that Stamkos was taking warmups. And then he actually played. And then, on his third shift, he burned a Dallas defenceman along the boards, carried the puck in off the wing and zipped one into the top corner to put Tampa up 2-0. It was vintage Stamkos, and maybe the coolest moment of the playoffs. Watch it here as part of Rob Pizzo’s two-minute game recap.

Unfortunately, his comeback didn’t last long. Stamkos played five shifts for a total of 2:47 of ice time before appearing to be in discomfort on the bench and leaving the game. He didn’t play again, but he sat on the bench and took some quick twirls on the ice during stoppages. Tampa didn’t need him anyway: they led 5-1 after two periods and autopiloted to a 5-2 win that gave them a 2-1 series lead over Dallas.

We’re not supposed to glorify playing through pain anymore — as the NHL was reminded this week when it got dragged on social media for posting a (since-deleted) video showing guys blocking shots with the message that the “price” is “worth it.” There’s a dark side to that type of mythology. But there’s also beauty in what Stamkos did last night, sacrificing his personal well-being to help his team accomplish a goal they’ve been working their whole lives toward.

If the Lightning go on to win the Cup, Stamkos will join the pantheon of athletes who made dramatic returns from injury and helped their teams win a championship by playing hurt. Hockey fans who weren’t even alive at the time talk about the Leafs’ Bobby Baun scoring the OT winner in Game 6 of the 1964 Cup final on a broken ankle. Willis Reed is still revered for limping out of the tunnel to help the Knicks win Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals. Curt Schilling has become a problematic figure, but his bloody sock will always be part of Red Sox lore as a symbol of his pitching through an ankle injury to help Boston snap its 86-year World Series title drought in 2004. One of the greatest moments in Olympic history is Kerri Strug’s sticking her final vault on a sprained ankle to seal gold for the U.S. women’s gymnastics team at the 1996 Games in Atlanta. Kirk Gibson’s “I don’t believe what I just saw!” pinch-hit walkoff homer on one good leg in Game 1 of the ’88 World Series still gives me chills every time I watch it.

Today, we better understand and empathize with the physical, mental and emotional toll that moments like these can take on the people who performed them. And player safety is a much bigger concern than in decades past. Those are good things. But we don’t have to deny that witnessing great athletes push their bodies and minds to the limit is one of the things that makes sports so compelling.

WATCH | Stamkos strikes early for Lightning in Game 3 win:

Playing in his first game since February 25th, Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos found the back of the net on just his second shift to give the Lightning a 2-0 lead over the Stars. 1:10


Canada lost a French Open player, but also gained one. Milos Raonic announced today he’s skipping the final Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year, which begins Sunday. At 20th, he’s Canada’s second-highest-ranked men’s singles player, behind No. 10 Denis Shapovalov. Canada now has four players in the men’s tournament: Shapovalov, 21st-ranked Felix Auger-Aliassime, 76th-ranked Vasek Pospisil and 179th-ranked Steven Diez. The latter got in today by winning his third consecutive qualifying match. Two Canadians are in the women’s singles draw: 100th-ranked Leylah Annie Fernandez and 168th-ranked Genie Bouchard. No. 7 Bianca Andreescu hasn’t played since suffering a knee injury 11 months ago and announced this week she’s taking the rest of the year off. Read more about the Canadians who are in or out of the French Open here.

The Blue Jays can clinch a playoff spot tonight. If they beat the Yankees in the finale of their four-game series, the Jays will officially be back in the post-season for the first time in four years. Even if they lose, a spot in this year’s expanded playoff tournament is still all but assured. The Jays’ magic number is 1, meaning they need just one more win or one more loss by the team right behind them in the wild-card standings (currently the Los Angeles Angels) to clinch. The odds of Toronto making the playoffs are 99.8 per cent, according to ESPN’s model. The regular season ends Sunday. Read more about the Jays’ 14-1 win over New York last night here.

Tyler Herro was the hero of last night’s NBA playoff game. The 20-year-old Miami rookie came off the bench to score a game-high 37 points (17 in the fourth quarter) in another narrow Heat win over Boston that put them up 3-1 in the Eastern Conference final. Only Magic Johnson has scored more points in an NBA playoff game at age 20 or younger. Tonight at 9 p.m. ET is Game 4 of the Western final between the Lakers and Nuggets. Canadian Jamal Murray will try to follow up his 28-point, 12-assist performance from Denver’s Game 3 win.

Both WNBA semifinals resume tonight. Minnesota, which is the only remaining team with Canadians on it, trails Seattle 1-0 in their best-of-five-series. Canada’s Bridget Carleton had 14 points and four assists in the Lynx’s 88-86 loss. Top-seeded Las Vegas and Connecticut are tied 1-1 after Vegas evened the series on Tuesday night. 

And finally…

A Canadian soccer international hopes their coming out will help young trans people. Quinn, who goes only by that name or Quinny now and no longer uses Rebecca Quinn, decided to share their true identity in an Instagram post earlier this month. Part of the reason, they say, was a desire to be “a visible figure for young trans folks or people questioning their gender, people exploring their gender. Because, unfortunately, when I was growing up, and even going through that process of figuring out myself in college, I didn’t have those people in the public sphere to look up to really.” Quinn also hopes to show others how “to be better allies” to trans people. Quinn, 25, has made 59 appearances for the Canadian women’s national team, scoring five goals. They were a member of the 2016 Olympic squad that won bronze, as well as the 2019 World Cup team. Read more about Quinn here.

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Hamilton 'sad but not surprised' at Breonna Taylor verdict –



Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton said he is “sad but not surprised” at the verdict in the case around the killing of Breonna Taylor.

On Wednesday, a grand jury in Louisville indicted one police officer — Brett Hankison — for shooting through the walls and into neighboring apartments. Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment in connection to the police raid that resulted in the death of Taylor, a Black woman, on the night of March 13. Taylor was 26.

Hamilton wore a shirt with the message ‘”Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor” ahead of F1’s most recent race, the Tuscan Grand Prix, and on the podium after securing his 90th career win.

On Wednesday evening, Hamilton posted on Instagram: “I’m so sad but not surprised at this outcome. Police continue to get away with murder every single day and it needs to stop! She was innocent and did not deserve to be shot and killed. Where is the justice, this clearly isn’t it!

“It hurts to know somebody was killed and nobody was held accountable. Imagine that was your mum, your brother or sister or friend, her life mattered but the system which was meant to protect her all because of her skin colour. So mad.”

The verdict prompted similar reactions across the sporting world. LeBron James echoed Hamilton’s sentiment that he was saddened but not surprised.

“I’m devastated, hurt, sad, mad!” James wrote on Twitter. “We want Justice for Breonna yet justice was met for her neighbors apartment walls and not her beautiful life.

“Was I surprised at the verdict. Absolutely not but damnit I was & still am hurt and heavy hearted! I send my love to Breonna mother, family and friends! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry!!”

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