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Vasek Pospisil wins ATP Comeback Player of the Year – TSN

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Vasek Pospisil has been named the ATP’s Comeback Player of the Year, he announced Monday on Twitter.

Pospisil, from Vancouver, reached two tournament finals during the abbreviated 2020 season after undergoing back surgery last year.

Ranked 150th last year, Pospisil has climbed to No. 61. A former world No. 25, Pospisil was sidelined for much of 2019.

The 30-year-old Pospisil reached the final at the Open Sud de France before the COVID-19 pandemic started and matched the feat in November at the Sofia Open in Bulgaria.

Pospisil also reached the fourth round of the U.S. Open after wins over No. 11 Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain and No. 18 Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., at the Grand Slam in New York.

Kevin Anderson of South Africa, Andrey Kuznetsov of Russia and Raonic also were nominated for comeback player of the year.

Players vote for the comeback player of the year award.

Other award winners were Russia’s Andrey Rublev (most improved player); Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz (newcomer of the year); Spain’s Rafael Nadal (Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award); American Francis Tiafoe (Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award); Switzerland’s Rogers Federer (Fans’ Favourite Award, singles); Britain’s Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski (Fans’ Favourite Award, doubles); Fernando Vicente (coach of the year); Bob Brett (Tim Gullikson Career Coach Award); and Kevin Mitchell (Ron Bookman Media Excellence Award).

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 21, 2020.

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Spain's Bautista Agut apologizes for comparing hotel for Aussie Open quarantine to jail – CBC.ca

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Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut has apologized after criticizing the Victoria state government’s quarantine requirements for tennis players ahead of next month’s Australian Open and comparing being locked down in a hotel to being in prison.

Passengers who arrived on three charter flights have been placed into hard quarantine, including more than 70 players who are unable to train outside their rooms for 14 days before the year’s first Grand Slam starts on Feb. 8.

A number of top players, including world number one Novak Djokovic, have questioned the need for mandatory hotel quarantine but Victoria premier Daniel Andrews said it was essential to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s like [being] in a jail,” Israeli television channel Sport 5 quoted world number 13 Bautista Agut as saying.

“It’s the same [as being in prison], but with Wifi. These people have no idea about tennis and about practice courts and it’s a complete disaster.

“The control of everything isn’t Tennis Australia, it’s with the government [and health officials].”

Bautista Agut, who reached the Australian Open quarter-finals in 2019, apologized for the comments in a post on Instagram, saying they had been made in a private conversation that was released to the media without his knowledge or consent.

“Both my coach and I are following protocols designed by the Australian Government and Tennis Australia to avoid any risk and guarantee to compete again in a safe way,” Bautista Agut added. 

“I thank all the people who are making playing tennis again possible.”

Making the best of a situation

Czech Barbora Strycova, a semi-finalist at Wimbledon in 2019, backed the strict health protocols and said she was getting on with it.

“I’m exercising twice a day, reading some books, being on social [media] and watching TV,” she told SEN Breakfast.

“I can’t really complain. I really have to go through it and try to be as positive as I can be.”

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Jets’ Laine to sit second straight game Tuesday vs. Senators – Sportsnet.ca

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The Winnipeg Jets will be without the services of sniper Patrik Laine on Tuesday for the second straight game as they open a three-game series versus the Ottawa Senators, per Sportsnet‘s Ken Wiebe.

Coach Paul Maurice told reporters Laine received treatment for his upper-body injury Tuesday morning, but he won’t be making any changes to his skaters from Monday’s 3-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Laine was previously listed as day-to-day.

Laurent Brossoit will get the start in net against the Senators, stepping in for reigning Vezina winner Connor Hellebuyck.

The Jets play at Ottawa on Tuesday and Thursday, before hosting the Senators on Saturday.

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Senators’ Tim Stützle day-to-day with minor injury, won’t play vs. Jets – Sportsnet.ca

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The Ottawa Senators say rookie forward Tim Stützle is day-to-day with a minor injury and won’t suit up for Tuesday night’s matchup vs. the Winnipeg Jets.

It is unclear how or when he suffered the injury.

The 19-year-old, who was selected third overall in the 2020 NHL Draft, recorded 14:52 minutes in ice time during a 3-2 loss to the Maple Leafs on Saturday, scoring his first NHL goal in highlight-reel fashion.

Through two games, Stützle has one point and four shots on goal.

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