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Bianca Andreescu just can’t catch a break

April 26, 2021
Source: Lynne Sladky/AP
Source: Lynne Sladky/AP

🎾Tennis: Poor Bianca Andreescu just can’t catch a break. After battling back from numerous injuries over the past two years, Queen B announced yesterday that she tested positive for COVID-19 and had to pull out of the Madrid Open (which starts Tuesday). Fortunately, she’s feeling well and has plenty of time to recover before the next major: the French Open, starting May 24th.

⚽️Soccer: Christine Sinclair is still amazing, if you were wondering. After suffering a lower body injury during the recent CanWNT friendlies, the all-time leading international goal scorer returned to the NWSL at full strength, captaining her Portland Thorns FC to their third win in the Challenge Cup group stage last week and a spot in the Cup final, set for May 8th.

⚽️SoccerFootball: Switching gears to the first leg of the UEFA Women’s Champions League semifinals, Paris St-Germain (PSG) — including Canada’s own Ashley Lawrence — drew FC Barcelona 1–1 yesterday, while Bayern Munich beat Chelsea FC 2–1 in the other matchup. The second leg is set for Sunday, so follow along here.

💪UFC: Though much of this weekend’s UFC 261 hoopla centered around Chris Weidman’s awful leg injury (if you haven’t seen it already, do NOT watch it), “Thug Rose” Namajunas and Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko owned the night. Both MMA stars dominated their respective title fights with TKOs, proving that Saturdays are, in fact, for the girls.


CanWNT’s Olympic opponents were announced yesterday

April 22, 2021
Source: Francisco Seco/Canadian Press
Source: Francisco Seco/Canadian Press

⚽️Soccer: CanWNT’s Olympic opponents were announced yesterday, and to say we’re fired up is an understatement. Team Canada will face host nation Japan, newcomers Chile and the amalgamated Britain (which features players from all U.K. nations). Should the world No. 8 emerge from the group stage, we could see a Canada-USA quarter or semifinal. Fingers crossed.

🏀Basketball: The Toronto Raptors are on a winning streak. They notched their fourth W in a row last night, with a 114–103 victory over the Brooklyn Nets. The Raps’ only recent loss came from $25,000 in fines over the weekend for “failing to comply with league policies governing player rest and injury reporting.” Oops.

🎾Tennis: The clay court season is underway (French Open starts next month!) and it's already proving fruitful for the Canadians. Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime are set to face each other (bummer) in today’s third round of the Barcelona Open. Follow along here.

Figure skating: Retiring at 36 just isn’t for everyone. Yesterday, Olympic medalist Eric Radford announced that he’s coming out of retirement to make a last-minute push for an Olympic spot with new partner Vanessa James, a world medallist who previously competed for France. The news was very well-received...except by Radford’s former partner Meagan Duhamel. Awkward.


We The North

April 19, 2021
Source: Toronto Raptors/Twitter
Source: Toronto Raptors/Twitter

🏀NBA: After last night’s 112–106 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Toronto Raptors jumped up to 10th in the Eastern Conference, making the postseason look possible. With just 14 games left to go, the injury-riddled Raps are in a play-in tournament spot...for now. 

🏒NHL: After dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak, the Vancouver Canucks played their first game in almost four weeks last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. And for a team that only restarted practicing less than a week ago, they more than held their own, winning 3–2 in overtime. Practice schmactice.

⚾️MLB: After losing three of their last four to the Kansas City Royals, the Toronto Blue Jays are rocking a 7-9 record. Unfortunately, that record isn’t likely to improve as they head into a two-game series against the league’s best Boston Red Sox tomorrow at 7:10 p.m. ET.

🎾Tennis: On a brighter note, Leylah Annie Fernandez filled big shoes in Bianca Andreescu’s absence, leading Team Canada to a win over Serbia and advance to tennis’ top international team tournament: the 2022 Billie Jean King (BJK) Cup (previously known as the Fed Cup) qualifiers


The GIST's Quick Hits - CA (April 5, 2021)

April 05, 2021
Source: Peter Staples/Miami Open
Source: Peter Staples/Miami Open

🎾Tennis: Saturday’s Miami Open final against world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty didn’t go as Bianca Andreescu hoped. After losing the first set, Andreescu was forced to pull out of the match after rolling her ankle in the second set. Her tearful match retirement was a heartbreaker, but “runner-up” is a still solid title for a player returning from a year-long injury and rehab. 

🏉Rugby: Team Canada’s rugby women’s 7s team is ready to roll into Tokyo. After more than a year off the pitch, they won the Emirates Invitational 7s tournament on Saturday in Dubai — the first of the team’s two warm-up tournaments before the Summer Olympics. They’ll go for two in a row in Dubai this weekend. Ruck yeah!

🏒Hockey: The Vancouver Canucks’ COVID-19 list is growing by the hour. According to TSN, over 20 players and coaches have tested positive for the virus, most with the Brazilian variant. And while no one’s been hospitalized, a few players have required IV treatment.

On the other side of the country, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) delayed the start of the 2021 President Cup playoffs after five teams had players test positive for COVID-19. Scary.


The GIST's Quick Hits - CA (April 1, 2021)

April 01, 2021
Source: Peter Staples/Miami Open
Source: Peter Staples/Miami Open

🎾Tennis: Bianca Andreescu is back. In her strongest showing since returning from a 15-month injury leave in January, the 2019 U.S. Open winner won her quarterfinal match to Sara Sorribes Tormo at the Miami Open last night. World-ranked No. 9 Andreescu will now play No. 25 Maria Sakkari (who just beat No. 2 Naomi Osaka...) in today’s semifinal scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET. C’mon!

🏈NFL: The league has officially agreed to a 17-game season. Good. Now that that’s settled, we have bigger fish to fry: Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson now faces 21(!!!) separate lawsuits for sexual assault and innappropriate behavior, while 18 women have come out in his defense. Solid chance Deshaun sees zero games this season. Boy bye. 

🏀NBA: The Toronto Raptors are the happiest group of people to see April arrive because March was truly miserable. They lost Norman Powell (who wrote a lovely goodbye letter to the entire country), Kyle Lowry is out for a week with hurt feelings a foot infection, and the Raptors won one game...in the entire month. Good riddance, March.