Author Archives: FRANK STURGIS

September 4, 2023

‘Our work is not done’: Gilgeous-Alexander and Canada keeping focus on quarter-finals

Arash Madani talks with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander after leading the way in Candaa’s comeback win vs. Spain and ensuring they stay focused for the upcoming quarter-finals against Slovenia after securing a spot in Paris for the Olympics in 2024.

NEW YORK (AP) — Coco Gauff is the first American teen since Serena Williams more than two decades ago to reach the U.S. Open quarterfinals two years in a row, so the 19-year-old from Florida knows her way out of trouble on a tennis court.

As the second set slipped away against Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round Sunday at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Gauff needed a chance to think things through after handing over a break with a pair of double-faults and a stumble that left her doing the splits.

So Gauff turned in the direction of the near-constant chatter coming from Brad Gilbert, one of her two coaches sitting in a front-row seat, and said, “Please stop.” A couple of minutes later, Gauff said, “Stop talking.”

That was while Wozniacki was grabbing four consecutive games to go up a break in the third set. And then, just as the match seemed to be slipping away thanks in part to a slew of unforced errors, Gauff straightened out her strokes and pulled way. She collected the last six games for a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 victory over Wozniacki, the 33-year-old mother of two who recently came out of retirement.

“I was getting frustrated. It wasn’t really directed at him. It was just that I needed to reset,” the sixth-seeded Gauff said. “In that moment, I just didn’t want to hear anything. I just wanted to think about what I was doing.”

Her next opponent will be No. 20 seed Jelena Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open champion. Ostapenko beat defending champion Iga Swiatek 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 on Sunday night, after 23-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic picked up a 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 victory over qualifier Borna Gojo.

Djokovic faces No. 9 Taylor Fritz of the U.S. on Tuesday. It’ll be Djokovic’s 13th quarterfinal at Flushing Meadows, and Fritz’s first.

Gauff, whose best showing at a major was reaching the final at the 2022 French Open before losing to Swiatek, has now won 15 of her past 16 matches.

That run follows a first-round exit at Wimbledon in July and includes the two biggest titles of her career, at the DC Open and in Cincinnati. It also coincides with the additions of Pere Riba as her full-time coach and Gilbert in a role that’s been described as a temporary consultant.

TV microphones have been picking up Gilbert repeatedly offering his thoughts to Gauff during matches over the past week.

Against Wozniacki, the 2018 Australian Open champion and twice the runner-up in New York, Gauff was trying to find the right balance between being the aggressor

September 4, 2023

‘Job is not done’: Olynyk reflects on what it means to take Canada to the Olympics

Kelly Olynyk talks with Arash Madani about Canada’s journey to get them this far into the quarter-finals of the FIBA World Cup and qualifying for the Olympics in 2024.

Canada’s men’s basketball team is headed to the Olympics for the first time since 2000, joining five other nations who have earned a spot at the Paris Games so far.

Canada joins host France, Australia, Japan, South Sudan, and the U.S. with tickets to the 2024 Games in the French capital.

The Canadians earned that with an 88-85 come-from-behind win against Spain in Jakarta, Indonesia at the FIBA World Cup on Sunday. In doing so, Canada joined the U.S. as one of two automatic qualifiers from the Americas. Brazil, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic all failed to move on at the FIBA World Cup, which opened the door for Canada at the tournament, which is also serving as an Olympic qualifying event.

Two more automatic spots for European nations will be handed out at the tournament, which is now down to the quarterfinals. Serbia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Germany, Italy, and Latvia are all still in contention for those.

The Olympic tournament will feature 12 teams, with the remaining four nations coming from four final qualifying tournaments yet to take place.

Those final qualifying tournaments will give 24 teams one last shot at the Games. Bahamas, Bahrain, Cameroon, Croatia, and Poland have spots in that event, with the remaining 19 invitations to be handed out at the World Cup. According to “The highest placed team for each region of Africa, Americas, and Asia/Oceania, after the eight teams directly qualified, will be awarded berths (to the qualifying tournaments), with the remaining spots filled by the next 16 highest-placed teams at the World Cup.”

The four qualifying-tournament winners will then earn a trip to Paris.

Canada finished seventh at the 2000 Sydney Games, losing to France in the quarterfinals. The last time the men won an Olympic medal was at the 1936 Berlin Games, when they fell 19-8 to the U.S. and settled for gold.

Gilgeous-Alexander delivers step-back crossover, clutch jumper to give Canada late lead

Watch as Canada’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander delivers a nasty step-back crossover before draining a clutch mid-range jumpshot to give his team the lead in the final minute of regulation against Spain.

The Toronto Blue Jays made a last-minute change to the starting lineup with Brandon Belt being removed with lower back tightness.

Belt returned to the lineup for the series opener against the Colorado Rockies after missing two games with back spasms.

Belt has been one of Toronto’s better hitters. He has an OPS of .854 to go along with 16 homers and 38 RBIs.

The 13-year MLB veteran, who signed with the Blue Jays in the off-season on a one-year, $9.3-million contract, said that he is contemplating retirement at the end of the 2023 season.

“I think I might have a few more options next year, but I am getting on up there in age, so it might turn a lot of people off, but I’m still trying to figure out kinda what I want to do,” Belt said. “I’m 35 this year. I got two boys that are getting older, and it’s getting tougher on all of us when I’m gone all the time.

“This something I gotta take into consideration and figure out whether I want to keep going or go home and be with my family.”

Bo Bichette was also doing some testing of his right quad injury telling Sportsnet’s Hazel Mae that he was was able to run “at almost 100 percent.” The next step for Bichette will be running the bases and trying to ramp back up to 100 per cent.

Djokovic won five of the big-serving Gojo’s 15 service games while only getting broken once himself.

Next up for Djokovic will be a matchup against No. 9 seed Taylor Fritz, a 25-year-old from California, who is the only remaining player in the men’s bracket to not have dropped a set so far.

Djokovic owns a 7-0 head-to-head career record against Fritz.

“I’m not going to talk about what he needs to do to have a chance against me. I’m sure he’s going to try to figure that out with his coach,” Djokovic said. “I’m going to get ready, obviously, for that match as any other match, doing my analytics, watching the last match we had against each other.”

Their matchup on Tuesday will be Djokovic’s 13th quarterfinal in New York and Fritz’s first.

“I need to play within myself and trust that if I’m playing well, then that’s going to be enough, and I don’t need to kind of do anything extra,” said Fritz, who defeated Swiss qualifier Dominic Stricker 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-4 earlier Sunday.

Fritz is one of three American men who won fourth-round matches, along with No. 10 Frances Tiafoe and unseeded Ben Shelton. It is the first time a trio of men from the United States made it to the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows since 2005, when Andre Agassi, James Blake and Robby Ginepri did it.

“That’s a

September 4, 2023

Canada advances at FIBA World Cup

It was a record-breaking performance for Max Verstappen during the Italian Grand Prix.

After matching the mark for consecutive wins set by Sebastian Vettel, Verstappen took sole possession with this 10th straight victory Sunday.

Sergio Perez finished second to make it a 1-2 finish for Red Bull at the Monza circuit. Pole-sitter Carlos Sainz crossed the line third for Ferrari at the team’s home event.

Here’s what you need to know from the Italian GP.


Once Verstappen passed Sainz for the lead on Lap 15, it was off to the history books for his record 10th straight victory.

It was also Verstappen’s 12th win of the 2023 campaign as he now looks to match the single-season record of 15 victories that he set a year ago.

That’s not all as Red Bull became the first team to win 15 championship Grands Prix that stretches back to last season.

The only thing threatening Verstappen from the checkered flag was the so-called “Monza curse” that had struck down previous winners of the race during their defences in recent years. You might roll your eyes but Verstappen did experience an issue near the end. Regardless, the curse was late to the party as Verstappen was able to cross the finish line six seconds ahead of Perez.

Maybe the curse was passed along to AlphaTauri as Yuki Tsunoda’s engine failed before the race even started on the formation lap. Curse or not, that might actually be some cause for concern for Red Bull as they use identical power unit parts as their sibling team. At this point, it’s not like they have much else to worry about, right?


With their fans out in full force, Ferrari didn’t want to disappoint the dedicated Tifosi and provided their drivers with mint power units for the best opportunity to succeed.

Holding off Verstappen for the lead was going to be a tough task, but Sainz did his best to defend up until Lap 15 when he locked up his tires. Verstappen was just waiting for an opportunity and pounced like a shark sensing blood in the water.

Sainz also did his best to fend off Perez as long as possible, but it was always going to come down to himself and teammate Charles L

September 4, 2023

2023 FIBA World Cup: Scores, schedule and standings

The 2023 FIBA World Cup in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia runs from Aug. 25 to Sept. 10. Fans can watch every game involving Team Canada, as well as the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals, on Sportsnet and SN NOW.

Day 10 was set up to be one of the best of the 2023 World Cup, with four win-or-go-home games all coming on the final day of the group stage. And to make it even more interesting, each of those four games pitted one nation from the Americas against one from Europe in a high-stakes battle for continental pride. 

The European teams won out until the final game of the day, when Canada won the match of the tournament for the Americas in a historic win over Spain. In the end, Italy and Serbia advanced out of Group I, while Latvia and Canada advanced from Group L. Meanwhile, Lithuania and Germany clinched the No. 1 seeds in the groups J and K, respectively, with wins over the United States and Slovenia.

Here’s everything you need to know from Day 10 of th

September 4, 2023

Messi has two assists in front of star-studded crowd as Inter Miami beats LAFC

Lionel Messi had two assists in front of a star-studded crowd as Inter Miami defeated Los Angeles Football Club 3-1 Sunday night.

Betting on the NFL on a weekly basis can be a fickle endeavour as some of the teams near the bottom of the standings end up being against the spread (ATS) beasts and vice versa.

The past few years have been favourable to underdog and unders bettors overall, but will we see those weekly trends continue or new ones emerge?

The 2023 NFL season kicks off this Thursday with an anticipated matchup between defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and a high-scoring Detroit Lions team.

A new year of football means fresh opportunities to beat the oddsmakers, and with that in mind here’s an overview of the main futures markets for the upcoming NFL campaign.


Editor’s Note: Gambling problems aren’t only about losing money. They occur on a continuum, and can affect a person’s whole life. To learn more about developing a healthy relationship to gambling, and to find resources for support, click here.



Kansas City Chiefs +600 (win total over/under 11.5)
Philadelphia Eagles +750 (win total over/under 11.5)
Buffalo Bills +900 (win total over/under 10.5)
San Francisco 49ers +1000 (win total over/under 10.5)
Cincinnati Bengals +1100 (win total over/under 10.5)
Dallas Cowboys +1400 (win total over/under 10.5)

The AFC and NFC each have a trio of clear frontrunners hoping to fend off the other 13 teams within their respective conferences. A Super Bowl LVII rematch is currently chalk with Kansas City projected to come out of the AFC yet again and Philly favoured to win a second straight NFC title.

All six of these teams had at least 12 regular-season wins in 2022 and finished as the top six teams in terms of point differential. All have their starting quarterbacks and head coaches returning so cohesion is another common trait. The Bengals and 49ers were two of only four teams league wide to cover the spread in at least 65 per cent of games in 2022.

Miami’s visit to the defending MLS Cup champions was marked as one of the highlight games since Messi signed. It was viewed by 22,921 fans, a record for LAFC’s BMO Stadium.

It also vaulted into one of the most-demanded tickets in MLS’ 27-year history.

According to TickPick, the average purchase price for the match was $717, which was 515% more than the $110 before he signed.

By comparison, Beyonce’s concert at SoFi Stadium had an average purchase price of $493.

Among the celebrities in attendance were Prince Harry, LAFC co-owner Will Farrell, Leonardo DiCaprio, Selena Gomez, Owen Wilson, Mario Lopez and Edward Norton.

“Ted Lasso” stars Jason Sudeikis and Brendan Hunting also were at the game.