Tag Archives: beats

Alberta’s Laura Walker beats Jennifer Jones, moves within 2 wins of Scotties title

Alberta’s Laura Walker advanced to the semifinal of the Canadian women’s curling championship with a 9-8 win over Manitoba’s Jennifer Jones in Sunday’s tiebreaker game in Calgary.

Walker faces defending champion Kerri Einarson in an afternoon semifinal with the winner taking on Ontario’s Rachel Homan for the championship in the evening.

  • Watch and engage with CBC Sports’ That Curling Show live every day of The Scotties at 7:30 p.m. ET on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube

Jones missed an attempted double takeout in the 10th end, which left Walker an open draw to score three for the win in the tiebreaker.

Manitoba and Alberta were tied for third at 9-3 after the championship round, which required a tiebreaker game to solve.

WATCH | Walker wins tiebreaker against 6-time Scotties champ:

Laura Walker and her team from Alberta eliminated Jennifer Jones of Manitoba 9-8 Sunday in the tiebreaker match at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary. 0:52

Jones, a six-time champion at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, was chasing a record seventh title.

Einarson’s foursome out of Manitoba’s Gimli Curling Club beat Quebec’s Laurie St-Georges 7-4 on Saturday before suffering a 10-9 loss to Jones in the evening draw.

“We’re definitely just focusing on ourselves and what we need to do,” Einarson said. “We’re in control of our own destiny.”

$ 100,000 to Scotties champion

Einarson is attempting to win the first back-to-back Hearts titles since Homan in 2013-14.

Sunday’s victor earns $ 100,000 in prize money and a return trip to the 2022 Tournament of Hearts in Thunder Bay, Ont., as Team Canada.

The runner-up earns $ 60,000 and $ 40,000 goes to the third-place team.

The winner doesn’t have a world championship, however, in which to wear the Maple Leaf.

The March 19-28 tournament in Schaffhausen, Switzerland was cancelled by the World Curling Federation because of the pandemic.

The 2020 world championship in Prince George, B.C., was called off for the same reason, so Einarson wasn’t able to represent Canada there.

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CBC | Sports News

Auger-Aliassime beats Shapovalov in all-Canadian 3rd-round at Aussie Open

Canadian men went two-for-three in their third-round matches at the Australian Open on Friday. The third lost as he played a fellow Canadian.

No. 20 Felix Auger-Aliassime beat No. 11 Denis Shapovalov in the all-Canadian match at Margaret Court Arena 7-5, 7-5, 6-3.

Shapovalov had won their two previous Grand Slam matches at the U.S. Open in 2018 and 2019. Auger-Aliassime says “he’s beaten me pretty badly a couple of times.”

Auger-Aliassime also reached the fourth round of last year’s U.S. Open. He plays Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev next.

WATCH | Auger-Aliassime knocks of fellow Canadian Shapovalov at Aussie Open:

Felix Auger-Aliassime defeated Denis Shapovalov in straight sets 7-5, 7-5, 6-3 Friday in an all-Canadian battle during the third round of the Australian Open. 3:07

Canadian veteran Milos Raonic advanced to the fourth round at Melbourne Park for the eighth time by beating Marton Fucsovics of Hungary 7-6 (2), 5-7, 6-2, 6-2.

The 14th-seeded Raonic’s best performance at the Australian Open was reaching the semifinals in 2016.

WATCH | Milos Raonic reaches 4th round:

Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., advanced to the fourth round of the Australia Open Friday after defeating Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics 7-6(2), 5-7, 6-2, 6-2. 1:28

Djokovic survives major scare

Top seed Novak Djokovic survived a major injury scare as he battled past American Taylor Fritz 7-6 (1) 6-4 3-6 4-6 6-2 to reach the fourth round.

Defending champion Djokovic, seeking a ninth title in Melbourne, looked in command when he took the opening two sets but began to suffer with a side injury early in the third set.

He needed to leave Rod Laver Arena to have treatment and was grimacing in pain at times as the 23-year-old Fritz took advantage to take the next two sets.

He was proud to survive but unsure whether he could continue his bid for a record-extending ninth title at Melbourne Park.

“I know it’s a tear, definitely, I don’t know if I’ll manage to recover from that in two days,” he said on court.

The crowd were removed midway through the fourth set as Melbourne’s new COVID-19 lockdown came into effect.

Osaka overcomes errors, still cruises

Naomi Osaka is back in the fourth round for the first time since her title run in 2019.

Osaka overcame 28 unforced errors and saved six of seven break points she faced in a 6-3, 6-2 win over 27th-seeded Ons Jabeur of Tunisia on Friday.

“I was really nervous and scared because I didn’t know if she was going to hit a drop shot on any ball,” Osaka said of playing Jabeur for the first time.

Osaka was stunned last year in the third round at Melbourne Park by then-15-year-old Coco Gauff. She has looked solid so far this year, dropping just 13 games in her first three matches.

Osaka and Serena Williams are the only two former Australian Open champions remaining in the draw after the losses by Sofia Kenin, Victoria Azarenka and Angelique Kerber.

She next faces another in-form player, two-time major winner Garbine Muguruza, who has lost even fewer games (10) en route to the fourth round.

Dominic Thiem produced a comeback for the ages to overhaul a fired-up Nick Kyrgios in a five-set classic at the Australian Open on Friday to send a baying crowd home in disappointment on the last night before a five-day lockdown in Melbourne.

In the bear-pit atmosphere of Kyrgios’s favorite John Cain Arena, U.S. Open champion Thiem dragged himself off the canvas to secure a thrilling 4-6 4-6 6-3 6-4 6-4 win over the Australian showman to reach the fourth round.

“That first match against Nick here on his favorite court with an amazing crowd, there are easier things to do,” said the Austrian third seed, who sealed the victory with a majestic backhand winner down the line.

“Surely that’s one of the toughest challenges in our sport.

“Tonight was epic and a good last match before the lock-down, it’s really sad to say.”

A cluster of COVID-19 cases in Melbourne means there will be no more crowds at the Australian Open for at least five days but the home crowd got their money’s worth, if not the desired winner.

Thiem was shell-shocked for the first two sets, barely able to lay a glove on Kyrgios who channeled the crowd’s energy to produce some electrifying tennis.

Theim rallies to beat Kyrgios

Dominic Thiem produced a comeback for the ages to overhaul a fired-up Nick Kyrgios in a five-set classic and send a baying crowd home in disappointment on the last night before a five-day lockdown in Melbourne.

In the bearpit atmosphere of Kyrgios’s favorite John Cain Arena, U.S. Open champion Thiem dragged himself off the canvas in a thrilling 4-6 4-6 6-3 6-4 6-4 win over the Australian showman to reach the fourth round.

The Austrian third seed was shellshocked for the first two sets, barely able to lay a glove on Kyrgios, who channeled the crowd’s energy to produce some electrifying tennis.

But Thiem transformed from timid to terrific as his serve revived, and he lived to set up a battle with Grigor Dimitrov for a quarter-final spot after sealing the match with a majestic backhand down the line.

While the tension in the stadium was relentless, it was also on a knife-edge outside the arena as police on horse-back dispersed a crowd of several hundred anti-lockdown demonstrators about an hour into the match.

Inside the arena, Kyrgios stormed to a two-set lead with an impish underarm ace.

Yet from there Thiem dug in grimly, and stole the momentum from the Australian’s hands by serving like a machine.

A frustrated Kyrgios smashed his racket into the court before surrendering the third set with a bungled ‘tweener’.

Suddenly it was the Australian’s back against the wall as a resurgent Thiem began wielding his racket like a wand.

In a moment of madness, Kyrgios bungled another ‘tweener’ rather than volley into an open court, squandering the chance for a 5-4 lead in the fourth set.

Thiem made him pay with three booming returns to break and at the change of ends an angst-filled Kyrgios fired a ball high into the terraces to lose an automatic point for a second code of conduct violation.

Moments later the match was level, as Kyrgios fired wide to concede the set.

Thiem bided his time before breaking Kyrgios at 3-3 in a nerve-shredding decider.

“That’s ridiculous,” Kyrgios said, after watching another Thiem winner sail past him before the Austrian knuckled down to serve out the match

Halep has easier round

Second-seeded Simona Halep cleaned up her game in the third round and spent far less time on court than her previous match.

Halep advanced to the fourth round by beating 32nd-seeded Veronika Kudermetova 6-1, 6-3 in 1 hour, 18 minutes.

The victory came one round after she struggled to find her rhythm in a more than 2 1/2-hour match against Ajla Tomljanovic.

The difference between the two matches was unforced errors. Halep hit 37 against Tomljanovic and only 12 against Kudermetova.

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Canada beats Finland to finish 1st in pool at world juniors

Dylan Cozens applied grit and goals to Canada’s 4-1 win over Finland at the world junior men’s hockey championship on Thursday.

The Canadian co-captain scored twice, including a hard-working empty-net goal.

The host country went unbeaten in four preliminary-round games to top Pool A.

Canada drew the Czech Republic, the No. 4 seed in Pool B, for Saturday’s quarter-finals.

WATCH | Canada closes out group play with win over Finland:

Dylan Cozens scored twice in Canada’s 4-1 win over Finland, the Canadians will face Czech Republic in world juniors quarter-finals. 0:28

Dylan Holloway and Peyton Krebs also scored for the defending champions at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

Canadian goaltender Devon Levi stopped 18-of-19 shots for his fourth win of the tournament.

Brad Lambert scored for Finland (3-1).

Karri Piiroinen, who played for the Ontario Hockey League’s Windsor Spitfires last season, had 36 saves in the loss.

Canada and Finland cruised through the preliminary round with three straight wins apiece and outscored their opposition a combined 44-7.

Their New Year’s Eve matchup was each country’s toughest test of the tournament so far, with Canada earning the higher grade.

Canada dominated puck possession, scoring three unanswered goals over two periods before the Finns replied in the third.

“We came out and played our best game so far,” Cozens said. “We reloaded hard on pucks. They had a tough time getting out of their zone and that was all because of our track and our reload.

“We did a real good job getting to the inside tonight and getting to the front of the net and battling there. That’s something we improved a lot in this game. We’d been a little perimeter so far, but today we got inside and we threw a lot more [pucks] on net.”

The top four teams in each pool advance to the quarter-finals. Finland’s opponent was to be decided by the outcome of Sweden versus the United States later Thursday.

Czech Republic blanks Austria

In earlier action, Czech Republic clinched its spot in the quarter-finals with a 7-0 win over Austria.

The Czech Republic went 2-2 in the preliminary round to lock up fourth place in five-team Group B. Austria was 0-4 this year and has not won any of its 21 games at the top level of the tournament.

Austria scored just one goal in four games overall.

The Czech Republic outshot Austria 61-15.

Martin Lang had two goals for the Czech Republic, while Simon Kubicek, Filip Prikryl, Pavel Novak, David Juricek and Jan Mysak added singles.

WATCH | Czech Republic tops Austria 7-0:

Martin Lang scored twice in the second period and the Czech Republic shut out Austria 7-0 at the world junior championship. 0:28

With a 2-1-0-1 record (wins, overtime wins, overtime losses, losses) Russia would finish no worse than second in Pool B.

Pool A third-seed Germany (1-1-0-2) and No. 4 Slovakia (1-0-1-2) also awaited the end of Pool B play to know their quarter-final opponents.

The semifinals are Monday followed by Tuesday’s medal games at Rogers Place.

Cozens is alternating the captaincy with Bowen Byram in the absence of injured Kirby Dach.

Cozens scored Canada’s first and final goals against Finland and now leads the tournament with six.

With Piiroinen pulled for an extra attacker late in the third, the Buffalo Sabres prospect from Whitehorse pursued the puck through the neutral zone and fought off Kasper Puutio to get a shot away at the empty net.

“What I like about Coz is his compete level,” Canadian head coach Andre Tourigny said. “He wants to be a difference maker.

“He’s a big-moment player, a key player and a guy we can trust when the pressure is high.”

Canada’s relentless forecheck hemmed the Finns in their own zone for long stretches.

“That was beautiful,” Tourigny said. “We applied a lot of pressure. Not just doing it, but sustaining it.

“We were expecting the Finns to push back, which they did. We had an answer for it.”

Power outage

A gap in Canada’s game, however, was an 0-for-5 power play.

“We forced it a little bit,” Tourigny said. “We missed the net on a few scoring chances. I think we did a lot of good things but at some points we forced a few plays.

“At some point we need to simplify, but the structure is pretty good.”

Finland lost defenceman Ville Heinola in the third period when the Winnipeg Jets draft pick blocked a shot with his hand and went to the dressing room.

WATCH | Canada’s Alex Newhook exits game after collision:

Team Canada forward Alex Newhook collides with Finland’s Eemil Viro, ends up leaving the game and does not return. 0:24

Canada’s Alex Newhook also left the game and didn’t return. The forward was checked hard by Eemil Viro in the first period and suffered what looked like a shoulder injury.

Neither team provided an update on their injured player following the game.

It was all Canada in the opening period with hard pace and pressure in Finland’s zone and a 17-1 margin in shots, but just a one-goal lead heading into the second.

“At the start of the game we weren’t ready at all,” Finnish head coach Antti Pennanen said.

“Team Canada was so good. They played at good speed. They win all the battles and they win the loose pucks. We tried to improve those things. I think we did, but not enough.”

Switzerland and Austria went winless in the tournament to finish outside the quarter-finals. The two countries won’t play a relegation round.

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Polish teen Iga Swiatek beats American Sofia Kenin to win French Open title

Minutes after suddenly becoming a Grand Slam champion at age 19, while ranked just 54th, Iga Swiatek held a microphone during the French Open trophy ceremony and was hesitant for pretty much the only time over the past two weeks.

“First of all, I’m not very good at speeches,” Swiatek began, haltingly, “so, sorry, because I won my last tournament like two years ago, and I really don’t know who to thank.”

When she’s got a racket in her hand, it’s a whole different story. With the poise of a veteran and the shots of a champion, Swiatek wrapped up a dominating run at Roland Garros, grabbing the last six games to beat Sofia Kenin 6-4, 6-1 in Saturday’s final.

‘I’m just overwhelmed’

“Two years ago, I won a junior Grand Slam, and right now I’m here. It feels like such a short time,” Swiatek said, her voice cracking. “I’m just overwhelmed.”

Swiatek (pronounced shvee-ON’-tek) is the first Polish tennis player to win a major singles trophy and said, “I know it’s pretty crazy back home” — where one newspaper’s front page was splashed with the headline “Poland Garros” ahead of the final.

When she smacked one last forehand winner to the corner to end things, Swiatek placed her right hand over her mouth then crouched, shaking her head.

Hard to believe? Maybe. This was, after all, only her seventh major tournament; she’d never been past the fourth round at one.


But the way she played these two weeks — with powerful groundstrokes sent to corners, the occasional drop shot, terrific returning and impressive court coverage — made this outcome less of a surprise.

Swiatek lost only 28 games across seven matches and is the first woman to triumph in Paris without ceding a set since Justine Henin in 2007. She also is the first teen to win the women’s title there since Iva Majoli in 1997.

And Swiatek did it with victories over such opponents as 2018 champion Simona Halep and 2019 runner-up Marketa Vondrousova, both by scores of 6-1, 6-2.

So it made sense that Swiatek would be able to get past the fourth-seeded Kenin, even if the 21-year-old American was trying to claim her second major title of 2020 after winning the Australian Open.

“A great tournament,” Kenin told Swiatek. “A great match.”

Kenin was 16-1 in Grand Slam matches this year. But she dealt with a leg issue in the second set and showed frustration by kicking her red-white-and-blue racket after lost points.

And then there was this: She ran into the composed Swiatek, who only recently completed her high school studies and listens to “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses before walking on court.

‘Mentally consistent’

“I was just mentally consistent,” said Swiatek, who travels with a sports psychologist and meditates during changeovers, breathing slowly with her eyes closed. “I felt like today was really stressful for me, so it was kind of hard.”

This weekend is the culmination of an unusual two weeks, to say the least. The tournament was postponed form May-June to September-October because of the coronavirus pandemic; the recently rising number of COVID-19 cases in France led the government to limit the number of spectators allowed on the grounds to 1,000 each day.

Some top women, including 2019 champion Ash Barty and three-time major champ Naomi Osaka didn’t enter the event; 23-time Slam winner Serena Williams withdrew before the second round with an injury.


The temperature was in the mid-50s (low teens Celsius), with a slight breeze, and the hundreds of fans scattered in Court Philippe Chatrier were mostly subdued — other than a group that would shout Swiatek’s first name, stretching it out over several seconds each time to sound like “Eeeeeeeeeee-gah.”

Swiatek began with a 3-0 run, taking 12 of the first 15 points, delivering four winners and zero unforced errors.

No one expected Kenin — self-described as “feisty” — to go quietly. She got on the board with a hold, then broke when Swiatek double-faulted, the first sign that the magnitude of the moment might be hitting her. Soon enough, it was 3-all.

But Swiatek is nothing if not resilient. She served for the set at 5-3, and got broken, but responded right away by stealing yet another one of Kenin’s service games.

Same thing happened to begin the second set: Kenin broke for a 1-0 edge, and Swiatek broke right back. She wouldn’t lose another game on her way to her first tour-level title.

Kenin takes medical timeout

At the changeover at 2-1, Kenin left the court for a medical timeout, then returned with her left thigh wrapped.

While Kenin was gone, Swiatek stayed warm by pulling on a white jacket and hitting some serves, earning applause from spectators.

When play resumed, Swiatek needed only 12 more minutes to wrap up the victory, finishing with a 25-10 edge in winners.

All that was left was to hear the Polish anthem — never before played after a major singles final — ring out in the stadium, check out her shiny trophy and go through the speeches and interviews.

After speaking for a bit, Swiatek asked, “Should I say something else?”

She was told by the emcee that she could if she wanted.

“I have no idea,” Swiatek said. “Sorry.”

Better practice up, Iga. The tennis world expects to see more such speeches in the future.

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Nvidia RTX 3070 Beats the RTX 2080 Ti, Costs $700 Less

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When Nvidia announced Ampere, most of the attention was focused on the RTX 3090 and RTX 3080. It’s the RTX 3070, however, that I suspect will be the most enduring and impactful card in the family.

Last generation, Nvidia raised the price of the RTX 2080 Ti to $ 1,200, nearly double the price of the GTX 1080 Ti. Now, the company is promising an RTX 3070 that can match the 2080 Ti and costs just 42 percent as much. According to new data released by the company and helpfully tabulated by VideoCardz, we can see exactly what improvements Nvidia is claiming:

First, here’s Nvidia’s graph:

Here’s the VideoCardz summary:

GTX3070-vs-2080TI

How accurate is this information likely to be? Pretty accurate. Companies don’t typically bother to show incorrect results they know reviewers will be able to disprove. What’s more typical is that they show accurate benchmark results, but cherry-pick the test and settings to showcase products in the most favorable light.

What do we see here? The RTX 3070 appearing to fully match the RTX 2080 Ti’s overall performance. At worst, the two GPUs are the same speed. At best — mostly in applications — the RTX 3070 can be 1.23x faster than the older card.

If we compare the specs of the RTX 3070 with the RTX 2080 Ti, this ranking makes sense. The RTX 2080 Ti has 4,352 GPU cores, 272 texture units, and 88 ROPs. The RTX 3070 has 5,888 cores, 184 TMUs, and 96 ROPs. On paper, we’d expect the RTX 3070 to potentially be even faster over the RTX 2080 Ti than Nvidia is claiming. So on the question of “Is Nvidia presenting cherry-picked tests?” I doubt it. The RTX 3070 is, on average, about 1.6x faster than the RTX 2070, so the upgrade value here is pretty strong, especially if you’re coming from a GPU like the GTX 980 or GTX 1080.

Of course, whether you’ll be able to buy one is anyone’s guess.

Now Read:

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Arsenal beats Chelsea to clinch record-extending 14th FA CUP

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang clinched a record-extending 14th FA Cup for Arsenal on Saturday, scoring twice in a 2-1 victory against Chelsea at an empty Wembley Stadium.

Christian Pulisic had become the first American man to score in an FA Cup final but his fifth-minute opener was cancelled out by Aubameyang’s penalty in the 28th minute after he was dragged down by Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta.

A year into this pandemic-disrupted, longest-ever English season, Azpilicueta hobbled off injured in tears before halftime. Pulisic only lasted a minute after the break before also pulling up with an apparent hamstring injury.

With Chelsea unsettled by the injuries, Arsenal took control and Aubameyang chipped goalkeeper Willy Caballero from close range in the 67th.

It not only sealed Arsenal’s fourth FA Cup in seven seasons but a place in the Europa League, having only finished eighth in the Premier League.

Chelsea’s hopes of forcing the game into extra time were dealt a blow when Mateo Kovacic received a second yellow card in the 73rd after softly catching Granit Xhaka. Chelsea finished with nine men in stoppage time when Pedro was forced off with a shoulder injury.

Frank Lampard can still complete his first season as Chelsea manager by lifting a trophy but it would require the west London club first overturning a 3-0 deficit against Bayern Munich in the Champions League last-16 next Saturday.

But in only his 28th game in charge of Arsenal, Mikel Arteta won the FA Cup — just as he did as a player in 2014 and 2015.

“It was a lot of faith to bring me here and rebuild something special,” said Arteta, who replaced Unai Emery in December. “Hopefully we made the fans proud.”

The coronavirus pandemic restrictions meant this 90,000-capacity stadium featured no fans.

There could not even be a trophy presentation as usual in the Royal Box due to social distancing after this 139th FA Cup final. The players had to get their own medals before captain Aubameyang collected the cup on the pitch.

“I saw him walking with the bottom bit attached,” Arsenal defender Rob Holding said, “and I was like, `You need to take that off!”‘

A competition that began on Aug. 9, 2019, featuring teams from ninth and 10th tiers, ended later than it had ever done before — two months later than the final was scheduled.

Never before had the FA Cup final been staged without fans.

When the team buses arrived, just one man in an Arsenal supporter was singing by the entrance.

Inside the stadium, not even the traditional cup final anthem — “Abide With Me” — was sung live. Instead a pre-recorded version was played out, dedicated to the victims of COVID-19 and racial injustice and performed by Emeli Sande on the stadium roof.

“Love Justice Unity” appeared on the big screen on the stadium exterior that looks down Wembley Way where the only crowds were heading into the shopping mall.

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WNBA star Allie Quigley beats Chris Paul in NBA HORSE Challenge

Allie Quigley is a three-time WNBA All-Star who knocks down 3-point shots with ease.

Yet her status skyrocketed on Sunday for simply winning a game of H-O-R-S-E.

The Chicago Sky star ousted 10-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul in the quarter-finals of ESPN’s NBA H-O-R-S-E Challenge, standing out on the makeshift cobblestone court complete with chalk lines at her home in Deerfield, Ill.

Quigley was at H-O-R when she finished off the triumph over Paul. She sealed the win with a banked free throw and Paul missed his equalizing attempt at his home in Encino, Calif.

WATCH | Quigley takes down Paul in NBA HORSE Challenge:

Chicago Sky guard Allie Quigley beat Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul to advance to the semifinals of the NBA HORSE Challenge. 0:42

Also advancing were Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls, former NBA star Chauncey Billups and Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley.

LaVine swept former NBA star Paul Pierce, Billups (H-O-R) rallied to knock off Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young and Conley (H) defeated former WNBA star Tamika Catchings.

LaVine’s win makes for an intriguing battle of Chicago with Quigley being his semifinal opponent on Thursday.

“I’m excited. Both of us play for Chicago,” Quigley said on ESPN’s broadcast. “That’s pretty cool that we’re both representing in the next round.”

Billups and Conley meet in the other semifinal. The championship match will follow the semis.

Stealing the show

The 33-year-old Quigley stole the show on Sunday by methodically putting away Paul.

She made one bank shot while seated on the ground and only had an H when Paul was at H-O-R-S. Paul attempted a comeback but Quigley extinguished it with the free-throw bank to end the quest of the Oklahoma City Thunder point guard.

“I probably would have made a few more if I go back and do it differently,” Paul said after the setback. “She was great. This was a lot of fun too, Allie. I appreciate it.”

LaVine sailed past Pierce while playing in Snohomish, Wash., using a battery of trick shots and long-range shots to easily dispatch the Los Angeles resident.

“Zach, I’m going to give credit to him, he was very creative today,” Pierce said afterward. “He shocked me with a lot of shots. … I take my hat off to him.”

Billups stuns Young

Billups, playing in Denver, looked in trouble early when he had H-O-R while Young had a clean sheet. But the guy known as “Mr. Big Shot” during his playing career recovered in impressive fashion to stun Young, who was playing in Norman, Okla.

“I never panic,” Billups said. “Even if he kept knocking shots down, all I could do is try my best and try to make a few shots. I told you I was a big-time underdog against this kid. It was just my day today.”

Conley, playing indoors in Columbus, Ohio, controlled the flow against Catchings, who is slated to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in late August.

Catchings played outside in Indianapolis.

“Being inside helped me a lot. I see her hair blowing in the wind and I know it is cold in Indiana right now,” Conley said. “Once I made the first couple shots, I felt real comfortable. … I’m happy to move on and happy to compete with a GOAT like Tamika.”

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2020 Chrysler Pacifica Review: Swallow Your Pride – This Beats an SUV

For most Americans, a minivan is the best people-hauler for the demographic called parents-with-kids-and-all-their-crap. And the 2020 Chrysler Pacifica minivan serves the demographic better than virtually every other sports utility vehicle or minivan. You can have a Pacifica sort-of-inexpensive or trimmed in leather, with or without hiding stowable second-and-third-row seats, or as a plug-in hybrid, all with third-row seats usable by adults. Come 2021, you’ll again be able to get the Pacifica with all-wheel-drive.

The Pacifica handles relatively well. The plug-in hybrid goes 32 miles on battery power and has a battery-plus-engine cruising range of 520 miles. It is roomier and lighter than a full-size SUV. On the downside, some useful driver assists are optional on the Pacifica. Pacifica’s reliability from recent years past is not on par with competing minivans, especially from Toyota and Kia.

The Pacifica is one of the few three-row vehicles comfortable in all three rows.

On the Road with Pacifica

I drove an upscale Pacifica Hybrid with a full suite of driver assists, the latest UConnect 4 infotainment system, and black leather seats with contrasting stitching. It feels roomier than a full-size SUV because it’s roughly the size of the full-size Dodge Durango SUV, 203.8 inches versus the Durango’s 201.2. With a shorter nose and without the sloping rear of some SUVs, plus a couple more inches of width than Durango, there’s a lot more room in the Pacifica for people and cargo inside.

Handling is pretty good for something that weighs a handful of pounds shy of 5,000. It gets to 60 mph in about 7.5 seconds via a 3.6-liter V6 Atkinson cycle gas engine (higher efficiency, lower peak power) and an electric motor that net 260 hp, all driving the front wheels. Once in a while during testing, the nine-speed automatic was slow to shift or thunked into the next gear. The shifter is a rotary knob on the dashboard. Most reviewers hate shifter knobs (or buttons). I say: They leave more room for cupholders and phones on the dash or console. Nobody manually shifts a minivan. This knob would work better if it was coated in grippy rubber.

The infotainment system and navigation, called UConnect and now up to version 4, continues to be one of the easier packages to comprehend. The display is 8 inches diagonal, which is good, but a 10-inch display would be nicer (likely on 2021 models).

2020 Chrysler Pacifica.

The Pacifica excels three ways:

Around town, driving is almost zero-cost because the 16-kWh battery tucked under the floor lets you cover 32 miles of commuting to work, car-pooling, and handling daily driving tasks. It will recharge overnight on 120-volt power, or in about two hours at 240 volts. Many owners won’t burn any gasoline most days of the week, although maybe you might, because there’s no button to force the Pacifica to run electric-only before going to the combustion engine. So Chrysler uses an algorithm to decide when to use what. In a week of driving, I averaged 29 mpg, close to Chrysler’s 30 mpg EPA overall rating, which is quite good for a 2.5-ton vehicle.

Second, on longer weekend or vacation trips, you get up to 520 miles of driving. You only have to fill up once a day. Yes, the kids have to go pee more often than that, but the interstate service area choreography of one parent taking the kids to the bathroom while the other heads for the fueling islands, then meeting up while the refueler parent dashes back to the restrooms, seems to save very little time.

For weekday carpooling tasks and weekend family trips, you can fit up to seven people; the middle row is always two buckets, not a bench. And everybody, in every seating position, is plenty comfortable, especially in the hybrid. The under-floor battery means there’s no space for the stowable (Stow ‘N Go) seats that fold into the floor, but those stowable seats are thinner and less comfortable. The comfier PHEV’s seats are heavy to take out, though.

The Pacifica has upscale finishes on most trim lines. The UConnect 4 center stack display is 8.4 inches.

Lots of Trim Lines

Shopping for a Chrysler Pacifica starts with “Where do I start?” There are eight Pacifica gas-engine versions, five of them called Pacifica Touring (gut none called Pacifica Car Pooling); plus six Pacifica Hybrid versions; plus more two gas-engine entry model Pacificas, only they’re called Chrysler Voyagers (explanation below). As for the hybrid models, there are three Touring models (Touring, Touring, 35th Anniversary Touring L) and three Limited models (Limited, Limited 35th Anniversary, Limited Red S). The hybrid 35th Anniversary (of the first Chrysler Corp. minivans) and S models are upholstery, badging, and paint variants. If this sounds confusing, it is, and there’s not much on the Chrysler Pacifica website that helps you see what features are on what trim lines.

The least costly hybrid, the Touring, is $ 41,490 including $ 1,495 freight. That is $ 6,250 more than the gas-engine Touring, but you are eligible for a $ 7,500 tax credit, so really it costs less. The Touring gets you power-sliding doors, heated mirrors, keyless entry/ignition, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, three-zone climate control, the 8.4-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and USB jacks. Driver assists are blind-spot warning/rear-cross-traffic-alert (same system) and rear parking sonar. No forward-facing driver assists.

The Touring L, $ 45,780 including freight, may be the sweet spot: It adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a power liftgate. But it, too, lacks a full range of driver assists.

The Limited, $ 47,340, is where you can add a fuller array of driver assists. It has nicer leather, vented front seats, navigation, UConnect Theater (rear entertainment), and 20-speaker audio. For $ 995 you can add the Advanced Safety Tec Group: stop-and-go adaptive cruise control, advanced forward collision warning, advanced lane departure warning, parallel/perpendicular parking assist, front sonar (rear is standard) with auto-stop, and surround cameras. You can also add a $ 1,895 panoramic sunroof.

The top-line Hybrid Limited Red S fully optioned runs $ 52,000, before tax credit.

Be still my heart: the 1984 Dodge Caravan, enabler of the soccer mom demographic.  It’s also 28 inches shorter than today’s Pacifica.

The Shrinking Minivan Market

Minivans as we know them date to the 1984 Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager, boxy vehicles, some with woodgrain wrap on the sides. They helped keep Chrysler Corp. alive. (The vehicles, not necessarily the woodgrain.) Sales of minivans, all brands, peaked in 2000 with 1.4 million sold, 8 percent of the year’s 17 million sales. Most had three rows of seats, and even the third row was reasonably comfortable at a time when there were far fewer SUVs. And they drove like cars at a time when SUVs didn’t.

Minivans were popular with college-educated boomer parents in the suburbs who drove their children to sports practices a lot, had similar-to-each-other buying patterns, got involved in the PTA, and tended to vote. Demographers called them soccer moms or soccer parents, which annoyed the heck out of them, more because soccer mom was too easily understood as well as misunderstood. In retaliation – “how dare these people reduce me to two words” – they switched to SUVs that were bigger, top-heavier, tipsier (until electronic stability control came along), cost you 3-5 mpg in fuel economy, and lacked room for teens in row three. Nothing like seeing six kids in shorts and cleats disembark from a GMC Yukon Denali, not a Pacifica, to prove you’re not a soccer dad or mom.

Fast forward to 2019, and sales of the five minivan models (plus leftover Chrysler Town & Countrys) amounted to just over 400,000, or 2 percent of the (again) 17 million sales of light vehicles. The best-seller Dodge Grand Caravan gets the majority of sales in fleet markets, making the Honda Odyssey and Pacifica the top two sellers to individuals.

Minivan Model 2019 Sales 2018 Sales Change
Dodge Grand Caravan 122,648 151,927 -19%
Honda Odyssey 99,113 106,327 -7%
Chrysler Pacifica 97,705 118,322 -17%
Toyota Sienna 73,585 87,671 -16%
Kia Sedona 15,931 17,928 -11%
Chrysler Town & Country 5 6 -17%
Totals 408,987 482,181 -15%

Between 2000 and today, more than a dozen minivan brands departed the market: Buick Terraza, Chevrolet Uplander, Chevrolet Venture, Chrysler Voyager, Ford Freestar, Ford Windstar Cargo, Mazda MPV, Mercury Monterey, Nissan Quest, Oldsmobile Silhouette, Pontiac Montana, Saturn Relay, and Volkswagen Routan. The one significant entrant is the Kia Sedona in the 2015 model year.

In 2020, the aging Dodge Grand Caravan goes away this spring, to be replaced by the Chrysler Voyager, effectively an entry-level Pacifica. That will likely be the rental-fleet minivan. Insiders say the two-name strategy helps the residual value of the Pacifica. Any time more than half the sales for a model go into fleets, it depresses resale prices.

The 2020 Pacifica measures 203.8 inches long, 79.6 inches wide, and 69.9 inches high. This allows for superb cargo space: 32.3 cubic feet with all seats used, and 140.5 cubic feet with the middle and rear seats down.

Should You Buy?

If you do a lot of urban driving, you’ll likely love how much of it can be on electricity, where the cost of electricity (low) is equivalent in cost to the Pacifica getting 82 mpg on gasoline. It is roomy on legroom as well as side to side shoulder room, so you really can get three across in back.

The Pacifica scores well on IIHS safety tests: good overall on crashworthiness, and a Top Safety Pick. However, it’s light on standard driver safety assists: Blind spot warning is standard, plus government-required features such as a rear camera. If you want a fuller range of assists that help especially on long highway trips, you’ll really want one of the Limited trims and the features of the Advanced Safety Tec package.

Only when you reach the Limited are significant additional driver assists offered in an options package.

Against the competition, the same money, roughly, will get you the sensational Kia Telluride or Hyundai Palisade three-row SUVs with less space and a premium-car fit and finish. Against other SUVs, the Honda Odyssey is well-thought-out and so is the Toyota Sienna, which is the only minivan to offer all-wheel-drive. The Kia Sedona, less flashy, has rock-solid build quality and reliability on its side. Consumer Reports rates recent Sedonas at 3, 4 or 5 of 5, while the Pacifica is rated at 1 or 2 out of 5.

The Chrysler Pacifica has been out since the 2017 model year. It gets a significant refresh for the 2021 model year with all-wheel-drive offered on the gas-engine Pacifica only (Chrysler last had an AWD minivan in 2004). Chrysler could have redirected the PHEV’s electric power to the rear wheels for all-wheel-drive (as Toyota has done to create AWD on a front-drive car), but chose not to. There’s a new, version 5, of UConnect Drive by Android software. And there’ll be an additional trim line at the top end, called Pinnacle. To keep up with the competition, the 2021 Pacifica will make standard forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and lane departure warning/lane-keeping assistance.

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Sofia Kenin beats Garbine Muguruza to capture Australian Open title

Sofia Kenin of the United States beat Garbine Muguruza of Spain on Saturday to win the Australian Open for her first Grand Slam title.

The 21-year-old Kenin won by a score of 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 with the retractable roof at Rod Laver Arena closed because of rain.

Kenin was seeded 14th.

She had never been past the fourth round of a major tournament until now.

Kenin reached the first Grand Slam final of her career by beating No. 1 Ash Barty in the semifinals.

Muguruza is a former No. 1-ranked player who won the French Open in 2016 and Wimbledon in 2017.

More to come.

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Djokovic beats Raonic, sets up Aussie Open semis clash with resilient Federer

Canada’s Milos Raonic just can’t solve Novak Djokovic.

The No. 32 seed from Thornhill, Ont., fell to 0-10 against the second-seeded Djokovic with a 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (1) loss in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open on Tuesday.

Raonic said Djokovic was “just too good.”

“Him, all the other top guys as well, once they sort of can get into a groove, get their balance behind them, things get more difficult,” Raonic said. “He was in a lot of my service games. I was sort of holding on. But eventually at one point, he found an opening.

“I think I needed to execute a little bit better, maybe go in with a different approach.”

WATCH | Milos Raonic bows out in Aussie Open quarter-finals:

Novak Djokovic denied Canadian Milos Raonic a spot in the quarter-finals at the Australian Open, defeating him in straight sets 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (1). 1:12

Raonic, 29, hadn’t lost a set in four previous matches at the tournament before running into Djokovic, who is known as one of the sport’s top service returners.

The hard-serving Canadian had 18 aces, while Djokovic had just four. But Djokovic still had a better percentage of points won when getting the first serve in, converting on 69 per cent of his chances as compared to Raonic’s 63 per-cent clip.

“You feel it not because it comes back necessarily quicker, but the fact is that he gets his racket on a lot of returns,” Raonic said. “That’s the part. He just makes you play more and more.

“Obviously on the second-serve return, he does have a much better return than most of the rest of the tour. But on the first serve, you feel it because he just gets his hand on it.”

Raonic had only two break-point chances, and couldn’t convert on either. Djokovic was 2-for-16 on break points.

Raonic was well ahead in unforced errors, making 48 to Djokovic’s 14. That was a bigger gap than in winners, which Raonic led 48-29.

It was Raonic’s fifth run to the quarter-finals or better at the Australian Open in the past six years. It came after a second half of a 2019 season in which Raonic missed large portions of time due to a back injury.

Eyeing indoor hardcourt event in New York

“Overall, a lot of positive things for me this week,” Raonic said. “I think that’s where my focus is at.”

Djokovic, despite having issues with his contact lenses in the third set, is now two wins away from defending his Australian Open crown.

The Serbian next plays six-time Australian Open winner Roger Federer, who saved seven match points before fending off 100th-ranked Tennys Sandgren in five sets. Djokovic has never lost a semifinal or final he has contested at Melbourne Park.

Raonic, meanwhile, said he’s planning to return to action next month at an indoor hardcourt event in New York, followed by an outdoor hardcourt event in Delray Beach, Fla.

Djokovic, who has won the season’s first Grand Slam seven times, paid tribute to a man he has called his mentor —Kobe Bryant — after the match. The former Los Angeles Lakers star, his daughter Gigi and seven others died in a helicopter crash Sunday.

When he signed the camera after the win (a tennis tradition), Djokovic wrote “KB 8 24 Gigi. Love you,” referring to Bryant’s two jersey numbers.

“It’s really sad,” Djokovic said. “His daughter is 13 years old. I don’t know what to say, to be honest. I’m sorry. I’m heartbroken, honestly, with what has happened.”

Federer pulls off another miracle win

After pulling off a miracle victory against American world No. 100 Tennys Sandgren by saving seven match points, Roger Federer remained optimistic about recovering fully from a groin problem in time for Thursday’s clash with Djokovic.

The Swiss third seed scripted a nerve-wracking 6-3 2-6 2-6 7-6(8) 6-3 comeback victory on Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday to continue his bid for a record-equalling seventh title at the Melbourne Park.

Federer called the trainer to the court during the third set against Sandgren and then took a lengthy medical timeout that he later said was for a problem with his groin.

His movement was visibly impaired for the rest of the match but that did not stop the 38-year-old from reaching a record-extending 15th semi-final at the Australian Open.

Next up for the 20-times Grand Slam winner will be Novak Djokovic, who last year beat Rafa Nadal in the final to claim a seventh title at the Melbourne major.

“I don’t know if you can call it an injury. It’s just pain and problems. I need to figure it out now,” he said. “But as it’s not like in 18 hours, like you got a third round to play, semi-finals, you have an extra day, adrenaline, there’s a lot of things. Two good nights of sleep, doctors, physios.

“Hopefully we’ll find out that it’s actually nothing bad, that it was just the groin that went really tight from playing a lot, who knows what, from nerves. I don’t know. I’m hopeful.”

Just prior to the medical timeout, Federer was warned for obscene language – something that is rare for the Swiss – after a complaint from a line judge.

Sandgren spent

He first confronted the line judge before getting involved in an argument with Serbian chair umpire Marijana Veljovic. Federer said he found the warning “bit tough” but accepted it.

Asked if the language was not English, Federer said with a smile: “It was a mix. Clearly she speaks mixed. Didn’t know that [smiling]. Next time I got to check the lines-people.”

While Federer did not feel as physically exhausted as he did against John Millman, when he won six straight points from 8-4 down in the final set tiebreaker to stay alive, Sandgren had nothing left in the tank — both physically and emotionally.

If watching match points slip by was not hurtful enough for Sandgren, he also had to deal with some physical pain when a ball girl accidentally ran her knee into his calf during changeover in the fourth-set tiebreak.

“That was physically painful. She was apologetic and everything. Accidents happen, so that wasn’t a big deal,” he said. “It stung a little bit at the time. It didn’t bother me when the point started, no.”

Ottawa’s Dabrowski beaten in doubles

Meanwhile, Canadian Gabriela Dabrowski and partner Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia have been ousted from women’s doubles.

The No. 4 Czech duo of Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova toppled No. 6 Dabrowski and Ostapenko 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 on Tuesday in the quarterfinals.

It’s the second time in three years that Dabrowski has reached the quarters of women’s doubles in Melbourne only to come up just short.

The 27-year-old from Ottawa isn’t finished at the Grand Slam, however.

Dabrowski is still alive in the mixed doubles with partner Henri Kontinen of Finland. The No. 3 seeds beat Australia’s Matthew Ebden and Jessica Moore 7-5, 7-6 (5) in a second-round match on Tuesday.

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