The GIST: It’s Rogers Cup week! The world’s best tennis players are in Canada to show us their best and to warm up for the final major of the season: the US Open.
And Rogers Cup is…?: A hardcore court tennis tournament that takes place in two Canadian cities: Toronto (where the women are playing) and Montreal (for the boys). The two cities alternate hosting the men’s and women’s tournaments each year.
Also known as the Canadian Open, Rogers Cup is the third oldest tournament in tennis, behind Wimbledon and the US Open. History, gotta love it.
How’s it going?:TBH, we’re kind of mad. Thedrawson both sides had Canadians facing off against each other in the early rounds, limiting the chances for a Canadian win (something that hasn’t happenedsince 1969).
All three Canadian women were in the same half of the draw, and Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, ON, had to face Montreal’s Eugenie Bouchard in the first round.
This was Andreescu’s comeback game after she suffered a shoulder injury during the Miami Open, and she came out firing. Bouchard won the first set, but Andreescu came back to win the next two, advancing to round two...
Which happened last night, and went kind of the same way. Andreescu faced Russian Daria Kasatkina, who won the first set. Andreescu won the second and third, and now she’s set to play world-ranked No. 5 Kiki Bertens in today’s round of 16 match. Can you say, comeback queen?
And in Montreal?:We saw more Canadian matchups in the early rounds. Hometown kid Felix Auger-Aliassime had it the worst: he had to face fellow Canadians Vasek Pospisil in the first round and 17th seed Milos Raonic (pronounced RAU-NITCH) in last night’s second round.
Auger-Aliassime and Raonic split the first two sets before Raonic retired from the match due to a back injury. Auger-Aliassime will face Russia’s Karen Khachanov in the round of 16 later today, which happens to be Felix’s 19th birthday.
Earlier yesterday, Denis “El Shapo” Shapovalov, of Vaughan, ON, lost to Dominic Thiem of Austria, which means we have just one Canadian guy and gal left to cheer for. The weight of the country is on your shoulders, Bianca and Felix. But no pressure.
Young at heart
The GIST: This week, NFL superstar quarterback (QB) Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and NBA legend Vince Carter of the Atlanta Hawks (and, once upon a time, our Toronto Raptors) signed contract extensions.
And why is this news?: Because both players are 42 years old, and that’s a v. old age in the sports world (don’t worry, definitely not in muggle world). Last year in the NFL, the average age of players was 26.6, while the average age in the NBA was 26.8. These contracts will have Brady playing until he’s 44 and Carter until he’s 43. See? Age is but a number.
Carter debuted with the Raptors in 1998 (the same year Britney Spears came out with “Baby One More Time”) and has played for eight different teams since then. The 2019–2020 season will mark his 22nd year in the league. This contract has him ready to set an NBA record for most seasons played, and if he’s still playing (barring injuries) in January 2020, he’ll be the first player to play in four different decades. Crazy!
Brady’s contract extension will take him into 2021, which will be his 22nd year with the New England Patriots. For reference, an average QB’s career is 4.44 years. But we all know Brady and his incredibly weird rigid diet are anything but average.
Earlier this week, Bichette gave a whole new meaning to “going up on a Tuesday,” setting an MLB record as the first player to hit 10 extra-base hits in his first nine games. He’s also the first Blue Jay to start his major league career with a 10-game hit streak, and yesterday’s game was his eighth straight with a double — also a Jays’ record. Damn!
Remind me, who the heck is this guy?: Bichette is a 21-year-old shortstop from Florida who was drafted by the Jays in 2016. He’s been playing in the minors since then, but after the Jays cleared house before the trade deadline, they called him up to play.
What’s next for Bo and the Blue Birds?: This post-trade deadline assessment gives us a good look at what we can expect for the rest of the year. Given the Jays have no chance of making the playoffs this season, expect them to try new things on the diamond and take chances on more young studs. Beyond this year, buckle up for a rebuild, baby. We’re in for a treat.
Can't stop, won't stop
The GIST: It’s been an amazing almost two weeks of sport in Lima, Peru, at the 2019 Pan Am Games. We’re SO proud of our Canadian athletes, who have racked up 102 medals — 25 gold, 40 silver and 37 bronze — with four days left.
Not only did Natasha Wodak of Surrey, BC, win gold in the 10,000m run, she also set a world record for fastest time and she did it at 37 years old (it’s not just the boys who kill it in “old age”) and she looked this happy about it. Get. It. Girl.
Ever since trampoline was introduced in the Sydney Olympics in 2000, Canada has dominated the sport. These Pan Am Games are no different. Samantha Smithand Jeremy Chartier both won gold on Monday, with mesmerizing performances. *“Breaking Free” plays in the background.*
What's up this week
All weekend: Rogers Cup continues, with the women’s and men’s finals matches being played simultaneously (why though?!) on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Friday: The Ottawa Redblacks are in Edmonton tomorrow to take on the Eskimos in CFL action. If anything, just watch to see Lewis Ward (hopefully!) extend his field goal streak and continue setting smashing professional football records. Kickoff is at 10 p.m. ET.
Thursday to Saturday: Looking for fewer players, a tinier ball, more downs and a smaller field? You’re looking for the NFL. Preseason starts tonight! Check out the schedule here.
The CP Women’s Open golf tournament is taking place from August 19th to 25th in Aurora, Ontario, and we are shaking with anticipation.
On top of getting to watch some of the best golfers in the world, this tournament is special because it gives back. For this year’s tournament, the SickKids Foundation is the primary charity partner. Funds raised through the CP Women’s Open will go towards upgrading a Cardiac Operating Suite at SickKids. Now that’s a great way to spend your money.
There are various fun ways to donate to the SickKids Foundation while you’re at the tournament (purchase your tickets here and use code GIST19 to receive 15% off*) and you can also make a donation here.
P.S. The CP Women’s Open is one of The GIST’s partners. *Restrictions apply