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  • Boston Red Sox's Ryan Dempster throws out Blue Jays Jose BautistaBoston Red Sox's Ryan Dempster throws out Blue Jays Jose Bautista

    Just imagine if Ryan Dempster had ever played for the Montreal Expos or Toronto Blue Jays. Based on his performances pitching in Canada, the Gibsons, B.C. native would have been a shoe-in for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

    The Canadian right-hander protected his unblemished record in his native land with an impressive seven innings of four-hit baseball in a 4-2 Red Sox win at the Rogers Centre on Tuesday. The 36-year-old veteran is now 6-0 in 11 career starts against the Jays and Expos in his native country.

    "We don't come back here again this year, right?" the 36-year-old veteran playfully asked when that was pointed out to him after the game. "In that case, I'll enjoy that record."

    He'll no doubt also be enjoying the fact that he came up with a solid outing at a crucial time for him. Despite a n0-decision that came after the Boston bullpen failed to hold the lead, Dempster had the Blue Jays off balance all night.

    His timing couldn't have been better.

    A small string of shaky starts recently

    Read More »from Call Red Sox hurler Ryan Dempster Mr. Perfect in Canada
  • Serena Williams defeats Sorana Cirstea to win 2013 Rogers Cup

    Serena Williams (The Canadian Press)Serena Williams (The Canadian Press)

    Top ranked Serena Williams finished the 2013 Rogers Cup with exactly the same result as her previous four matches leading up to Sunday's final - a win in straight sets.

    The 31-year-old captured her third title at this event, defeating upstart Romanian, Sorana Cirstea (6-2, 6-0). Cirstea ranks 27th in the world and was not seeded in the main draw.

    In a game of power, the two traded hard forehand and backhand shots from the baseline and unleashed high speed serves throughout the 65 minute match. In the end, it was the veteran, who proved to be just too much.

    Williams broke Cirstea's serve three times in the first set including twice in the first three games to go up 3-0.

    "I definitely started early. I always try to do that in every match," Williams said about her quick jump out of the gate. "I try to win as many games as I can, it doesn't always work out, but that's what I always try to do."

    Cirstea, who showed an ability this week to come from behind, pulled within one game of tying

    Read More »from Serena Williams defeats Sorana Cirstea to win 2013 Rogers Cup
  • Milos Raonic (The Canadian Press)Milos Raonic (The Canadian Press)

    With apologies to the first man on the moon, the Rogers Cup men's final may have represented a step backward for Milos Raonic, but it also was one giant leap forward for Canadian tennis.

    Raonic's dream of becoming the first Canadian man to win this tournament in 55 years ended early on the hard court in Montreal on Sunday as he was blown away by world No. 4 Rafael Nadal. Officially, the score was 6-2, 6-2 but it wasn't even that close.

    Except for a brief flicker of hope when Raonic won the opening game, Nadal destroyed any dreams of a Canadian celebration by dominating almost every moment in taking an efficient 67 minutes to win. Raonic was soundly beaten and had no trouble admitting it.

    "He gave me a little bit of a clinic today," Raonic joked after congratulating the champion in the post-match ceremonies. Sadly, it was somewhat more than a little bit of a clinic.

    Nadal, who is now 48-3 on the year, neutralized Raonic's signature serve and turned the tables by using his own

    Read More »from Bad day for Milos Raonic, great day for Canadian tennis
  • Serena Williams to face Sorona Cirstea in Rogers Cup Women’s final

    Serena Williams at the Rogers Cup (USA TODAY)Serena Williams at the Rogers Cup (USA TODAY)

    The Serena Williams express keeps on chugging at the 2013 Rogers Cup.

    The top ranked player in the world will make her fourth appearance in the Canadian Open final on Sunday where she will take on Sorona Cirstea who is not seeded at this tournament.

    Williams, booked her ticket to championship match after taking down world No. 4 Angnieszka Radwanksa in a hard-fought victory (7-6 (3), 6-4) at Rexall Centre on Friday evening.

    "It was one of our tougher matches," said Williams who has now defeated Radwanska in all six matches they have played including the final at Wimbledon in 2012.

    It was certainly her stiffest challenge so far, Radwanska went toe-to-toe with Williams, playing with both finesse and power. Williams, who has not lost a set so far, was on the ropes in the first set but was able to come out on top in a tie-break.

    Radwanska continued to press in the second set, but the the 31-year-old veteran pulled away for the straight sets victory.

    In Cirstea, Williams sees an opponent

    Read More »from Serena Williams to face Sorona Cirstea in Rogers Cup Women’s final
  • (The Canadian Press)

    TORONTO – Challenged with their first battle against adversity, Canada's men's basketball team responded resiliently.

    Canada trailed 49-37 at halftime against Jamaica in Saturday's exhibition at Ryerson's Mattamy Athletic Centre. The Canadians could only watch as their opponents hit shot, after shot, after shot, closing out the half shooting 8/11 from three.

    Canada was down on the scoreboard but not down on their game plan or their execution.

    "I give [Jamaica] a lot of credit, they shot the ball extremely well in the first half," said head coach Jay Triano. "[But] it wasn't like we were falling asleep and missing coverages, those were tough shots."

    In the first game against Jamaica, Tristan Thompson and Andrew Nicholson were admittedly still adjusting to the more physical international game. On Saturday, Thompson was noticeably more aggressive around the basket. He scored 16 points on 6/11 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds. Nicholson had a great start shooting the ball and even though he finished the game 5/17, he was confident and assertive. Overall, there's a sense that progress was made since Thursday's game.

    Read More »from Canada displays a resilient edge, rallies late to beat Jamaica 77-72
  • Jermaine Anderson (The Canadian Press)While some of Canada’s biggest basketball names took to the floor at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, Carl English, dressed in a white collared shirt and grey sweats, found his spot on the far right side of Team Canada’s bench next to Joel Anthony.

    The 32-year-old, who plays professionally in Spain, has been part of the country’s senior men’s national program since 2005 and has thus seen the struggles first hand – he was on the teams that failed to qualify for both the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the London Games in 2012.

    But times are changing. Canadians like Tristan Thompson, Andrew Nicholson and Cory Joseph are carving out careers for themselves in the NBA while also showing interest in playing for their country.

    All three were on the court both Thursday and Saturday for Canada's back-to-back victories over Jamaica at the Jack Donohue Classic.

    “If you keep them all together just imagine these guys [in the future] and you throw in [Andrew] Wiggins and within a couple of

    Read More »from Carl English and Jermaine Anderson bring leadership and experience to Canadian men’s basketball team
  • Tristan Thompson, going up righty over Carmelo Anthony last season (The Associated Press)

    Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson wears No. 13, which coincidentally corresponds to August 13, International Left-Handers' Day. So much for that connection!

    The big man from Brampton, Ont., went though high school, the University of Texas and his first two seasons in the NBA believing he was a southpaw. At times last season, Thompson began attacking the basket right-handed, while maintaining he was a lefty. Now, weeks after photos were published of Thompson practising his free throws right-handed, he's affirmed to Sportsnet's Michael Grange that he's now trying to be a right-handed player. After being limited offensively as a left-hander, the 22-year-old is hoping to broaden his offensive repertoire by shooting right. Long-time basketball exec Jerry Colangelo, who has been around the NBA for 45 years, told Grange he has "never heard of" such a switch.

    Read More »from Canada’s Tristan Thompson trying a ‘crossover’ that’s never been done in the NBA
  • Sampras recalls 1995 Canadian Open final versus Agassi

    Pete Sampras in Toronto 2002 (The Canadian Press)Pete Sampras in Toronto 2002 (The Canadian Press)

    Pete Sampras won just about everything in his illustrious 14-year professional tennis career.

    He was victorious seven times at Wimbledon, took home five U.S. Open championships and also captured two Australian Open titles - not to mention the various tournaments that lead up to these Grand Slams

    Aside from the obvious void, a French Open title, another tour stop where Sampras never came out on top is the Canadian Open.

    However, his lone finals appearance in Montreal 18 years ago was notable in that he faced his biggest adversary - Andre Agassi.

    At the time, Agassi was his fiercest competition for the No. 1 ranking in the world. In those years, it was the most hotly contested rivalry in the sport, and it stands as one of the greatest of all time.

    Friday, prior to hitting centre court at Rexall Centre where he took on fellow American James Blake as part of the Rogers Legends Cup exhibition, "The King of Swing", who will soon turn 42, hearkened back to 1995, a year in which he and

    Read More »from Sampras recalls 1995 Canadian Open final versus Agassi
  • (Getty)

    11 and 12-year-old little leaguers from Victoria B.C. to Halifax, N.S. share summer dreams of being on the team that gets the privilege to wear the red and white uniforms with 'CANADA' proudly emblazoned across the chest and play on the perfectly manicured ballfields of Williamsport, Pa. in front sold-out crowds and an international television audience.

    For most, that dream never comes close to becoming reality, finding a spot on the shelf next to being a music star or a motion picture sensation, but young ballplayers from British Columbia have reason to awaken from their perfect game and walkoff home run-themed slumber with stronger sense of optimism than their compatriots.

    The White Rock 11 and 12-year-old all-stars are the latest group from B.C. to impress on the national stage. White Rock finished the round robin at the Canadian Little League Championship in Glace Bay, N.S. a perfect 6-0 and outscored opponents 41-15, exhibiting a level of professionalism that's come to be expected from B.C. baseball.

    Read More »from White Rock continuing British Columbia’s reign of dominance at Canadian Little League Championship
  • Milos Raonic vs. Vasek Pospisil at the Rogers Cup on Saturday. (The Canadian Press)

    Anybody who tells you they saw this coming is plainly and simply a liar.

    For the first time since 1958, there will be a Canadian man in the final of the country's national tennis open. Even in Tennis Canada's wildest dreams, it likely didn't foresee this possibility.

    Thanks to a bit of luck and a lot of tough-minded tennis, Canadians Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil will play in the semifinal of the Rogers Cup on Saturday. That assures a Canadian presence in the final for the first time since Robert Bedard won the event (then called the Canadian Open) in 1958. In fact, the last time a Canadian man made it even as far as the semifinals was in 1969 when Mike Belkin did it.

    While he wouldn't admit to predicting this possibility, former Canadian pro Grant Connell says it shouldn't come as a total surprise.

    "I think that we as Canadian tennis players and the tennis community should expect these sort of results from our players," said Connell, who joined Andrew Sznajder as the last Canadian men

    Read More »from Oh Canada! There will be a homegrown player in Rogers Cup final


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