Sidelines: this week in sports

Andreescu makes history after winning U.S. Open

She did it! 19 year old Mississauga native Bianca Andreescu won the U.S. Open by beating the greatest female tennis player of all time in straight sets. After an anticlimactic Rogers Cup Final that saw Serena Williams retire from the match due to back spasms, Andreescu finally got her chance to beat Williams for real on the biggest stage in American tennis. With thousands of New Yorkers — including the likes of Spike Lee — cheering for Serena to win her seventh U.S. Open, Andreescu came out and beat her in straight sets (6-3, 7-5) to win her first Grand Slam. Then in true Canadian fashion she apologized to the New York crowd for defeating Williams. Andreescu became the first woman to win the U.S. Open in her debut appearance, and as a result shot up the rankings to fifth in the world. Remember when we thought Genie Bouchard was good? This is what Canada expected when Bouchard was ranked fifth way back in 2014; championships, national interviews, magazine covers, (actually Bouchard was featured pretty heavily in a couple Sports Illustrated’s but I don’t think those count) etc. Andreescu is the real deal, and at only 19 years of age she seems poised for a storied career.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images



















Rafa outlasts Medvedev to win 19th Grand Slam

In what was an instant classic, Rafael Nadal beat rising superstar Daniil Medvedev to win his fourth U.S. Open, and his 19th Grand Slam. After Nadal won the first two sets (7-5, 6-3), Medvedev stormed back to win two of his own (7-6, 6-4) to force a winner-take-all fifth and final set. The match lasted a gruelling four hours and 40 minutes, and after Rafa won the deciding set (6-4), he instantly collapsed with a look of jubilance and exhaustion written on his face. His 19th Grand Slam puts him just one shy of Roger Federer’s record of 20, and considering Rafa is five years younger than Roger (and because he seems to win every French Open), it does seem possible that Rafa could pass Federer in the near future. On the other side of the court, 23-year-old Daniil Medvedev put up one hell of a fight in his first Grand Slam Final and will surely be back winning titles for years to come. Considering the usual, um … stoicism of Russian athletes, Medvedev has a great sense of humour and showed off his unique personality; after a montage of all of Nadal’s previous 18 titles played on the video board, Medvedev said to the crowd, “I wonder what they would’ve played if I won,” which got a good laugh from a New York crowd that had an up and down relationship with Medvedev throughout the tournament. While he is sure to become a household name in the tennis world for years to come, the spotlight is still currently shining on Rafael Nadal.


Chaos is a Ladder: The Antonio Brown Saga

Last week I talked about how nervous I felt about drafting Antonio Brown in my fantasy league, and predicted he’d get suspended by week two or three. Well not only did Brown get himself suspended for week one, but the Raiders went on to release him on Saturday.  GM Mike Mayock, during which Brown spewed curses at his boss for fining him over $200,000 for conduct detrimental to the team. Reports say that Vontaze Burfict — who was infamously suspended for knocking Brown unconscious when they played for Cincinnati and Pittsburgh — acted as a peacemaker. The Raiders then went on to void Brown’s $29 million worth of guaranteed money, which led Brown to ask the Raiders for his release through a tag on an Instagram post. It doesn’t surprise me that Brown was born in July (we have the same birthday actually), as he seems to be a locker room cancer wherever he goes. Then just hours after his release from Oakland, Bill Belichick slithered in and signed Brown to a one-year deal to play for New England. Oh my. The Patriots actually seem like the perfect spot for Brown; they have an all-business coach in Belichick and the greatest quarterback of all time leading the team. If anyone can tame him, you’d think it’d be New England.

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