ISN Weekend Sports Preview

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Calgary Stampede

American tennis star Venus Williams will be in the spotlight this weekend as she attempts to win her sixth Wimbledon title and ninth grand slam of her career. The 2000 Olympic gold medalist in women’s singles and 10th seed is in her second grand slam final of the season at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club as she also advanced to the final of the Australian Open before losing to her sister, Serena Williams in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4. Luckily for Venus, Serena is not at Wimbledon because she is currently pregnant. In fact, Serena was pregnant when she beat Venus in January in Melbourne. Venus Williams’s opponent on Saturday will be Garbine Muguruza of Spain, the 14th seed (Saturday, TSN, 6am PT). Muguruza meanwhile has one grand slam singles victory under her belt as she defeated Serena Williams 7-5, 6-4 in the final of the 2016 French Open.

Here are the other events I will be watching this weekend:

Saturday—World Aquatics Championships—Men’s Synchronized 3m Springboard Diving Final—www.cbcsports.ca–9:20am PT–The 2017 World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary gets underway with men’s 3m synchronized springboard diving final. The top 12 teams qualify from the preliminary round earlier on Saturday. Canada will hope to be represented by Philippe Gagne of Montreal and Francois Imbeau-Dulac of Quebec City in the finals. The reigning Olympic champions, Chris Mears and Jack Laugher, will be representing Great Britain.

Saturday & Sunday—US Women’s Open—FOX—11am PT—The final two rounds of the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open goes this weekend from Bedminster, New Jersey. In round two, the headliner was Donald Trump who made an appearance. Shanshan Feng of China is the leader at -8. Four South Koreans are in contention. Jeong Eun Lee, Amy Yang and amateur Hye-Jin Choi are at -6. Seon Woo Bae is at -5.

Saturday—MLB—New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox—Sportsnet One—1pm PT—Two teams currently holding down a playoff spot will be battling at Fenway Park this weekend. The Red Sox currently lead the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays by three and a half games, but both the Yankees and Rays currently hold down both American League wildcard spots. This game will feature two American League all-star outfielders. Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge currently leads the American League with 30 home runs, while Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts is batting .272 with 16 home runs, 53 runs batted in, 61 runs and 15 stolen bases.

Saturday—CFL—British Columbia Lions @ Hamilton Tiger-Cats—TSN—4:30pm PT—People thought the Lions might have had a tough schedule when they had three of their first four games in the eastern time zone. However so far they have passed with flying colours as they beat the Toronto Argonauts 28-15 on June 30 and the Montreal Alouettes 23-16 on July 6. The Tiger-Cats meanwhile have not been impressive offensively or defensively to start the year. They were pounded 32-15 by the Toronto Argonauts in their opener and then were beaten handily 37-20 last week to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Sunday—Women’s World Water Polo Championships—Canada vs. Italy–www.cbcsports.ca—12:30am PT—The Canadian women will be playing their first game of the 2017 Women’s Water Polo Championships, which are part of the World Aquatics Championships that start this weekend from Budapest, Hungary. Team Canada’s first opponent is Italy, which won the silver medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The greatest moment ever in Italian women’s water polo came at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, when they defeated Greece 10-9 in Greek water to win the gold medal.

Sunday—Wimbledon—Men’s Final—TSN—6am PT—Roger Federer is considered one of the very best tennis players of all-time. At Wimbledon in 2017, his remarkable play from the baseline deserves high praise. A victory over the seventh seed Marin Cilic of Croatia will give him his 19th grand slam title. But wait. One must remember that Marin Cilic has won a major before (the 2014 U.S. Open) and beat Federer in the semi-finals of Flushing Meadows in straight sets that year.

Sunday—World Aquatics Championships—Women’s Synchronized 10m Platform Diving Final—www.cbcsports.ca—9:20am PT—Some of the world’s best female divers will be competing in Budapest this weekend. It will be an interesting competition for Canada as Caeli McKay of Calgary will be competing in her first ever World Aquatics Championship and has large shoes to fill. That is because McKay is replacing two-time Olympic bronze medalist Roseline Filion of Laval, Quebec as Meaghan Benfeito’s new partner. In the 2017 FINA Diving World Series season, McKay and Benfeito won a silver medal in Kazan, Russia.

Sunday—Athletics—Diamond League Series—CBC—11am PT—Four Canadians are in the field this week in Morocco in the second final Diamond League Series event before the 2017 World Track and Field Championships. Andre De Grasse is the headliner as he will be the man to be beat in the men’s 200m. The other Canadians are Brandon McBride (men’s 800m), Elizabeth Gleadle (women’s javelin) and Shawn Barber (men’s pole vault).

Sunday—IndyCar—Toronto Indy—City TV—12pm PT—The only IndyCar stop in Canada takes place this weekend with the Honda Indy Toronto race. Canadian auto racing fans will be cheering heavily for James Hinchcliffe of Oakville, Ontario who is currently 12th on the IndyCar circuit this season. Hinchcliffe however does have a victory as he won in Long Beach this past April. The top two favourites this week are New Zealand’s Scott Dixon, who leads the IndyCar circuit with 403 points, and Brazil’s Helio Castroneves, who won the IndyCar race in Iowa last week.

Sunday—Calgary Stampede—CBC—5pm PT—The finals of the rodeo and chuckwagon racing (also known as the Rangeland Derby) takes place in Calgary. Among the Canadians who have reached the right to compete on Sunday so far are saddle bronc riders Layton Green of Meeting Creek, Alberta and Clay Elliott of Nanton, Alberta, bareback riders Ky Marshall of Bowden, Alberta and Jake Vold of Airdrie, Alberta, steer wrestlers Tanner Milan of Cochrane, Alberta and Brock Butterfield of Ponoka, Alberta, and ladies barrel racer Kirsty White of Big Valley, Alberta.

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