The stats will show that Pablo Carreno Busta beat Canadian Denis Shapovalov three sets to none in the fourth round of the U.S. Open, but anyone who was watching the tennis match knows that was hardly the case. The 18-year-old Shapovalov pushed the 26-year-old, 12th-seed Carreno Busta to tiebreakers in each of the three sets with his massive serve and unrelenting backhand.
And while the end result showed the more experienced Carreno Busta using patience and some quick returns to defeat Shapovalov, the tennis world was raving about the young Canadian's performance.
After beating eighth-ranked Jo Wilfried Tsonga in the first round, Shapovalov captured the hearts of Canadians—and Americans, as the U.S. Open crowd was almost exclusively cheering for him over Carreno Busta—encouraging many non-tennis fans to tune in.
WIth Eugenie Bouchard losing in her first contest of the U.S. Open and Milos Raonic withdrawing with a wrist injury, there is room for the teenager raised in Vaughan, Ontario, to become the biggest draw for Canadian tennis going forward.
Some other notes from around the sporting world:
- The Canucks signed Thomas Vanek to a one-year, $2-million contact. And while Vanek did put up 38 points in 48 games with the Detroit Red Wings last season, he only scored 10 in 20 games with the Florida Panthers after being dealt at the deadline. If the idea is to deal Vanek at the deadline for a draft pick or another asset, the Canucks might be in for diminishing returns, as Detroit only got an AHLer and a third rounder for the 33-year-old. If that's what he can fetch at the best of times, it's hard to say whether it'll be worth it in the eyes of Vancouver fans to see Vanek eat up time in the top six at the expense of a player like Brock Boeser, who has shown he's ready for the bigs. There's no question the Canucks will slot Vanek in the top six, as they'll need to showcase him and his defensive play means he'll need to be sheltered with offensive zone starts on a scoring line, either with the Sedins or on Bo Ho Horvat's wing.
- Speaking of Horvat, the forward's ongoing contract negotiation became looped in with the other big story of Vancouver sports this summer, as Postmedia's Jason Botchford reported on Jason Brough and Mike Halford's inaugural TSN 1040 show that Horvat had signed on to a bridge deal (a two- to three-year deal) with the Canucks. That report was rebuked later by Postmedia's Ed Willes (yes, everyone is owned by Postmedia), who tweeted that Canucks' president Trevor Linden disputed the notion that a deal was complete. More than anything, the report by Botchford may have siphoned some credibility from 1040, as the station is about to be locked into a battle for Vancouver sports radio supremacy with Sportsnet 650. Sportsnet's parent company, Rogers, recently bought the rights to broadcast Canucks games on the radio and, with SN 650 officially starting today with a whole host of well-known Vancouver sports personalities, the error could end up being costly.
- Former B.C. Lions linebacker Adam Bighill was cut from the New Orleans Saints 52-man regular season roster on the weekend, but the Montesano, Washington, native won't be returning to the CFL, as he's saying on with the Saints practice squad after impressing coaches with 11 total tackles in the club's final preseason game. If this is it for Bighill in the CFL he leaves with four CFL All-Star team nods and a reputation as one of the hardest working Lions to take the field. You never hope for an injury, but if he finds a way to get on to the Saints roster, New Orleans probably won't regret it.
- Finally, the Seattle Seahawks acquired Sheldon Richardson from the New York Jets to bolster the team's defensive line. It looks like this could be a monster season for the Seahawks, as Russell Wilson appears healthy and the offensive line can't possibly be worse than it was last season. Seattle should cruise to the top of the NFC West division and, at the time of writing, had the fifth-best odds from Vegas to win the Super Bowl. It should be a fun season in the Emerald City.