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Kraken make first signing, ink Luke Henman

SEATTLE — The expansion Seattle Kraken signed the first player in franchise history Wednesday after agreeing to terms with free-agent centre Luke Henman on a three-year entry level contract. Henman, 21, currently plays for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the QMJHL. He will complete the season with the Armada before joining Seattle for its rookie training camp later this year.

The Associated Press

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Shapovalov books spot in third round of Italian Open

ROME — Denis Shapovalov is joining fellow Canadian Félix Auger-Aliassime in the third round of the Italian Open. The 13th-seeded Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., beat Italian Stefano Travaglia 7-6 (2), 6-3 in the second round of the ATP Masters 1000 clay-court event. Later Wednesday, No. 2 Rafael Nadal defeated Italy’s Jannik Sinner 7-5, 6-4 to set up his fifth meeting with Shapovalov, and his first since a 6-3, 7-6 (7) win as part of Spain’s victory over Canada in the final of the 2019 Davis Cup. Auger-Aliassime, who was off Wednesday, will meet Argentine qualifier Federico Delbonis on Thursday. Meanwhile, Serena Williams’ 1,000th tour-level match ended in defeat as she marked her return to action with a 7-6 (6), 7-5 loss to Nadia Podoroska in the second round. The eighth-seeded Williams, who hadn’t played since the Australian Open, came from a break down twice in the opening set and saved the first three set points she faced in the tiebreaker before Podoroska converted her fourth. The Argentine went on to win in 1 hour, 58 minutes.

The Canadian Press

Tennis Canada could move top tournaments to U.S.

Tennis Canada hopes to hold its top professional tournaments in Toronto and Montreal this summer, but isn’t ruling out moving the events to the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tennis Canada says the National Bank Open women’s tournament in Montreal and men’s event in Toronto remain on the schedule for Aug. 7-15. However, the organization says moving the tournaments to the United States is an option if restrictions prevent the events from happening in Canada. The Western & Southern Open in suburban Cincinnati is a women’s/men’s event that follows the National Bank Open (previously known as the Rogers Cup). Both National Bank Open tournaments were cancelled last year.

The Canadian Press

French Open players to get one hour of daily freedom

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Players at the French Open will be allowed a daily one-hour window outside their physical-distancing bubble, tournament organizers said Wednesday. Guy Forget, the director of the clay-court Grand Slam, said players will have the chance to get out for a jog or enjoy some fresh air during their stay in the French capital despite coronavirus restrictions. Insisting players are “extremely aware of the danger” caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Forget said they won’t be put under surveillance.

The Associated Press

Hockey Canada invites 28 players to try out for women’s Olympic team

CALGARY — Hockey Canada’s roster of players invited to try out for the 2022 Olympic women’s hockey team indicates the squad will be experienced up front and less so on the back end. Of the 28 invitees announced Wednesday to congregate in Calgary this summer to start preparing for Beijing, 10 forwards, three defenders and one goaltender won a silver medal in 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where Canada lost in a shootout to the United States in the gold-medal game. Women’s Olympic hockey rosters are 23 players, including three goaltenders, compared to the men’s 25-player rosters.

The Canadian Press

Arsenal beats Chelsea 1-0 after pouncing on Jorginho howler

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LONDON — Emile Smith Rowe took advantage of a defensive howler to score the winner as Arsenal beat Chelsea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday to stop the hosts from moving third in the Premier League. Italy midfielder Jorginho’s attempted back pass left out-of-position goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga scrambling to prevent an own goal, diving to palm the ball away just before it crossed the line. But Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was on hand to collect the ball and square it for Smith Rowe, who slotted home just inside the post. It was Arsenal’s third straight Premier League victory and a much-needed morale booster after its loss in the Europa League semi-final left the Gunners without a chance of qualifying for the Champions League. Chelsea’s loss means Thomas Tuchel’s side remained fourth and gave renewed hope to chasing teams West Ham and Liverpool, who are hoping to overtake the final Champions League spot.

The Associated Press

Porto to be confirmed as venue for Champions League final

NYON, Switzerland — Porto is set to be confirmed as host of the Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester City after Portuguese authorities on Wednesday approved the return of supporters to stadiums. UEFA is planning to announce by the end of the week that the 50,000-capacity Estadio do Dragao will be used for the May 29 showpiece with thousands of fans from both English clubs set to be allowed into the game. UEFA is hoping for more than 10,000 people to be at the Porto stadium after having to move the final from Istanbul to Portugal for a second successive year.

The Associated Press

Still too fast: Caster Semenya arrested for speeding

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CAPE TOWN, South Africa — Olympic champion Caster Semenya was sentenced to 50 hours of community service for speeding while driving in South Africa, prosecutors said Wednesday. The runner was arrested last Thursday and released on $35 bail, the National Prosecuting Authority said in a statement to The Associated Press. Semenya appeared in court in the capital, Pretoria, on Friday and pleaded guilty to the offence, the NPA said. She faces a second court hearing in August when authorities will report back on whether she completed her community service. The 30-year-old Semenya is a two-time Olympic and three-time world champion over 800 metres whose career has been halted by contentious rules regulating the natural level of testosterone in female runners.

The Associated Press

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