News Players' Championship

Fujisawa fends off Tirinzoni to start Princess Auto Players’ Championship run

TORONTO — Satsuki Fujisawa and her team are right back to their winning ways in the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling.

Team Fujisawa became the first club from Japan to capture a major title in the series when they won the Co-op Canadian Open in January, and they opened their run at the Princess Auto Players’ Championship with an 8-5 victory over Silvana Tirinzoni’s Swiss squad Tuesday afternoon at Mattamy Athletic Centre.

It was a comeback victory for Fujisawa, who led 4-1 at the fourth-end break. The four-time reigning world champion Tirinzoni tied it up with a three-ender in the fifth and put the pressure on to steal one in the sixth to pull ahead.

Fujisawa battled back with an incredible raise to count three in the seventh.

Tirinzoni was unable to get the equalizing two points to force an extra end though and Fujisawa tacked on a stolen single in the eighth.

Elsewhere, Clancy Grandy scored three in the eighth end to lift her Vancouver-based team to a 6-5 win over defending champions Team Anna Hasselborg of Sweden.

In men’s play, Matt Dunstone doubled up on Reid Carruthers 6-3 in a matchup between Winnipeg-based teams. Carruthers, third Brad Jacobs and second Derek Samagalski are playing as a trio this week with lead Connor Njegovan (paternity leave) away.

Niklas Edin’s Swedish side counted five in the fifth to end the night early and win 10-4 against Korey Dropkin’s club from the United States.


Round-robin play continues with Draw 3 at 6:30 p.m. ET. Tickets are available at the box office and online at

Broadcast coverage begins Thursday at 11:30 a.m. ET / 8:30 a.m. PT on Sportsnet, Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare (international).

NOTES: The Princess Auto Players’ Championship features 12 of the top men’s teams and 12 of the top women’s teams from around the world based on the World Curling Federation’s year-to-date world team rankings. … Round-robin play runs through to Friday. The best six teams overall qualify for Saturday’s playoffs with the top two receiving byes to the semifinals. Both finals are scheduled for Sunday. … The Pinty’s Cup will also be awarded to the season champions in the series during the event.