Einarson fends off Fujisawa to advance to Players’ Championship semifinals
TORONTO — Team Kerri Einarson’s title defence continues into the Princess Auto Players’ Championship women’s semifinals.
The double defending champs from Gimli, Man., edged Japan’s Team Satsuki Fujisawa 7-3 during Saturday afternoon’s quarterfinals at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
Einarson captured the Princess Auto Players’ Championship three years ago at the historic venue formerly known as Maple Leaf Gardens and repeated last season in the Calgary bubble at WinSport Arena. The Princess Auto Players’ Championship was not held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Team Einarson will face provincial rivals Team Tracy Fleury from East St. Paul. The No. 1 seed Fleury fended off Sweden’s Team Isabella Wranå 5-3 to remain undefeated in the major tournament with a 4-0 record.
The other women’s semifinal matchup sees Ottawa’s Team Rachel Homan face Team Anna Hasselborg from Sweden. Team Homan shaded Switzerland’s Team Silvana Tirinzoni 7-6 and Team Hasselborg rallied to defeat Scotland’s Team Eve Muirhead 7-5.
Homan has won a record 11 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling women’s titles and is a Players’ Championship away from becoming the first women’s skip to win all six different event titles in the series.
Fleury, who won the Masters and finished runner-up in the Boost National, maintained her lead in the Pinty’s Cup standings and now holds 36 points. Hasselborg, 29 points, is second and remains in the running for the trophy and the $50,000 bonus awarded to the season champion in the series.
The men’s quarterfinals begin at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT.
Scotland’s Team Bruce Mouat meet Winnipeg’s Team Mike McEwen, Team Niklas Edin of Sweden play Team Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Team Brad Gushue from St. John’s, N.L., clash with Calgary’s Team Kevin Koe, and Edmonton’s Team Brendan Bottcher will battle Winnipeg’s Team Jason Gunnlaugson.
The men’s and women’s semifinals start at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT. Watch both the men’s quarterfinals followed by the men’s and women’s semifinals on Sportsnet 360 with online streaming available at Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare (international).
The Princess Auto Players’ Championship is the third event of the 2021-22 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season featuring 16 of the top men’s teams and 16 of the top women’s teams from around the world with a combined $350,000 prize purse. … Winning teams earn $35,000. … Both finals are set for Sunday.