News Canadian Open

Undefeated Fujisawa, Wrana first to qualify for Co-op Canadian Open playoffs

CAMROSE, Alta. — Japan’s Team Satsuki Fujisawa and Sweden’s Team Isabella Wranå were the first past the post and into the playoffs at the Co-op Canadian Open.

Both clubs climbed to unblemished 3-0 records Thursday to qualify out of the A brackets from the triple knockout preliminary stage.

Fujisawa fended off Team Kerri Einarson from Gimli, Man., 5-4 while Wranå topped compatriots Team Anna Hasselborg.

Teams must win three games before they lose three in order to move onto the quarterfinals.

“In the Grand Slams, we’re always so happy because every game is so exciting,” Team Fujisawa third Chinami Yoshida said. “We are so glad to win our A-qualifier game today.”

Although it was mostly singles on the scoreboard, Fujisawa picked up key steals in the second and fifth ends to grab a 4-1 lead. Einarson, who captured her fifth Grand Slam at last month’s WFG Masters, scored the game’s first deuce in the sixth and forced Fujisawa to another lone point in the seventh to trail by two, 5-3, but claim the hammer for the final frame.

Einarson was unable to get the equalizer, however, scoring just one.

It was the eighth meeting between the two teams already this season. Although Einarson holds a 5-3 advantage, Fujisawa was victorious when they clashed during the Pan Continental Championships semifinals in November en route to gold.

“We always have to focus our execution,” Fujisawa said. “Einarson always plays good, so that’s why today we really had to be good at reading the ice. Maybe that’s a key point.”

Meanwhile, Wranå scored a deuce off the bat in the first end and never really relinquished control as it was just singles back and forth in the second and third ends then again in the fifth and seventh.

Team Hasselborg captured the women’s title when the event was last held in 2020.

Hasselborg, second Agnes Knochenhauer and lead Sofia Mabergs are just playing as a trio this week. Third Sara McManus is on maternity leave and spare Therese Westman fell ill.

Elsewhere, Italy’s Team Stefania Constantini scored their first-ever win in the Grand Slams — and better late than never — as they beat Team Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge, Alta., 6-5 in an extra end during C-side action.

Constantini (1-2) stays in the mix on the brink of elimination while Scheidegger has been ousted at 0-3.

Switzerland’s Team Raphaela Keiser (1-2) also earned their first victory of the week with a 10-2 rout over Team Isabelle Ladouceur (0-3) from Dundas, Ont.


The Co-op Canadian Open continues with Draw 12 at 10 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. local time with broadcast coverage on Sportsnet East, Ontario, Pacific, SN 360 and streaming online at Sportsnet NOW (Canada) or Yare (international).

Single draw tickets plus full-event, weekend and daily passes are available at the Encana Arena box office and online at

NOTES: The Co-op Canadian Open is the fourth event of the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season with 16 of the top men’s teams and 16 of the top women’s teams from around the world at Encana Arena. … Triple knockout action runs through to Saturday morning. The quarterfinals are scheduled for Saturday afternoon followed by the semifinals in the evening. Both finals are set for Sunday.