Eve Muirhead, Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Claire Hamilton captured the 2013 Players' Championship to earn their first career Grand Slam of Curling title (Photo Credit: Anil Mungal).

Muirhead defeats Sigfridsson to win 2013 Players’ Championship

April 21, 2013, 11:34 AM

TORONTO — Scotland’s Eve Muirhead captured her first career Grand Slam of Curling title after defeating Sweden’s Margaretha Sigfridsson 8-5 in the Players’ Championship final Sunday at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.

Muirhead, who also beat Sigfridsson to win the World Women’s Curling Championship title in March, held the hammer in the final end and made no mistake driving her last stone to the eight-foot to secure the title.

“It’s always tough for the world champion to come into the Players’ Championship because you know you’re on such a high from the worlds,” Muirhead told Sportsnet’s Brad Fay after the match. “But we’ve had great fun here. It’s been a relaxed competition. To come out and top a great season with the Players’ Championship is just phenomenal.”

Sigfridsson struggled to build momentum right from the opening end as she held shot rock with one remaining but could not get her final stone to roll in and had to settled for a single.

Muirhead pulled ahead in the second after she nailed an incredible double takeout with her final rock to score three and never trailed again.

Sigfridsson managed to tie it up 3-3 in the third but Muirhead regained the two-point lead with a deuce of her own in the sixth.

It’s been a roller coaster week for Muirhead, whose team almost didn’t make it to the final. Muirhead dropped to a 1-2 record in the round-robin after falling 8-5 to Saskatoon’s Stefanie Lawton in Draw 8 but her rink was red-hot from that point onward.

“When you’re kind of on your last legs you can’t give up anything and you’ve got to go for it all and that’s exactly what we did,” Muirhead said. “The girls played great. I think all of us have had a good week here.”

Muirhead was in tough in a rematch against Lawton during the semifinals but rebounded from a three-point deficit to win 6-5 in the extra end.

“We got stronger as the tournament has gone on and when you’re out here at the Players’ Championship, you’re playing the 15 best teams in the world and you can’t have slack games,” Muirhead said. “You know it’s going to be an uphill battle. I think we fought well and at the end of the day we came out champions.”

Rachel Homan won the Rogers Masters of Curling title earlier this season and had a chance to earn a $100,000 bonus if her team also claimed the Players’ Championship but her Ottawa rink fell to Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones in the quarter-finals Saturday.

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