Jennifer Jones delivers a stone during the women's quarterfinals draw at the Players' Championship in Toronto on April 14, 2018. (Anil Mungal)

Jones doubles up on Fujisawa in Players’ Championship quarterfinals

April 14, 2018, 6:20 PM

TORONTO — Jennifer Jones has added another W to her incredible undefeated streak to reach the Players’ Championship women’s semifinals.

The reigning Canadian and world champion from Winnipeg extended her run to 26 consecutive victories after beating Japan’s Satsuki Fujisawa 4-2 in Saturday’s quarterfinals at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre.

Jones will now play Winnipeg rival Kerri Einarson, who fended off American Nina Roth 9-8 in an extra end.

Coincidentally, Einarson handed Jones her most recent defeat during the Scotties Tournament of Hearts back on Jan. 31. However, Jones avenged the loss with wins over Einarson in both the Page 1-2 playoff and the final.

The low-scoring affair between Jones and Fujisawa was a reflection of missed opportunities for both sides with only single points scored. Jones looked to crack open the game big time attempting a runback double for three but the raised stone spun up to miss the second Fujisawa stone, and she only counted one. Fujisawa fell into trouble in the second facing three and tapped to concede a steal and trail 2-0.

Fujisawa, who earned bronze at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, had a point in her pocket in the third but couldn’t capitalize for two as she had to make a difficult come-around draw to the button and ran a bit too heavy. Jones had too much heat on her shot in the fourth as well while trying to draw for a deuce and had to settle for one.

Jones extended her lead to 4-1 in the fifth as Fujisawa needed to throw wide to curl in and make a tap that could have tied it but hung out there too long and didn’t curl in enough to give up another steal instead. After a blank in six, Fujisawa put a point on the board in seven to close the gap but had to steal coming home and ran out of rocks.

Team Jones has captured two Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling championships this season, winning the Masters and Boost National, and already clinched the $75,000 Bonus Cup. Jones is also the defending Players’ champion winning the women’s title for a record sixth time at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre a year ago.


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Meanwhile, Einarson was up by three without the hammer in eight and could have iced the game with an open hit but sailed through the rings untouched allowing Roth to get a three count and force OT.

Einarson recovered in the extra just needing to bump her rock on the edge of the four-foot circle an inch and got it to advance.

The other women’s semifinal pits Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni against American Jamie Sinclair.

Tirinzoni stunned Scotland’s Eve Muirhead 8-5 by stealing three in the extra end while Sinclair ousted Olympic gold medallist Anna Hasselborg of Sweden 5-3.

Hasselborg returned the lineup after falling ill Friday evening and missed her team’s round-robin finale against Calgary’s Chelsea Carey. Third Sara McManus moved up to skip with lead Sofia Mabergs and second Agnes Knochenhauer each throwing an extra stone as the short-handed Team Hasselborg downed Team Carey 7-3.

It was textbook curling for Sinclair scoring deuces in three and six while holding Hasselborg to singles in two, four and seven. Sinclair, who finished fourth at the world championship, had to draw with her last rock of the game into the eight-foot circle while facing three and finished in the four-foot to tack another point on the board.

Calgary’s Kevin Koe clashes with Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen and Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., goes up against Niklas Edin of Sweden in the men’s semifinals. Gushue and McEwen are the only ones remaining in the chase for the men’s Bonus Cup and the $75,000 prize.

The men’s and women’s semifinals take place at 7:30 p.m. ET. Watch on Sportsnet 360 with online streaming available at Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare TV (international).

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