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Jones beaten by Wrana in wild opening draw of Players' Championship

Jennifer Jones Jennifer Jones - The Canadian Press

TORONTO — Jennifer Jones's final tournament as part of a four-player team got off to a rocky start with a six-end 9-2 loss to Sweden's Isabella Wrana on Tuesday at the Grand Slam of Curling's season-ending Players' Championship.

Winnipeg's Jones, who started with the hammer, scored twice in the first end before Wrana scored the next nine points, capping the match with a four-point sixth end.

Jones announced earlier this season that she is stepping away from the four-player game, ending a career that includes six national championships, two world titles, an Olympic gold medal and 17 Grand Slam victories.

The opening draw featured several lopsided matches. Scotland's Bruce Mouat blanked Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., 9-0 and Ross Whyte beat James Craik 6-1 in an all-Scottish showdown.

Kim Eunjung of South Korea scored two points in the eighth for a 4-3 win over Switzerland's Xenia Schwaller in the lone competitive result.

In the second draw, world champion Rachel Homan of Ottawa opened strong with a 7-1 win over Italy's Stefania Constantini.

On a day when multi-point steals seemed the norm, Homan had a steal of three in the sixth end before the Italians conceded.

Elsewhere, Calgary's Kevin Koe defeated Edmonton's Brendan Bottcher 6-3, Switzerland's Yannick Schwaller beat Winnipeg's Matt Dunstone 6-4 and South Korea's Gim Eun-ji edged Kerri Einarson of Gimli, Man., 5-4 after a steal of one in an extra end.

In the third and final draw of the day, Silvana Tirinzoni of Switzerland — silver-medal winner at the women's world championship last month in Sydney, N.S. — defeated Kaitlyn Lawes of Winnipeg, Man., 7-3. Tirinzoni's steal of three in the seventh end was the turning point in an otherwise tight contest.

Elsewhere, Canadian champion Brad Gushue of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, scored triples in the third and fifth ends en route to a 6-5 win over world champion Niklas Edin of Karlstad, Sweden. Gushue is coming off a second-place finish at the world men's curling championship in Switzerland where he lost 6-5 to Edin in the final.

Mike McEwen of Saskatoon, Sask., counted three in the eighth end to defeat 2024 world bronze medallist Joel Retornaz of Trentino, Italy 9-7, while Anna Hasselborg of Sundbyberg, Sweden, scored a deuce in the eighth end to edge Satsuki Fujisawa of Kitami, Japan 6-5.

There are four draws scheduled for Wednesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 9, 2024.