Did someone say WNBA, Vitality Women’s FA Cup AND NWSL?! Check out this weekend in women’s sports.
In partnership with CBC Sports, The 4% Rising is your guide to finding and watching women's sports online and on TV. Subscribe now to receive this guide each week.
We’ve fully rolled into the WNBA season now and it’s another jam packed weekend of women’s basketball! With multiple games each day, it’s a great chance to check out the talent across the league - especially the Canadian talent!
There are currently three Canadians playing in the WNBA – Natalie Achonwa and Bridget Carleton on the Minnesota Lynx and Kia Nurse on the Phoenix Mercury. Unfortunately Nurse suffered an ACL tear during last season’s playoffs, so we are hoping for her speedy recovery.
Minnesota will try to get its first win of the season Saturday night against reigning champions Chicago Sky. Including Achonwa, who's out indefinitely due to a hamstring strain, the Lynx will be down four of their regular roster players.
Unfortunately, with the season up and running, more players have been going into Health and Safety protocols. This week alone saw Breanna Stewart and Natasha Cloud out due to COVID-19, so teams may be signing hardship exemption players going into the weekend.
Catch the Dallas Wings and the Washington Mystics tip off at 7 p.m. ET Friday, followed by Las Vegas Aces vs Atlanta Dream at 7:30 p.m. ET, and Indiana Fever against the New York Liberty at 8 p.m. ET.
Saturday is another three-game day with the highly anticipated match between the Seattle Storm and Phoenix Mercury starting at 3 p.m. ET, and later the LA Sparks will face the Connecticut Sun at 7 p.m. ET, followed by the Minnesota Chicago game at 8 p.m. ET.
Ending out the weekend on Sunday is the Dallas Wings against the New York Liberty at 2 p.m. ET, followed by the Atlanta Dream vs the Indiana Fever at 3 p.m. ET. All games can be streamed on the WNBA League Pass and Sportsnet with one game (Mercury vs. Storm) also streaming on Radio-Canada Sports and TSN2.
Vitality Women’s FA Cup
The 2021/2022 Vitality Women’s FA Cup is almost here! And it’s set to be played in front of an all-time record crowd with more than 50,000 tickets sold.
The Football Association announced that ticket sales have exceeded the 50,000 mark, meaning this weekend’s showpiece should be watched by a record number of fans. The previous record came back in 2018 when Chelsea defeated Arsenal 3-1 at Wembley Stadium in front of 45,423 spectators.
Barclays FA Women’s Super League champions and current Vitality Women’s FA Cup holders Chelsea face Manchester City in this season’s final with the game available to stream at 9:30 a.m. ET on Sunday morning. This match is one of the most eagerly-awaited of recent times with both clubs in great form.
Chelsea will arrive at Wembley on an 11-match winning streak, dating back to its 3-1 FA Women’s Continental League Cup final defeat to Manchester City in early March. Meanwhile, The Cityzens will be looking to record a 14th straight win this weekend, a run of form which has completely turned their season around.
ALSO! Watch out for Jessie Fleming on the pitch this Sunday. The Canadian midfielder played a huge part in helping Chelsea clinch the FA Women’s Super League title last week and I’m thinking she’s going to come out with even more fire this weekend.
Last weekend, the North Carolina Courage took the title at the 2022 Challenge Cup against the Washington Spirit. Though getting to the finals was a great feat for both teams… How will this translate into the regular season?
There is only one way to find out and that is to watch more NWSL soccer!
This weekend, you'll see more action from Spirit as they take on No. 6 seed Angel City on Sunday. As the newest expansion team, Angel City has been the talk of the town all season. So, it’s hard not to expect equally exciting outcomes from the Los Angeles team’s No. 5 ranked player Jun Endo and company! NWSL player rankings take into account goals, assists, shots, etc.
Also playing on Sunday is the current first-ranked team, the San Diego Wave. They will take on the Chicago Red Stars on their home-turf at Torero Stadium. Canadian goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan will help defend San Diego along with superstar forward Alex Morgan against the No. 4 seed. Morgan’s soccer story is incredible. She only started playing in a club at 14 years old and is now the No. 1 ranked player in the league!
WTA Italian Open
The WTA heads to Rome this week for the Italian Open and action has already been underway as the quarter-finals have begun.
For Canadians, Bianca Andreescu made the quarter-final after beating Petra Martic of Croatia Wednesday in two straight sets. She then took on Iga Swiatek on Friday morning for the chance to go to the semis. Swiatek came into this match on a 25-set winning streak, continuing that streak even further as she beat Andreescu in two straight sets.
Unfortunately Leylah Fernandez of Canada was eliminated by Daria Kasatkina in the Round of 32.
Fan favourite Naomi Osaka had to pull out of the event due to a calf strain, so hopefully she will be back soon! Simona Halep was also eliminated earlier than usual in the Round of 32 to Danielle Collins of the United States, who went on to lose against Amanda Anisimova Thursday afternoon.
Anisimova faced Aryna Sabalenka in the quarter-final Friday morning, with Sabalenka winning the tiebreaking third set. You can catch her playing in the semis this weekend.
Maria Sakkari of Greece is also in the quarter-final after beating Coco Gauff. Sakkari will face Ons Jabeur of Tunisia in the semifinals.
2022 Track & Field Wanda Diamond League
This weekend, impressive athletes from around the world are competing in 32 disciplines, from the 100-metre race to the high jump and javelin, as part of the 13-meet season-long event. AND the first meeting of the Wanda Diamond League starts today (Friday) in Doha!
Each series will take place in different cities around the world and will allow athletes to begin earning points (ranking from first to eighth place) to qualify for the final of their respective discipline. The top six in the field events, top eight for 100-metre to 800-metre, and the top 10 for 1500-metre and long distances will qualify to earn a Diamond Trophy, a wild card for the World Athletics Championships, and $30,000 USD in the final. Yes, the stakes are pretty high!
So, who to look out for?
The U.K.’s Dina Asher-Smith is of course at the top of the list. The 26-year-old sprinter is dubbed the fastest British woman in recorded history and could be a high-level threat in the 200-metre race. She, of course, will not only be competing against her fellow runners, but will also no doubt aim to beat Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah’s 200m record of 21.53 seconds that she claimed at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Others that should be high on your watch list are all of the talented American women! They are taking over much of the event and are highly ranked in several other competitions. Kendra Harrison is one of them as the current holder of the world record in the women's 100-metre hurdles with a time of 12.20 that she earned back in 2016.
Will Harrison be able to keep up her time this weekend? Well… you’ll have to tune into the competitions! Watch them all on CBC Sports.
Only 4% of national airtime is devoted to women’s sports. At The 4% our objective is to promote what, when, and where to watch women’s sports to help raise awareness and grow the audience for women’s sports on TV.