Canada’s Bianca Andreescu excited to return for Australian swing

Canadian tennis star Bianca Andreescu is planning to make her long-awaited return to the WTA Tour this January in Australia.

The 20-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., hasn’t played a competitive match since suffering a knee injury just over a year ago at the WTA Finals in China.

“Being away from the court for so long has not been easy for me but I am excited to share that I will be returning to the court in 2021, starting with the Australian swing and the Australian Open,” Andreescu said. “I am feeling really good about the progress I’ve made during my time off, and I’m ready to get back to competing and doing what I love.”

The first Grand Slam of the 2021 campaign is set to begin in Jan. 18 at Melbourne Park. Other tournaments in the so-called ‘Australian swing’ have yet to finalize dates due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A spokesperson at the Octagon agency, who provided an email with a quote from Andreescu on her 2021 plans, said a decision on tournament entries for the swing had not been made. Andreescu was not available for an interview.

A WTA Tour spokesperson said the 2021 WTA Tour calendar was still being finalized and would likely be released in the next few weeks.

Andreescu first revealed her plans for the coming months in a recent interview with French player Alize Lim on the tennismajors.com website. In a 20-minute sitdown video, Andreescu said she is “perfectly healthy” and took time this year to “build everything” in her life.

She hinted last winter that she was nearing a return but the pandemic shuttered the sports world in March for a few months. Andreescu announced in September that she would be taking the rest of the 2020 season off to focus on her health

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‘Scooby-Doo’ co-creator Ken Spears passes away at 82

Television writer and producer Ken Spears (L) and the characters of the animated TV show “Scooby-Doo.” Images: screengrab from YouTube/ytshawzam, Facebook/Scooby-Doo

“Scooby-Doo” co-creator Ken Spears passed away last Friday, Nov. 6 at the age of 82.

The TV writer and producer died due to compilations related to Lewy body dementia, his son Kevin told Variety on Nov. 9.

The disease is a type of progressive dementia that leads to a “decline in thinking, reasoning and independent function because of abnormal microscopic deposits that damage brain cells over time,” according to Alzheimer’s Association.

“Ken will forever be remembered for his wit, his story-telling, his loyalty to family, and his strong work ethic,” Kevin told Variety.

“Ken has not only made a lasting impression on his family, but he has touched the lives of many as co-creator of ‘Scooby-Doo.’ Ken has been a role model for us throughout his life and he will continue to live on in our hearts,” he added.

Spears began his career in animation back in 1959 when he worked as a sound editor in Hanna-Barbera Productions, as per report. He eventually met Joe Ruby while working there and the two began writing teleplays together.

Among them was the popular animated TV show “Scooby-Doo.” Years after, they set up their own studio called Ruby-Spears Productions in 1977.

While the two led their own company, they created more animated TV series such as “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and “Superman.”

Sam Register, president of Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios also mourned his passing and called Spears a “true innovator in the industry whose gifts of humor and storytelling continue to delight audiences.”

“You cannot find a screen in the world that has not played a version of ‘Scooby-Doo,’” he added.

Spears is survived by his two sons,

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Adiwang inching closer to ONE title contention

Team Lakay’s Lito Adiwang. ONE CHAMPIONSHIP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — It’s only a matter of time before Lito Adiwang gets his title shot especially when he takes care of business again on Friday against Hiroba Minowa of Japan.

Adiwang is ONE Championship’s fifth-ranked strawweight. He is also undefeated in his last seven fights, including 4-0 since making his ONE debut in 2018.

And extending his streak will certainly make Adiwang’s case stronger for a crack at the title.

“I feel like I only need a few more wins to be considered a title contender, especially sitting in the top five right now. But of course, I’ll let ONE Championship decide whether I’m ready or not. I just have to focus on getting better with each fight. That’s my main goal,” said Adiwang, who goes for his 12th win in ONE: Inside the Matrix III in Singapore.

“I am happy to be labeled as one of Team Lakay’s next biggest stars. I’m on my way to proving that I deserve this status, and I want to make all of my dreams present and reality. It’s a long, hard road to the top, but I’m willing to give whatever it takes to reach my dreams.”

Standing in his way is Minowa, a former Shooto Champion expected to give the Team Lakay rising star a run for his money.

“Fans can expect an exciting and a good show every time I step into the Circle. I will always give my best in every fight. I want to thank everyone for their support. It means a lot to me,” said Adiwang.

“I’m not taking Minowa lightly. I know he is a good finisher, just like I am. So I can’t get caught. I have to maintain my concentration heading into this. If I can

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