ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Defending champion Jennifer Jones on the brink of elimination following consecutive losses Wednesday to open the Tylenol Players' Championship curling event.

The Winnipeg skip dropped her first match to Montreal's Eve Belisle 6-3 before falling 6-5 to Edmonton's Cathy King.

Jones will meet Heather Strong of St. John's on Thursday in an elimination match featuring a pair of 0-2 squads.

Saskatchewan skips Michelle Englot and Sherry Anderson are faring much better, secruing quarter-final berths by winning all their games Wednesday.

Regina's Englot advanced directly to Friday's quarter-finals by defeating Heather Rankin of Calgary 11-7 and Amber Holland of Regina 7-4.

Saskatoon's Anderson scored a pair of 6-5 victories over King and Belisle before routing Sherry Middaugh of Coldwater, Ont., 7-2.

In the men's tournament, reigning Olympic gold medallist Brad Gushue of St. John's dropped his opening round match to Greg McAulay of Richmond, B.C., by a score of 8-5. Leading 4-3 heading into the sixth end, McAulay capitalized on a Gushue miscue to scored three points en route to an insurmountable 7-3 advantage.

Newly crowned World Champion Kevin Martin of Edmonton recorded a default victory over Martin Ferland of Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Que., after a flight delay into Montreal caused the Quebec rink to miss its connecting flight to St. John's. Ferland's team is scheduled to arrive in St. John's Thursday morning and will play Gushue's team during the day's second draw.

The tournament runs until Sunday at the Mile One Centre. The event is the eighth and final leg of this season's Capital One Grand Slam of Curling series.

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