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Ferrer ends qualifier's run to win Paris Masters

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Ferrer ends qualifier's run to win Paris Masters

PARIS (AP) David Ferrer ended the amazing run of Polish qualifier Jerzy Janowicz 6-4, 6-3 at the Paris Masters on Sunday, clinching his first Masters title and winning a tour-leading seventh trophy of the season.

The 69th-ranked Janowicz eliminated five top-20 ranked players, including No. 3 Andy Murray, to reach the final. Ferrer's seven titles is one more than Roger Federer, who did not defend his title in Paris.

``I was very nervous because it was my chance to win a first Masters title, but somehow I knew it was my turn,'' Ferrer said. ``To me this is a dream to win here. If I won, it's because I have a great team.''

The fourth-seeded Spaniard lost his three previous Masters finals - twice to Rafael Nadal and once to Murray. This time he didn't have a Grand Slam winner in front of him and never looked in real danger, although he did lose his serve early in the second set.

In the fourth game of the match, the entertaining Janowicz hit a booming serve of 150 mph and drew cheers from the crowd at the Bercy arena when he followed up a drop shot with a spectacular volley winner.

In the second set, Ferrer saved two break points and broke Janowicz again to take control of the match at 4-2.

Ferrer collapsed to the court and held his head in his hands after securing victory on his first match point when Janowicz's two-handed backhand was wide.

``Again, I slept only four hours last night. I'm not a machine. I'm proud of myself,'' Janowicz said. ``This has been an incredible week. I would like to thank my family, my fans here and all my supporters back home.''

Janowicz had previously reached only one career quarterfinal, which came last month in Moscow. He's projected to improve to 26th in the rankings.

Janowicz played in his first final and tried to become the first qualifier to win a Masters title since Albert Portas in 2001. The last qualifier to reach the final in Paris was Radek Stepanek in 2004.

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Blackhawks fans tossed after directing racist remarks at Washington's Smith-Pelly

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NBC Sports Washington

Blackhawks fans tossed after directing racist remarks at Washington's Smith-Pelly

CHICAGO—Four fans were ejected from United Center on Saturday night for taunting Devante Smith-Pelly as the Capitals’ winger sat in the penalty box.

The fans, according to a team spokesman, yelled “basketball, basketball, basketball” at Smith-Pelly, who is black. Smith-Pelly was in the box for fighting in the third period of an eventual 7-1 loss to the Blackhawks.

The taunts were confirmed by an off-ice official, the spokesman said, and the fans were subsequently removed from the arena.

Smith-Pelly did not speak with reporters after the game but is expected to address the incident at the team’s next media availability. The team is scheduled to practice Sunday at KeyBank Center in Buffalo.

Caps Coach Barry Trotz did not hold back when asked about the fans' comments.

“There’s absolutely no place in the game of hockey or our country for racism,” Trotz said. “I think it’s disgusting, and there’s no place for it. …It just shows ignorance.”

The Blackhawks responded on Twitter with an apology to Smith-Pelly, who is one of roughly 30 black players in the NHL.

February is Hockey is For Everyone month in the NHL.

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3 stars of the game: Caps suffer ugly loss to scuffling Blackhawks

3 stars of the game: Caps suffer ugly loss to scuffling Blackhawks

Just about everything that could go wrong did for the Capitals on Saturday in a 7-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Caps were coming off a strong 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday, but none of that carried over in the trip to Chicago. The Caps took on a Blackhawks team that had lost eight in a row, but Chicago quickly took control in the first period and never looked back.

Washington gave up 21 shots on goal in the first period and found themselves down 3-1 after the opening frame. Things did not get much better from there as they gave up another three goals in the final four minutes of the second.

Here are the three stars of the game.

1. Jonathan Toews: Toews opened up the scoring in the first period with a quick shot from the corner that caught Braden Holtby by surprise.

Later in the first, he recorded an assist as his pass sparked a breakout that led to Brandon Saad's deal that gave Chicago back the lead. The Caps tried to make a game of it in the second period, but Toews intercepted a pass from Brooks Orpik that led to a 2-on-0 with himself and Patrick Kane that Kane netted to give the Blackhawks a 4-1 lead and signaled to everyone that the rout was on. Saturday was only the second three-point night of the season for Toews.

2. Patrick Kane: Toews helped the Blackhawks take control early, but Kane helped provide the knockout punches in the second period. A bad pass from Orpik was intercepted by Toews that led to a 2-on-0 with Kane. Holtby made the initial save on Toews, but Kane was able to knock in the rebound for the goal.

Kane also added an assist on Artem Anisimov's power play goal which extended Chicago's lead to 6-1.

3. Tom Wilson: Before this one got out of hand, it looked like Wilson had erased the tough start for the Caps as he deflected a shot from Matt Niskanen into the net to get Washington on the board.

Saturday's tally was his third goal in two games and his 10th of the season, marking the first time in his career he has reached double digits in goals.