Orioles

Germany's Haas wins in Vienna for 500th victory

Germany's Haas wins in Vienna for 500th victory

VIENNA (AP) Tommy Haas won for the 500th time in his career, reaching the milestone by defeating Jesse Levine of the U.S. 6-4, 6-2 Thursday at the Erste Bank Open.

Haas is the 38th player in the modern era to have won 500 matches. Only three others are still active - Roger Federer (871), Rafael Nadal (583) and Lleyton Hewitt (566).

``It's incredible I've reached that mark today,'' said Haas, a German who struggled with shoulder and hip injuries before returning to the top 20 this week. ``I had hardly played for 3 1/2 years before returning to the tour a year ago. I was even hungrier for success and getting to 500 wins became a major goal of mine.''

Janko Tipsarevic, seeded second, reached his 13th quarterfinal of the season by defeating Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 6-3, 6-4. Tipsarevic plays Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia in the quarterfinals. Bedene defeated Donald Young of the U.S. 7-6 (4), 6-7 (2), 6-3.

Marinko Matosevic of Australia beat wild card Dominic Thiem of Austria 6-3, 7-6 (5) to set up a quarterfinal against top-seeded Juan Martin del Potro.

Haas, seeded third, saved two break points early in the second set against Levine but did not concede a game afterward.

``It wasn't easy, he is a very dangerous player,'' he said. ``He attacked well but I got the right answers every time and served really well.''

Tipsarevic, who is ranked ninth and looking to qualify for the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals, dropped serve once in each set but dominated play from the baseline against Gulbis.

``I have to be pumped for every single point and not think what's going on behind me or ahead of me,'' the Serb said. ``The only thing I care about now is winning my next match. I don't think about winning the tournament or about reaching London.''

Tipsarevic said his changed attitude has helped him to become a top-10 player this year.

``I don't feel I improved my forehand, backhand or serve dramatically,'' he said. ``I just feel that now I am living and breathing tennis outside of the tennis court as much as I am on the tennis court. ... This changed after winning the Davis Cup. I realized I wasn't getting any younger and that I would regret it if I realized one day that I could have reached more in my career.''

The 55th-ranked Matosevic, who was on a six-match losing streak before the event, held serve throughout. Thiem, ranked 394th, had eight aces but missed out on his first career quarterfinal.

In other second-round play, Grega Zemlja of Slovenia beat Matthew Ebden of Australia 7-5, 6-4; and Paolo Lorenzi of Italy defeated Vasek Pospisil of Canada 6-4, 6-4.

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Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

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USA Today Sports

Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

SARASOTA, Fla. -- A person familiar with the negotiations says pitcher Chris Tillman and the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract.

The deal includes performance bonuses, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the deal had not yet been announced.

Tillman was 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 19 starts and five relief appearances last year. He would be the second starter added by the Orioles in the past week after right-hander Andrew Cashner.

Tillman likely would join right-handers Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman and Cashner in the rotation.

The 29-year-old right-hander lives in Sarasota and had been working out at the Orioles' facility before spring training. Manager Buck Showalter watched Tillman throw and was impressed.

Tillman began last season on the disabled list with right shoulder stiffness.

"Better than he did last year at this time. I think he's got the chance to pitch well for somebody this year," Showalter said. "A lot of the challenges he had last year -- this time last year -- aren't there. Somebody's going to reap the benefits."

Tillman's is 73-55 with a 4.43 ERA in nine major league seasons, all with the Orioles. He won 16 games in both 2013 and 2016.

"He's a guy when he's healthy you can bank on him giving you 200 innings and keeping his ERA between a 3 and a 4," Gausman said. "That in the AL East is always going to be very valuable."

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Biggest storylines for Wizards coming out of the All-Star break center around John Wall

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Biggest storylines for Wizards coming out of the All-Star break center around John Wall

The Wizards experienced a wild ride before the All-Star break, but came out of it on solid ground, fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 33-24 record. With 27 games still remaining until the postseason, here is a look at the biggest storylines moving forward...

Who will they sign?

The Wizards are close to signing a new player as they were left with open roster spots following the trade deadline when they dealt guard Sheldon Mac to Atlanta for a second round pick. The Wizards have keyed in on the backup point guard position and are likely to go in that direction with the move. But they could still be in the market for other players, possibly someone at the backup wing position, even if they sign a point guard.

The Wizards only have a few days left to make a move because they need to get their roster to 14 players within 14 days of the Mac trade on Feb. 8. Their next game is on Thursday against the Cavaliers, so they could have someone in the building in time to play in that game.

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When will Wall return?

Wall had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Jan. 31 and was prescribed a recovery timeline of six-to-eight weeks, meaning he still has about another three weeks to go before a return is possible. It could be another five weeks before he's back on the court. That puts him in the range of missing another 10-to-17 games.

The Wizards have played nine games since he went down and have won seven of them, but they aren't even halfway there yet. They have a long way to go. Because it's Wall and his return will have a domino effect, this is the most important storyline to watch for the Wizards moving forward.

How will Wall fit back in?

Wall's return will of course be a big deal for the Wizards. They will be adding an All-Star back into their lineup with just weeks before the start of the playoffs. But at the moment, they have a good thing going and are playing much better than they were in the last week or two before he was shut down. That, of course, had a lot to do with Wall playing injured.

It will be interesting if the Wizards are still winning at anything close to their current rate when Wall comes back. That would be the ideal scenario because they could ease him back into the lineup and take their time getting him up to speed. But it will also create a complex situation for head coach Scott Brooks, who will need to make adjustments to his rotation. The alternative would be if the Wizards aren't playing well when Wall returns and the concern there would be the urge to rush him back in any capacity.

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Tough schedule

The Wizards have fared quite well for themselves so far with a 33-24 record despite injuries to Wall, Markieff Morris and Otto Porter to varying degrees. But they have done so while enjoying the easiest schedule in the NBA, 30th out of 30 teams. It is about to get a lot tougher coming out of the All-Star break.

All in the next five weeks the Wizards will see the Cavs, Bucks, Warriors, Raptors, Pacers (twice), Timberwolves, Celtics, Spurs (twice) and the Nuggets. Of their next 17 games, 15 will be against teams currently in the playoff picture. They could be without Wall for all of them. That won't be easy.

Can Oubre get back on track?

While Wall has been out, just about everyone on the Wizards has stepped their games up to compensate. Though he still impacts games in other ways, Kelly Oubre, Jr. has been one exception on offense. In his last 11 games, Oubre has averaged 9.4 points and shot just 31.2 percent from the field and 23.2 percent from three. In his previous 46 games, he averaged 12.4 points while shooting 44.9 percent from the field and 40.5 percent from three.

That is a major difference and the Wizards certainly want to get the early-season version of Oubre back. At his best he is one of their most consistent scorers and an excellent three-point shooter. When he's contributing on both ends of the floor, the Wizards are tough to beat.

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