Ignoring death threats, Federer wins in Shanghai


Ignoring death threats, Federer wins in Shanghai

SHANGHAI (AP) Roger Federer ignored recent death threats from a Chinese blogger and won his opening match at the Shanghai Masters on Wednesday, beating qualifier Lu Yen-Hsun 6-3, 7-5 in the second round.

Federer said he was aware that the blogger had recently issued an apology.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion has had heavy security surrounding him at all times since arriving in Shanghai.

``I felt fine'' Federer said. ``There was maybe one quick thought. I saw one of the bodyguards outside of the court. I thought, still around, obviously. I have bodyguards every time I play a match on a center court, which is normal.

``Once the match started, got underway, I never thought about it again.''

Federer saved the one break point he faced and broke serve once in each set to secure his path to the third round. He'll next face 13th-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka.

``I thought it was a good match for me,'' Federer said. ``Obviously, not having been broken is a good thing early on in a tournament. You hope it sets a trend for more to come.''

Novak Djokovic also advanced, beating Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 6-3, 6-2. Two-time defending champion Andy Murray received a walkover into the third round after the withdrawal of Florian Mayer because of a rib injury.

Sam Querrey of the United States rallied past 14th-seeded Kei Nishikori 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 in another second-round match.

Djokovic won the China Open in Beijing last week for his fourth title of the year and 32nd of his career. He has won 66 matches this season, the most of any player on tour.

Djokovic didn't offer Dimitrov a break-point opportunity and never lost more than one point in any service game. He also served four games at love.

``Very pleased with my serving in Beijing and obviously the first match today,'' Djokovic said. ``So that's something that I've been working on, obviously. Relying on the serve in today's tennis is a big advantage. So I try to get as many free points as possible. It helped me a lot to defeat my opponent.''

If Djokovic wins in Shanghai and Federer loses before the quarterfinals, the Serb would reclaim the No. 1 ranking next week.

Murray has a 9-0 record after winning finals against David Ferrer last year and Federer in 2010. The third-ranked player from Scotland also won the Olympic gold medal at the London Games and a title in Brisbane this year.

Murray had short notice about Mayer's injury and withdrawal.

``I went to the gym this morning in the hotel, and he was in the gym at the same time,'' Murray said. ``I didn't know until 15, 20 minutes ago.''

Fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Benoit Paire 7-6 (7), 7-5 in an all-French match.

For the second straight day at the tournament, a match went to three tiebreaker sets. Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus upset 12th-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3).

Nishikori won the opening set against Querrey before fading. He sought a medical timeout for a right ankle injury that he sustained last week when he won the Japan Open.

``It's disappointing, but I was close to a win even with this injury,'' Nishikori said.

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3 reasons the Caps beat the Red Wings

3 reasons the Caps beat the Red Wings

Not much separated the Washington Capitals and the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. A late 2-on-0 goal for Brett Connolly proved to be the difference.

Here's why the Caps ultimately walked away with the 1-0 win.

A first period goalie interference call

Andreas Athanasiou thought he had given the Red Wings a first period lead, but Barry Trotz challenged the call for goalie interference. The review showed that Tyler Bertuzzi clipped Philipp Grubauer in the head with an elbow right before the shot went in. Given how long it took the Caps to get going in this game, it is fair to say an early deficit would have been hard to overcome.


Killing off a full two-minute 5-on-3

Two man advantages are hard to kill. Killing off a full two-minutes at 5-on-3, that's a tall task. With the game still scoreless in the second period, T.J. Oshie and Lars Eller were both assessed penalties giving Detroit two-full minutes at 5-on-3. The Red Wings managed four shots on goal, but Washington was able to successfully kill off the penalty and keep the game scoreless.

Philipp Grubauer

There were few players who had strong efforts on Tuesday, but Grubauer was phenomenal. Even when the game felt sleepy in the first two periods, Detroit still managed 28 shots on goal, all of which were turned aside by the German netminder. When Washington finally took the lead in the third, the Red Wings woke up and began pushing the offense, but Grubauer was in the zone at that point and could not be beaten. His best save came in the third period when he stared down a breakaway from Athanasiou and extended the pad to deny the shot.


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Tarik's 3 stars: Grubauer, Caps shut down the Red Wings

Tarik's 3 stars: Grubauer, Caps shut down the Red Wings

It wasn’t pretty but the Caps eventually got what they needed in Detroit: two points.  

After a sleepy first 40 minutes, Brett Connolly scored midway through the third period and then Philipp Grubauer made sure it stood up at Little Caesars Arena, where Washington eked out a 1-0 victory Thursday over the scuffling Red Wings.


Tarik’s three stars of the game:

1-Philipp Grubauer, Capitals

For much of the game, Grubi was left to fend for himself. Good thing for the Caps he was up to the task. The German netminder, who has been one of the NHL’s top goaltenders since Thanksgiving, turned aside 39 shots, including three stops on a pivotal 5-on-3 penalty kill in the second period.

2-Brett Connolly, Capitals

The Caps didn’t get many Grade-A opportunities vs. Jimmy Howard. But Connolly buried one of the few they got…on a 2-on-0, set up by Jakub Vrana in the third period.

Connolly’s goal was his 15th of the season in his 63rd game, equaling the career-high he set a year ago in 66 contests. Vrana, meantime, has three goals and five assists since getting scratched 12 games ago.

3-Lars Eller, Capitals

Eller didn’t record a point, but he was all over the puck in Motown. The veteran center finished with a game-high six shots on net. He also had a key backcheck against Darren Helm, on a shorthanded breakaway, in the first period.

Eller was good in the dot, too, winning eight of 12 faceoffs.

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