Upsetting start for seeded women at Citi Open


Upsetting start for seeded women at Citi Open

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Third-seeded Sloane Stephens of the United States survived a three-set opening match against Bulgaria's Sesil Karatantcheva 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 in the first round of the Citi Open on Monday.

Second-seeded Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa and fifth-seeded Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic were not so lucky.

American Brian Baker, a shock participant in the round of 16 at Wimbledon earlier this year, dropped the final two sets to Frenchman Florent Serra and was eliminated, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the men's tournament.

Scheepers, ranked No. 42 in the world, fell 6-2, 6-1 to Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia. Zahlavova Strycova was beaten by Romania's Edina Gallovits-Hall, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.

After losing the final three games of the second set, including two on her own serve, Stephens opened the third by breaking Karatantcheva twice for a 3-0 lead. The 19-year-old American, who reached the fourth round at the French Open and the third round at Wimbledon this year, tacked on two more breaks of serve to advance.

No. 7 seed Coco Vandeweghe of the United States avoided an upset by defeating Erika Sema of Japan 6-4, 6-1. Eighth-seeded Olga Govortsova topped Karolina Pliskova 6-2, 6-2, and Leonardo Mayer beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-6 (5), 7-6 (8) to advance to the second round.

The Washington tournament, a staple on the ATP schedule, is combining with the WTA Tour for the first time.

Mardy Fish, the top-seeded men's player, is scheduled to play his opening match on Tuesday.

Fish, the No. 13 ranked player, skipped the Olympics after missing several weeks on tour earlier this year following a procedure to correct a heart problem.

Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova is the top seed in the women's draw.

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Tarik's 3 Stars: Wilson and Backstrom shine in Caps 3rd straight win

Tarik's 3 Stars: Wilson and Backstrom shine in Caps 3rd straight win

Tom Wilson scored twice, Nicklas Backstrom recorded four helpers and the assistant coaches chipped in with a big assist in Montreal, where the Caps earned a 6-4 victory over the Canadiens on Saturday night.

The win was Washington’s third in a row and seventh in eight games as they close in on another Metro Division title. Caps Coach Barry Trotz, meantime, claimed victory No. 200 in Washington; his next win will equal Bruce Boudreau for second all-time in franchise history.

Tarik’s three stars of the game:

1-Tom Wilson, Capitals

Wilson’s all-around game continues to blossom…and the Caps’ big winger continues to fill up the scoresheet. At Bell Centre, he scored back-to-back goals less than four minutes apart in the first period to put the Caps in command. Wilson also missed an empty net in the closing seconds by just a few inches. The soon-to-be 24-year-old now has 13 goals—six more than his previous career high.  

2-Nicklas Backstrom, Capitals

Backstrom notched four assists and, as usual, he did it quietly. And they weren’t cheapies—three of the four helpers were of the primary variety. Backstrom, who has four goals and 12 assists in his last 12 games, has now notched four or more points 20 times in his career. It was also his 11th-career four assist game.

3-Leonhardt and Ohashi, Capitals

That’s right, I’m giving the third star to assistant coaches Brett ‘Stretch’ Leonhardt and Tim Ohashi. They quickly spotted that the Habs were offside on their second goal. And, after a coach’s challenge, the refs agreed. Instead of 2-0, it remained 1-0 and the Caps took full advantage of their second chance, scoring the game’s next four goals.

Agree? Disagree? Tell us what you think in the comments.

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Growing rumors that Redskins will land Pernell McPhee

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Growing rumors that Redskins will land Pernell McPhee

Every team in the NFL would love to add to their pass rush, and the Redskins are no exception. The team withdrew its contract offer to Junior Galette, spurring rumors that they were looking elsewhere.

The Redskins recently had linebacker Pernell McPhee in for a visit, and rumors are swirling that the former Bear is close to joining the Burgundy and Gold.

Nothing has been confirmed, but if McPhee does come to Washington, it would be in the hopes that he can provide a boost to the team's pass rush. The linebacker has proven himself capable of getting to the quarterback in his seven seasons in the NFL, recording 31.0 sacks in his career, with 21.5 of those coming in the last four years. He's also forced at least one fumble in each of the past five seasons.

Playing in the DMV again would mark a homecoming of sorts for McPhee, who played in Baltimore for 4 seasons after being drafted by the Ravens in the 5th round of the 2011 draft before signing in Chicago as a free agent.