Raise your hand if your take on American female tennis essentially begins and ends with Venus and Serena Williams.Vania King says dont believe the hype. Coco Vandeweghe scoffs at the notion of there being no young American women coming up the ranks.Now, raise your hand if youre unfamiliar with Vania King and Coco Vandeweghe. The simple answer is the pair rank among the top 100 players on tour yet many have never heard of them. The precise reply for this weekis the No. 4 and 7 seeds respectively at the Citi Open. After both pulled of straight sets on Wednesday, their diverse styles are set for a stars and stripes clashin Thursday's quarterfinals. The slugging and brash Vandeweghe, seeded for the first time on tour, dismissed her second straight opponent. Brimming with confidence after reaching her first WTA final at Stanford last month where she lost to Serena Williams Vandeweghe boldly downed Aravane Rezai 6-2, 6-2.King positions herself on the court with a defensive-minded presence, though she mixed enough winners to down fellow American Irina Falconi 6-2, 7-6 (5). Another American, Sloane Stephens,reached the quarterfinal round on Tuesday. She will play 18-year-old Canadian Eugenie Bouchard on Thursday following the second round match between men's top seedMardy Fish and Ricardas Berankis.King, atwo-time grand slam doubles champion, also went on the offensive in the post match press conference. A reporter asked whether there being three Americans this deep in the tournament with none being part of that famed sister act ran counter to the public perception of womens tennis in the U.S.I dont think the publics perception is (its only) Venus and Serena, said King, whose lone singles title came as a 16-year-old in 2006. I think thats the medias perception. I think the media groups tennis in the United States as if youre not in the top 10 or if you havent multiple grand slams than youre not a good player.If you go to any other sport in the states, people are known for being top 200, top 300...Its no small feat to be the best 100 in the world. Vandeweghe received a similar query about there being a trio of red, white and blue-ers left in the womens draw.I think its great that were all in the quarters, said the 21-year-old and one of nine Americans inside the WTAs top 100 rankings. Vandeweghe jumped from 120 to 69 after her effort at Stanford. "It's great to have all these Americans inside the top 100. With all the talk about, 'No good Americans coming up,' we've got a lot of young girls and I think we're all doing well individually and doing different things very well."Vandeweghe speaks as she plays: bold and direct. Case in point, analysis of her win over Rezai.My serve definitely shook her confidence, also with me beating her in the groundstroke rallies, said Vandeweghe, who never lost a service game and smacked 11 aces. Both those things just kind of depleted her confidence and that definitely raised my game to see that in an opponent.Truth is whatever former NBA star Kiki Vandeweghes niece lacks in terms of championship winning hardware, she makes up for with the rigid belief that any time could be her time.I didnt really have plans on going to the finals in Stamford, but going into a tournament youre always thinking about winning the tournament, beating everybody, Vandeweghe said. Otherwise, there is no real point and showing up and playing.Next time Vandeweghe shows up to play, King will be on the other side of the net. The 2010 Wimbledon and U.S. Open double champion anticipates matchup will play fast and display their contrasting methods.We dont play very similar, King said.The winner could face top seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the semifinals, though the Russian struggled in her three-set victory on Wednesday. While a title win in D.C. may not adjust their Q ratings with the general public the WTA side of the event is not among the prominent stops on tour King and Vandeweghe have a chance for a much desired title run and generating additional momentum before the U.S. Open.Its what you do with your opportunities, how you take advantage of them, Vandeweghe said. NotesJames Blake, fourth-seeded Tommy Haas and No. 2 Alexandr Dolgopolov all advanced to the third round with straight-set victoriesBouchard upset No. 8 Olga Govortsova in three sets.
A week by week look at where the race for the major individual NHL awards stands and which Caps could be in contention.
There is not much movement from the Caps on the Awards Tracker this week because of the bye week. It's time to reset and look at which players could make a second-half run at some hardware this season.
In contention for: Norris
All-Star snub aside, you cannot deny the impact Carlson has had on this team this year. He is fifth in the NHL in ice time per game and second among all defensemen in points with 35. His play on both the offensive and defensive end of the ice should have him on the shortlist of Norris candidates, even if he's not among the top three just yet.
In contention for: Vezina
Yes, Holtby’s GAA and save percentage are not as good as in previous years, but he is excelling at perhaps the most important stat of all: Wins. Holtby sits second in the league in wins with 24. Of all the goalies ranked in the top ten for wins this season, only one, Pekka Rinne, has played in fewer games than Holtby's 34.
In contention for: Hart
Alex Ovechkin, for the moment, leads all players in goals with 28 and he is doing it at the age of 32. What's more, he is the best player on a team sitting in first place in the competitive Metropolitan Division, a place not many expected the Caps to be in this season.
In contention for: Jack Adams
There's no question over who is getting the most out of his talent and that is Gerard Gallant in Vegas. But a reasonable argument could be made to say Barry Trotz is doing his best coaching job in Washington this season with the Caps in first place int he division. Given all the uncertainty over this team when the season started, the fact he has gotten them to this point should at least put him in consideration.
What: Washington Capitals vs. Montreal Canadiens
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
When: 7:30 p.m. ET
How to Watch: Capitals-Canadiens will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)
Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Canadiens game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.
You can also stream the game online with no cable TV subscription on fuboTV (try for free!).
WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-CANADIENS GAME?
The Capitals (28-14-4) take on the Canadiens (18-21-6) Friday, January 19 at 7:30 p.m. ET in Washington.
WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-CANADIENS GAME ON?
The Capitals-Canadiens game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:30 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 7:00 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:30 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:30 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)
6:30 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
7:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:30 p.m. — Capitals vs. Canadiens
10:00 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:30 p.m. — Caps in 30
WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-CANADIENS GAME?
The Capitals-Canadiens game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.
The game is also available to stream, along with all the pregame and postgame shows, on fuboTV (try for free).
CAPITALS-CANADIENS OPEN THREAD
Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans.
For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.