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Del Potro, Tipsarevic reach semifinals in Vienna

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Del Potro, Tipsarevic reach semifinals in Vienna

VIENNA (AP) Top-seeded Juan Martin del Potro and Janko Tipsarevic won in straight sets on Friday to reach the semifinals of the Erste Bank Open.

Del Potro defeated Marinko Matosevic of Australia 6-2, 6-2 to line up a match against Gilles Muller of Luxembourg. Second-seeded Tipsarevic was leading 6-2, 4-2 when Aljaz Bedene retired with a left thigh injury.

It was Del Potro's second match since returning from a right wrist injury that sidelined him for more than a month.

``I feel confident with my shots, but I need to improve a little bit,'' the eighth-ranked Argentine said. ``I would love to be in the final, but I need to serve well and find a way to break (Muller's) serve.''

Del Potro saved a break point in his opening service game against Matosevic and two more while serving for victory, but was in control throughout the match.

Earlier Friday, Muller advanced after defeating Paolo Lorenzi of Italy 6-3, 6-4. Muller had 10 aces and used one break in each set to reach his second semifinal of the year.

Bedene, playing in his first career quarterfinal, was broken at 2-2. Tipsarevic then dominated as Bedene became hampered by the injury.

Tipsarevic will play either third-seeded Tommy Haas or Grega Zemlja for a place in the final on Sunday.

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Dwight Howard ruled out for Wizards' season opener vs. Miami

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NBC Sports Washington

Dwight Howard ruled out for Wizards' season opener vs. Miami

Dwight Howard will not play in the Washington Wizards' season opener against the Miami Heat, NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller has confirmed. The news was first reported by Chris Haynes.

Ian Mahinmi will start in his place as he did for a majority of the preseason. 

Howard, an eight-time All-Star, has been dealing with a butt-injury ever since joining Washington this summer. This resulted in him missing all of the team's preseason matchups. He only has practiced with the team for a couple of days this week

Earlier on Thursday morning, Howard was listed as questionable for this matchup.

Based on his absence during the preseason and limited work with the Wizards, Howard being out is not too surprising. If he would have played it likely would have been for limited minutes off of the bench. 

Best-case for the Wizards is to rest Howard who has only missed 20 regular season games in the previous three seasons. 

Howard is not that far off from starting his 15th season in the NBA. On Wednesday Scott Brooks said that Howard will travel on the first road trip with the team to the West Coast starting on Monday. 

This story is developing and will updated as more information becomes available. 

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What’s next for Capitals' Tom Wilson?

What’s next for Capitals' Tom Wilson?

On Thursday, Tom Wilson appealed his 20-game suspension to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. So what happens now?

Wilson was suspended 20-games for a hit he delivered to St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist in the preseason. The NHLPA filed an appeal on Wilson’s behalf which led to his hearing on Thursday.

There is no specific timeline on when Bettman will issue a decision so for now, Wilson will have to wait.

When a decision is reached, he will have two options of how to proceed. First, he can accept the commissioner’s decision and serve whatever suspension remains. As of Thursday, he has currently served six games out of the original 20-game suspension.

Wilson also has the option of a second appeal. For suspensions of six games or more, a player can file a subsequent appeal to a neutral arbitrator. The arbitrator is given authority to issue a ruling based on whether the league’s finding of a violation of the rules and the penalty imposed were both supported by substantial evidence, meaning both the hit itself and the length of suspension will be reviewed.

This can be a lengthy process.

The most recent example of a player appealing to a neutral arbitrator is Nashville’s Austin Watson. He was suspended 27 games by the NHL on Sept. 12 for domestic assault. On Oct. 12 an arbitrator reduced the suspension to 18 games.

Given the serious nature of domestic assault, it should be noted that Wilson and Watson’s respective transgressions are in no way comparable. This example is used merely to illustrate how long the process can take.

Another example is that of Dennis Wideman who was suspended 20 games in 2016 for hitting and injuring a referee. His suspension was ultimately reduced to 10 games by an arbitrator, but by that time he had already served 19 games.

Wilson will remain suspended throughout the appeals process.

Obviously he would like to return to the ice as quickly as possible, but even if his appeal drags out and Wilson is forced to sit for most or all of those 20 games, he still can recoup some of the money he will forfeit from this suspension (over $1.2 million) which will make the arbitrator’s decision still relevant for him personally.

Should Wilson serve the full 20-game suspension, he will be eligible to return to play on Nov. 21 when the Caps host the Chicago Blackhawks.

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