Capitals

Gasquet tops Davydenko, wins Qatar Open

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Gasquet tops Davydenko, wins Qatar Open

DOHA, Qatar (AP) Richard Gasquet won the Qatar Open for his eight career title on Saturday, coming from a set down to beat Nikolay Davydenko 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3.

Having pulled out of the Sydney tournament because of elbow trouble, Gasquet said he will be ready for the Australian Open. The win in Qatar will give him a much-needed boost.

``I'm really happy with the way I won,'' he said. ``I'm confident. When you're winning a tournament like that, it's perfect. I played a lot, so for sure I will be ready for Melbourne.''

Davydenko, who struggled with injuries last season, called for the trainer early in the third set for treatment on his hip. In the end, Davydenko blamed his conditioning for the defeat.

``He beat me physically,'' he said. ``He runs very well.''

Davydenko led 3-0 in the first set against the 10th-ranked Gasquet, hitting a slew of forehand and backhand winners that kept Gasquet well beyond the baseline and helped neutralize his net play.

In the second set, the 44th-ranked Davydenko saved three break points early and broke Gasquet for 3-2 and had two break chances to go up 4-2. But Gasquet saved them to close to 4-3 and broke to tie it. The set went to a tiebreak and Gasquet outplayed a clearly fatigued Davydenko, who started racking up the unforced errors and losing control of his serve.

In the opening game of the third, Davydenko received about 10 minutes of hip treatment, but was no match for Gasquet. Davydenko broke back to make it 5-3 but the Frenchman broke for a third time when the Russian hit a backhand into the net - his 57th unforced error of the match.

``It's a big success for me,'' Gasquet told the crowd, which included French expatriates. ``I fought a lot because it was very tough and we were both tired. He is so talented and he plays so fast. It was tough for my game, but I managed to win. A lot of good players have won here, Federer, Murray.''

Davydenko said the turning point came down to the second set when he failed to convert the two break points that would have put him up 5-2.

``It was maybe was the time where I can say I can win the match,'' Davydenko said. ``But, you know, it's the game. I start to be tired a little bit in the beginning of the second set. Was not so easy. For sure I was thinking 4-3 for me, I can do 5-3 ... But I know I already have no power for tiebreak.''

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Capitals' victory celebration halted as a win suddenly turns into a loss

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Capitals' victory celebration halted as a win suddenly turns into a loss

WASHINGTON — The Capitals bounced up and down in celebration. They yelled. They screamed. They lost. 

Call it the win that wasn’t. Washington stole two points from the Arizona Coyotes on Monday night at Capital One Arena when T.J. Oshie scored in overtime. The up-and-down first two periods, all those big saves from Coyotes goalie Antti Raanta, a 3-0 deficit, all erased as the crowd roared and the players exalted. 

But old baseball writers have a term for what happened next: “Or so it seemed.” 

It’s the perfect phrase to describe a story that’s been written and now has to be deleted: You’re on deadline. One team is about to close out a win. Just waiting to hit send on the story. Then someone walks and then there’s a bloop hit and, oh my god did the third baseman just throw the ball into left field? Suddenly what seemed certain no longer is. Time to rewrite. 

That’s where the Capitals were when Oshie’s apparent game-winner was overturned on replay. Teammate Lars Eller had actually slipped and entered the offensive zone too soon. The play was deemed offside. 

“A bit of a buzzkill there,” Capitals forward Tom Wilson said. 

Somewhere, a guy sprinted from his seat after Oshie’s goal and was halfway to the Metro before they announced the goal didn’t count. Hopefully he finds out what happened. If not, then he’s going to be confused when the ticker says it was a 4-3 shootout loss. 

“Like coming back from the dead,” said Arizona coach Rick Tocchet.

Dmitry Orlov knocked Coyotes winger Clayton Keller off the puck a little over two minutes into 3-on-3 overtime. Orlov found Oshie streaking toward the middle of the ice, he gave it to Eller, who lost his balance, but pulled up inside the blueline when the linesman ruled he was onside and passed to Oshie.

 Arizona defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, one of the NHL’s best skaters, had no chance after an Oshie head fake. Neither did Raanta. Oshie went down to one knee in the slot and ripped the shot home. The crowd exploded. The Capitals poured off the bench to celebrate. The Coyotes skated off the ice. Washington had won. 

Or so it seemed. The Coyotes coaching staff started looking at the play on the tablets kept on the bench. Players started pointing up at the scoreboard, which was replaying the goal. Then the officials made their way over to the scorers’ box and referee Jake Brenk held out his hand. Linesman Darren Gibbs put the headset on to talk with the video review officials in Toronto. The Capitals figured their work might not be done.  

After a review that took almost four minutes, officials in Toronto decided Eller really was offsides. Halt the celebration. The game wasn’t over yet. It would be only after Arizona won in the shootout. The Capitals would settle for one hard-earned point, instead of two and that was probably a just result.    

“That was unfortunate, because it was a great move and it's a goal. But T.J. is pretty on top of things,” Capitals coach Todd Reirden said. “He had a strong feeling it was gonna be offside."

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Brandon Scherff could very well ask for a contract that tops the one Brandon Brooks just signed

Brandon Scherff could very well ask for a contract that tops the one Brandon Brooks just signed

On Monday, one Brandon in the NFL signed a deal that another Brandon in the NFL absolutely noticed.

The first Brandon is Brandon Brooks, a guard whom the Eagles gave a four-year contract extension worth just more than $56 million that'll kick in starting in 2021. His current agreement with Philadelphia runs until 2020 and carries remaining base salaries of $8 million and $7.5 million.

The second Brandon is Brandon Scherff, also a guard and one who's scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in a few months. If Scherff truly gets a chance to negotiate with the Redskins or on the open market, he'll likely look for something very close to or even exceeding the numbers Brooks got from Philly.

Brooks' extension has a $14.05 million annual value, which slots just ahead of the Cowboys' Zach Martin when it comes to the highest-paid guards in the sport. Scherff absolutely deserves to ink something that puts him right next to those players, if not ahead of Brooks and all others at the position.

One thing that works in No. 75's favor is his age. Scherff is about to turn 28 years old. Brooks, meanwhile, is already 30. Washington's lineman should have plenty of productive campaigns in his future, wherever that future is. 

Another interesting similarity between Brooks and Scherff is their durability. Both have have returned from a significant injury they suffered in 2018 — Scherff tore his pectoral, while Brooks tore his Achilles — that look like outliers in otherwise reliable careers.  

Scherff is certainly in the same realm when it comes to talent and production as Brooks, too. They've each earned two Pro Bowl nods, and while Brooks may be thought of as the best guard in the league, Scherff isn't far behind.

Plus, as anyone who's followed NFL contracts this decade knows, it often doesn't really matter if the next elite guy to sign is truly better, it just matters that he's elite and he's next to sign.

Those are all factors Scherff could point to when it's time for him to cash in. When will that time come, though?

The Burgundy and Gold, who reportedly offered Scherff an extension worth $13 million a year this past September that didn't really do much for the 2015 first-rounder, could franchise tag him if they want. That move, of course, would be profitable for Scherff but limit his ability to negotiate. 

Now, whether the Redskins go that route or give him something more stable, it's hard to imagine them letting him get away. Trent Williams will very likely never suit up for Washington again, and having to roll out an offensive line in 2020 without Williams and Scherff would be a very unfortunate situation.

Scherff, however, will likely make the organization pay up to ensure that doesn't happen. He said in October he hopes to be a Redskin until he retires, but it doesn't appear he'll do that on a discount. With the way he's played and how his peers are being compensated, he shouldn't have to, either.

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