Capitals

Haas catches Fish, faces Dolgopolov for Citi Open title

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Haas catches Fish, faces Dolgopolov for Citi Open title

In a perfect world, Tommy Haas would not even be in Washington this week. Denied a London Olympics opportunity, the last player with a win over Roger Federer is making the of his DC experience.Top seed Mardy Fish, Haas friend and Los Angeles neighbor, was the latest victim caught in the No. 4 seeds scorned wake. Haas reached his first championship in Washington with a 6-3, 7-5 victory at the Citi Open on Saturday afternoon. Alexandr Dolgopolov hopes hes not next, though the laid-back Ukrainian hardly seems stressed, like ever. Like Haas, the crafty No. 2 seed has yet to lose a set this week including a 6-4, 6-4 triumph over eighth-seeded Sam Querrey in the other semifinal at the Fitzgerald Tennis Center.The days session concluded with unseeded Magdalena Rybarikova continuing her upset-fueled tournament by defeating No. 1 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 6-1 in the womens championship match.Haas sets streak appeared in jeopardy at 4-5, 30-40 in the second against Fish, but he fended off a simultaneous break and set point. He subsequently took the game, then broke the 15th ranked player in the worlds serve, then served successfully for the match.There was just a few points (difference) here and there really, said Haas, a winner in five of his last six matches against top 15 ranked players this year. If you get a break point opportunity, like so often in many matches you try to win those big points. The majority of them went my way today.The 34-year-old Haas has appeared in three finals this year, all coming within the last 10 weeks. One ended with a pre-Wimbledon championship over Federer, who subsequently won at Wimbledon and next plays for Olympic gold on Sunday.Anytime in a final you can beat someone like Roger Federer, pretty recently, youre playing some good tennis, Fish said. No disgrace to lose to someone like that.An Olympic silver medalist in 2000, Haas desired a berth on the current German team. His country required a top-24 world ranking, which at the time Haas, who began the year 205, did not possess. That led to a decision the one-time No. 2 ranked player in the world and since 2010, also an American citizen - declared after his first round match this week, a big mistake in my eyes.Ironically, with a win in the championship against Dolgopolov, Haas rank will jump inside the top 24.Against Fish in the first set, Haas lost only two points on serve and did not commit an unforced error. ''That's obviously something that doesn't happen often in my game, because I play very aggressively at times and miss a few balls here and there,'' said Haas, now 4-1 in his career against Fish. ''But in order to beat people like Mardy Fish, you have to play at a very high level.''Fishs attempt at dictating play on set point failed when a slice backhand inadvertently turned into a drop shot, allowing Haas to recover and win the point.That was the biggest point of the match for me, said the 30-year-old Fish, who continues rounding back into shape after an extended medical absence on tour following a procedure for an irregular heartbeat.This was a great week for me to get some matches, see where I am, to build on, Fish said. Im not happy with the result today, but happy with the week.While Haas is quite familiar with his occasional LA knock around pal, hes never faced Dolgopolov, who broke the big serving Querrey in the matchs opening game. That was really important, said Dolgopolov, who will see his ranking jump from 25 to 16 next week regardless of whether he wins his second career title on Sunday. Its tough to break his serve. To start the game like that, its a lot of confidence.The 23-year-old Ukrainian with the semi-contrarian, high-risk game also ripped off 25 winners while thwarting all five of Querreys break chances.He has an awkward-style game, and it makes it tough to play against, said Querrey, whose semifinals appearance backed up his title win in Los Angeles last week.Ranked 102 entering this week, Rybarikova did not lose a set in any of her five matches, including wins over the top three ranked players in the womens draw. The Slovak drubbed Pavlyuchenkova in65 minutes en route to winning her third career title and doing so in the first year the Washington tournament, a staple on the ATP schedule, combined with the WTA Tour. NotesThe mens final is scheduled for 4 pm on SundayQuerrey and partner Kevin Anderson will play for the doubles championship at 1 pm against the team of Trent Conrad Huey and Dominic InglotNo American male has won theWashington championship since Andy Roddick in 2007.

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: On to Vegas!

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: On to Vegas!

The Capitals are the Eastern Conference Champions!

After dispatching Tampa Bay in Game 7, the Caps claimed the conference crown for just the second time in franchise history. But they're not done yet. Now it's on to Vegas to face the Golden Knights for the Stanley Cup.

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir break down the Caps' win over the Lightning and look ahead to the matchup with the Knights.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—OTA report, fans excited about young D-line

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NBC Sports Washington

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—OTA report, fans excited about young D-line

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, May 25, 62 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington

Trades, misses and mistakes explain Redskins' dead cap—This post does a good job of outlining where the Redskins’ dead cap came from. It should be noted that dead cap is a part of the cost of doing business in the NFL and the Redskins have done fairly well managing it this year. Only about a dozen teams have less dead cap on the books than the Redskins $5.2 million. 

Tandler's Take—The best- and worst-case scenarios for the 2018 Redskins—I received some comments saying that my worst-case scenario, a 6-10 finish, is not low enough. Since we’re talking about events that won’t begin to happen for about three and a half months, I can’t really argue with them. But it’s just hard for me to see them dropping more than a game from last year when they were hit harder with injuries than any other team in the NFL. 

Pre-OTAs Redskins player one-liners, defense—An extension for Matt Ioannidis seemed preposterous a year ago, now it seems like a good idea. How many sacks for Lanier? When will Ryan Anderson get his first sack? Plus offensive player one-liners here

Redskins OTA practice report—QB Alex Smith sharp—You can’t tell everything from OTAs, but you can tell some things. Taking another look at this post, I gave a good, detailed look at the session, but I didn’t really mention the overall feel, which was fun and energetic. 

Tweet of the week

Certainly, Derrius Guice is the fan favorite of the rookie class. But the great reaction to this tweet shows that there is plenty of love for Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen, last year’s top pick. 

In 2016, the starting defensive line consisted of Ricky Jean Francois, Chris Baker, and  Ziggy Hood. The top reserve was Cullen Jenkins. They all had their good qualities and made some plays. But Baker was the youngster of the group and he turned 30 during the season. It clearly was a group on the decline. 

Two years later, the picture is quite different. Payne and Allen lead a younger group that will get better over the next few years. Matt Ioannidis, Anthony Lanier, Tim Settle, and Stacy McGee should round out the group. McGee is by far the senior member of the group at age 28. None of the others have celebrated his 25thbirthday yet. 

Fans should perhaps temper their optimism with the knowledge that potential doesn’t always develop into performance. But unlike years past there is something to look forward to. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

Timeline  

Days until:

—Minicamp (6/12) 18
—Training camp starts (7/26) 62
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 76

The Redskins last played a game 145 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 107 days. 

In case you missed it

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