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Li Na advances at Sydney International

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Li Na advances at Sydney International

SYDNEY (AP) Former champion Li Na advanced to the second round of the Sydney International with a 7-6 (2), 7-5 win over Christina McHale on Monday, and Sam Stosur extended her miserable start to 2013 with another first-round loss.

The fourth-seeded Li, who won the Shenzhen Open last week, started her breakthrough 2011 season with a title in Sydney before reaching her first Grand Slam final at the Australian Open, then winning her first major at Roland Garros. She has slipped slightly in the rankings but is coming back to conditions that suit her in Australia.

The 30-year-old Chinese player will next meet Japanese qualifier Ayumi Morita, who ousted Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.

The ninth-ranked Stosur lost 6-3, 6-7 (7), 6-4 to Zheng Jie of China, her fifth loss in as many matches on Australian soil dating to last season.

The 2011 U.S. Open champion will head to the season's first major at Melbourne Park next week with only two matches since minor ankle surgery six weeks ago.

In another upset result, American teenager Madison Keys defeated 17th-ranked Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-1.

Former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic beat Tamira Paszek 6-2, 7-6 (5) to set up a showdown with unseeded Italian veteran Roberta Vinci, who upset eighth-seeded Nadia Petrova 7-5, 7-5.

French Open finalist Sara Errani advanced 6-1, 6-3 over Czech qualifier Karolina Pliskova and will go into a second-round match against Maria Kirilenko of Russia, a 7-5, 6-2 winner over Australian wild-card Olivia Rogowska.

In other first-round matches, 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan beat Casey Dellacqua of Australia 6-4, 6-1 and former U.S. Open and French Open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova downed Julia Goerges of Germany 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to continue her comeback from a knee injury that marred her 2012 season.

In men's matches, fifth-seeded Florian Mayer of Germany beat Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-1, 6-2, No. 8 Marcel Granollers of Spain had a 5-7, 7-5, 6-1 win over Matthew Ebden of Australia and Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan defeated Australian qualifier James Duckworth 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-6(3).

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Stanley Cup Final 2018: Who could win the Conn Smythe Trophy?

Stanley Cup Final 2018: Who could win the Conn Smythe Trophy?

The Stanley Cup is not the only trophy that will be awarded at the end of the Stanley Cup Final series between the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights. The Conn Smythe will also be given to the player deemed the most valuable to his team during the playoffs.

Who will that player be?

It's not hard to figure out who the frontrunner is right now. Marc-Andre Fleury hasn't just been the best goalie in the playoffs, he's been the best player with a dominant postseason in which he has posted a .947 save percentage and four shutouts. He has been so dominant, he could win it even if Vegas loses the series.

See the top contenders for the Conn Smythe heading into the Stanley Cup Final here.

The last player from the losing team to win the Conn Smythe was Jean-Sebastian Giguere from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 2003.

But what about the Caps?

Alex Ovechkin is the leader of Washington and has been absolutely dominant throughout the postseason. He even scored the series-clinching goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Surprisingly, however, Ovechkin does not lead the team in points through the playoffs. Evgeny Kuznetsov holds that edge with 24 points to Ovechkin's 22.

Will their offensive dominance propel them to win the Cup and the Conn Smythe? Will a different player emerge as the hero of the series?

See the top contenders for the Conn Smythe heading into the Stanley Cup Final here.

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Las Vegas changes iconic welcome sign to include no capital letters

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Twitter/City of Las Vegas

Las Vegas changes iconic welcome sign to include no capital letters

The Washington Capitals official #ALLCAPS hashtag started in 2017 during a Caps-Penguins game after the Pittsburgh Penguins' official Twitter account decided to tweet in all lowercase letters during the game. 

Now, as the Caps look to face the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final ahead of Game 1 Monday, Vegas has followed suit by changing their iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign to include only lowercase letters, a jab at the Capitals #ALLCAPS.

Additionally, the City's official Twitter account has changed their handle to "the city of las vegas" without any capital letters and the hashtag #nocaps.

It will be interesting to see how the Capitals' official Twitter will respond...

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