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Murray beats Federer to reach Shanghai final

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Murray beats Federer to reach Shanghai final

SHANGHAI (AP) Two-time defending champion Andy Murray beat an erratic-serving Roger Federer in a rainy semifinal Saturday, setting up a U.S. Open final rematch against Novak Djokovic at the Shanghai Masters.

Djokovic reached his 10th final of the year by defeating fourth-seeded Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-4 in the earlier semifinal. Djokovic is looking for his fifth title of the year and second straight after winning in Beijing last week.

Federer's serve gave him so much trouble that in one stretch he double-faulted three straight times. When asked if he had done before, he said: ``It has happened, and today again. It happens, unfortunately.''

Murray broke Federer in the fifth game of the first set but then wasted seven break points in the first game of the second. The top-ranked Swiss held serve before a brief rain delay.

But Federer couldn't stave off Murray, who again broke to go up 3-2. There was one more rain delay before the U.S. Open champion served out the match.

The players left the court for about 30 minutes at 5-4 while organizers closed the eight-petal magnolia-shaped roof. When play resumed, Murray needed only five points to finish the match.

``You'll pay the price by having an average game like that against a top guy like Andy,'' Federer said.

Murray, seeded third, improved his record against Federer to 10-8. Murray won their previous match, the Olympic final in London. Federer won their Wimbledon final earlier this summer.

Federer struggled with his first serve, double-faulting five times. Federer lost his serve in the fifth game of the first set when from 0-15 he double-faulted three straight times.

``I was able to be very aggressive on his second serve,'' Murray said. ``He, maybe, slowed down his first serve a little bit so I was able to take a few more chances on his first serve.''

Djokovic recorded his tour-leading 69th victory of the year. The second-seeded Serb hit 25 winners and converted all three of his break points to improve his head-to-head record against Berdych to 10-1.

``Movement today was very important from my side, to be on a very high level so I can try to get into the longer rallies where I find more chances on my side to win the rallies,'' Djokovic said. ``(I) played tactically right. I was putting a lot of returns into the court, making a lot of pressure on his serve.''

Djokovic rushed to a 5-1 lead in the first set. When serving for the set at 5-2 he was broken for the only time in the 1 hour, 25 minute match. In the second set, Djokovic broke the Czech's serve in the third game.

``I need to give credit to Novak. He started really like a champion,'' Berdych said. ``He started really, really great, and didn't give me a chance at all.''

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Breaking down the Wizards' 2018 draft class

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Breaking down the Wizards' 2018 draft class

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller analyze the Wizards' two picks the night of the draft.

They went in-depth on first round pick Troy Brown, Jr. and why the Wizards took him when some big names were still on the board. They also broke down why the Wizards chose to pick a draft-and-stash guy in the second round.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

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Ernie Grunfeld uses second round pick on draft-and-stash prospect Issuf Sanon

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USA Today Sports

Ernie Grunfeld uses second round pick on draft-and-stash prospect Issuf Sanon

The Washington Wizards selected international prospect Issuf Sanon with the 44th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft on Thursday night.

Like Wizards first round pick Troy Brown, Sanon is just 18 years old and does not turn 19 until Oct. 30. President of basketball operations Ernie Grunfeld said that Sanon is a draft-and-stash prospect and will play at least the following year for Olimpija, a professional team in Slovenia.

Here’s what you need to know about Sanon:

Height: 6-4

Weight: 172

2017-18 stats: 20.5 mpg, 6.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.2 spg, 0.2 bpg, 42.9 FG%, 28.3 3PT%, 50 FT%

*Sanon is a defensive-minded combo guard that is not expected to be ready for the next few years. However, he thrived defensively, allowing just 0.471 points per isolation possession, according to the NBA. That ranks in the 92nd percentile. In the past two seasons in Ukraine’s second division, Sanon averaged 4.6 steals per game.

*While playing in the 2017 U-18 Euros for the Ukrainian National team last summer, Sanon broke out, averaging 19.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 3.4 steals per game. 

*During the middle of the 2017-18 season, Sanon changed teams. He moved from Ukraine’s Dnipro to the more competitive Olimpija in Slovenia.

*The biggest area of improvement for Sanon is developing his offensive game further. While he is just 18 and very raw, Sanon’s numbers have dipped since his move to Olimpija, especially shooting wise. Sanon’s strength comes in transition and his 6-4 frame helps him when slashing to the rim.

*Though he will not play for the Wizards anytime soon, he will come to the United States and play on the Wizards’ Summer League team.