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Nishikori beats Raonic to win Japan Open

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Nishikori beats Raonic to win Japan Open

TOKYO (AP) Eighth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan beat Milos Raonic of Canada 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-0 on Sunday to win the Japan Open.

The 22-year-old Nishikori won his second career ATP tour title and first in more than four years.

Nishikori, ranked No. 17, thrilled the home crowd by defeating the sixth-seeded Raonic in front of a packed house.

He lost just two games on serve against Raonic, who lacked the spark he showed Saturday when he ousted top-seeded Andy Murray in the semifinals. Raonic was undone by unforced errors in the loss.

``To have won this tournament in Japan is a very happy occasion for me,'' Nishikori said. ``I made an effort to approach today's match as the challenger.''

Nishikori, a native of Shimane Prefecture in southern Japan, is the first Japanese player to win the tournament in its 41-year history.

Nishikori broke Raonic to go up 2-0 in the final set with a nice backhand down the line. His confidence growing, Nishikori began coming to the net more frequently.

After holding serve to lead 3-0, Nishikori rifled a two-handed backhand down the line to break for 4-0 and went on to close it out 6-0 with one more break.

``I wish I could have started off serving better,'' Raonic said. ``He was reading my serve really well from the beginning and that usually doesn't happen. I didn't create the opportunities and go for it like the previous two days.''

Nishikori broke Raonic in the second game of the opening set, only the second time in 44 games in the tournament that Raonic dropped a game on serve. But Raonic later broke back and eventually forced a tiebreaker.

Nishikori squandered two set points at 6-5.

Raonic went up 3-0 in the tiebreaker, but Nishikori won seven of the next nine points to clinch the set. Raonic struggled with his backhand returns and sent one long to end the tiebreaker.

Raonic found his rhythm in the second set and began to serve better, hitting eight aces, just as Nishikori appeared to tire.

Nishikori's previous victory on the ATP tour came in Delray Beach, Fla., in February 2008 when he was just 18.

Raonic had won two tournaments this year, in Chennai, India, and San Jose, Calif.

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Video of Michal Kempny doing bleacher runs reminds us that there is no offseason for the Capitals

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NBC Sports Washington

Video of Michal Kempny doing bleacher runs reminds us that there is no offseason for the Capitals

There apparently is no offseason for Michal Kempny this year, especially after tearing his left hamstring this past season. 

At the Caps MedStar IcePlex, Kempny was seen putting in work doing bleacher runs on Tuesday. 

His hamstring looks great.

Thank goodness he is inside because the temperature outside has not been conducive to doing bleacher runs. 

The Caps defenseman suffered a lower-body hamstring injury on March 20 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tearing the hamstring forced him to have surgery and miss the remainder of the season. 

His absence was clearly missed for the Caps in their playoff matchup against the Carolina Hurricanes. Before the injury, he scored six goals and recorded 19 assists in 71 games for the Capitals. 

Now, just to see him return to the ice.

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Trea Turner hits for cycle against Rockies for the second time in his career

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USA Today

Trea Turner hits for cycle against Rockies for the second time in his career

For the second time in his career, Trea Turner has hit for the cycle against the Rockies. This time, he did it in Nats Park. 

Turner started his day in the first inning with a solo shot to left-center to open the scoring for the Nationals. A fortunate bounce yielded an infield single in the second inning, and he smashed a liner into the right-field corner in the fifth. A double for most players, Turner's trademark speed enabled him to stretch it into a triple.

With a comfortable 8-0 lead in the seventh, Turner sent a 98 mph fastball into the gap in right-center field, completing the cycle and capping off an incredible night for the Nats. 

Turner is the fourth player to hit for the cycle this season, and the 27th since 1908 to do it multiple times in his career