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Novak Djokovic into 3rd round at Shanghai Masters

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Novak Djokovic into 3rd round at Shanghai Masters

SHANGHAI (AP) Novak Djokovic advanced to the third round of the Shanghai Masters by beating Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 6-3, 6-2 Wednesday.

The second-seeded Djokovic won the China Open in Beijing last week for his fourth title of the year and 32nd of his career. He has won 66 matches this season, the most of any player on tour.

Djokovic didn't give Dimitrov a break-point opportunity and never lost more than one point in any service game. He also served four games at love.

``Very pleased with my serving in Beijing and obviously the first match today,'' Djokovic said. ``So that's something that I've been working on, obviously. Relying on the serve in today's tennis is a big advantage. So I try to get as many free points as possible. It helped me a lot to defeat my opponent.''

If Djokovic wins in Shanghai and Roger Federer loses before the quarterfinals, the Serb would reclaim the No. 1 ranking next week.

U.S. Open champion Andy Murray advanced to the third round in a walkover Wednesday after Florian Mayer of Germany withdrew because of a rib injury.

``I went to the gym this morning in the hotel, and he was in the gym at the same time,'' Murray said. ``I didn't know until 15, 20 minutes ago.''

Murray is the two-time defending champion at the tournament with a 9-0 record after winning finals against David Ferrer last year and Federer in 2010. The third-ranked Briton also won the Olympic gold medal at the London Games and a title in Brisbane title earlier this year.

Fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Benoit Paire 7-6 (7), 7-5 in an all-French match.

For the second straight day at the tournament, a match went to three tiebreaker sets. Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus upset 12th-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3).

Sam Querrey of the United States came from behind to beat 14th-seeded Kei Nishikori 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 in another second-round match.

Nishikori sought a medical timeout for a right ankle he injured last week.

``It's disappointing, but I was close to a win even with this injury,'' Nishikori said.

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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. 

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