Capitals

Polish qualifier Janowicz into Paris Masters semis

201211021018371383898-p2.jpeg

Polish qualifier Janowicz into Paris Masters semis

PARIS (AP) Polish qualifier Jerzy Janowicz kept his great run going at the Paris Masters on Friday, advancing to the semifinals when a dizzy and fatigued Janko Tipsarevic stopped playing.

Fourth-seeded David Ferrer of Spain moved closer to his first Masters title after beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 6-2, 7-5. Ferrer's semifinal opponent will be Frenchman Michael Llodra, who beat American Sam Querrey 7-6 (4), 6-3.

The 69th-ranked Janowicz faces Gilles Simon in the semifinals. The Frenchman beat fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4. Janowicz understands the challenge of playing Simon before a Paris crowd.

``Mentally, I'm a really tough guy,'' Janowicz said. ``I remember in my match against Andy Murray in Great Britain during Davis Cup three years ago, whole crowd was against me, over 5,000 people. I didn't really care.''

Llodra thinks that Ferrer, who won their two previous meetings - on hard courts - has more pressure to win.

``Well, if you see the draw, he is now the favorite. But anything can happen,'' Llodra said. ``His coach must think, you know, if you don't take this particular opportunity, it will be a shame.''

Ferrer did not face a break point against Tsonga, the 2008 champion, breaking him three times in the match. Tsonga, seeded sixth, saved two match points before hitting a forehand wide.

Janowicz was leading 3-6, 6-1, 4-1 against the eighth-seeded Tipsarevic. Janowicz saved one match point in his third-round win against Murray on Thursday and had broken Tipsarevic for the second time in the third set when the Serb called for a trainer.

Tipsarevic continued for a few moments, and Janowicz was 40-0 up on his serve when Tipsarevic waved his racket to indicate he was stopping, drawing jeers from the crowd at the Bercy indoor arena. There were huge cheers for the 21-year-old Janowicz.

``It's really not easy for me to realize actually what is going on in my life right now,'' Janowicz said. ``I did something magical. I just played really like I can put every single ball in, and I'm in semifinal ... my family was crying after yesterday's match and after today's match.''

Organizers said that Tipsarevic, who qualified Thursday for the season-ending World Tour Finals in London next week, started feeling fatigued at the end of the first set.

``I didn't realize there is something wrong with him,'' Janowicz said. ``He was basically playing the same tennis like in the first set ... maybe he was dizzy or had headache or whatever.''

Janowicz explained that his grit partly comes from a difficult childhood.

``I was bad boy at the school. High school I was fighting with everyone, with teachers. I was really bad guy,'' he said. ``It's really not easy for me to explain why I'm that kind of guy, why, for example, yesterday I played against Andy Murray and I didn't feel pressure at all.''

Janowicz, who was playing in Futures tournaments at the start of the year and is still struggling for sponsorship at home. He has beaten four players ranked in the top 20 on his way to the last four - Philipp Kohlschreiber (19) Marin Cilic (15), Murray (3) and now Tipsarevic (9). Simon is ranked 20th.

``Maybe because of this win I will get some bigger sponsor,'' said Janowicz, adding that he has been on every Polish television channel since beating Murray. ``This year I didn't go to Australian Open because I just didn't have money.''

He slept little after the Murray win, and expects to be up until the early hours again following his latest upset.

``It doesn't matter if I sleep. I don't eat,'' Janowicz said. ``Right now I'm playing best tennis of my life.''

Janowicz picked up his form in the second set, breaking Tipsarevic twice. The 21-year-old did not face a single breakpoint, and held to love on his service game to level the match.

Tipsarevic double-faulted twice in losing the third game of the third set and Janowicz then held to love with an ace on his second serve to open up a 3-1 lead. He broke Tipsarevic again with a booming forehand winner for 4-1.

---

Jerome Pugmire can be reached athttp://twitter.com/jeromepugmire

Quick Links

Capitals deal Philipp Grubauer and Brooks Orpik ahead of the draft

grubauertrade16x9done62218.png
NBC Sports Washington

Capitals deal Philipp Grubauer and Brooks Orpik ahead of the draft

DALLAS—The Capitals have dealt backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer and veteran defenseman Brooks Orpik to Colorado for a second round pick, the team announced shortly before the NHL Draft kicked off Friday at American Airlines Center.

After the moves, the Caps had more than $21 million in space under the salary cap ceiling, according to www.capfriendly.com, and potentially enough room to accommodate new contracts for John Carlson and other key free agents.

GM Brian MacLellan was widely expected to deal Grubauer, a 26-year-old who wanted the opportunity to be a No. 1. As a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who was also coming off a strong season, Grubauer was due a significant raise.

“We would like to thank Brooks and Philipp for all of their contributions to our organization,” MacLellan said in a statement. “Philipp has been a consummate professional and a great teammate and we wish him all the best.”

Trading Orpik, on the other hand, was a bit unexpected, particularly considering how much the 37-year-old’s rugged play and leadership meant to the Caps during their run to the Stanley Cup.

By dealing Orpik, MacLellan shed his $5.5 million cap hit for next season—an important development given the Caps’ tight salary cap situation and the number of key players who need new contracts. Carlson, Michal Kempny and Jakub Jerabek are unrestricted free agents, while Tom Wilson, Devante Smith-Pelly, Travis Boyd and Madison Bowey are restricted free agents.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Avalanche are expected to help Orpik land a preferred spot, whether via trade or buyout. By taking on Orpik in the deal, Friedman reported, the Avs only had to give up one pick.

“Brooks,” MacLellan continued, “was a great leader and a tremendous role model for our young players in his four years with our organization. This was a difficult move, but the one we felt we needed to make in order to give some flexibility moving forward.”

Will moving out Grubauer and eliminating Orpik’s cap charge allow MacLellan to ink Carlson, who's set to become the top defenseman on the free agent market? That’s unclear, but it will sure help the Caps’ cause. Carlson is expected to command an extension in the eight-year, $8 million per neighborhood. 

Dealing Orpik also opens up a spot for a young and inexpensive defenseman such as Christian Djoos or Madison Bowey to take on a bigger role in 2018-19.

Without Grubauer, the Caps are likely to turn to Pheonix Copley, who is due to earn the NHL minimum of $650,000 next season, as their backup next season. And if Copley starts the year in Washington, that allows 2015 first round pick Ilya Samsonov to take the reins in Hershey.

The second round pick the Caps received in exchange for Grubauer and Orpik is the 47th overall selection.

MacLellan is expected to speak to reporters following the first round later Friday night. The Caps currently hold the 31st overall pick.

MORE CAPITALS NEWS:

Quick Links

Bryce Harper will compete in Home Run Derby, but only on one condition

bryce-harper-usat.jpg
USA Today Sports

Bryce Harper will compete in Home Run Derby, but only on one condition

It’s happening.

When the 2018 All-Star Weekend comes to Washington, D.C. in the middle of July, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper will compete in the 2018 Home Run Derby, but only on one condition: He has to be a member of the 2018 National League All-Star Team.

Though Harper is having a down year, only hitting .213 thus far, he leads the NL in home runs with 19.

In the June 18 update of All-Star game voting, Harper sat second among all outfielders with just north of 1,000,000 votes.

That means he’s not only going to make the All-Star team, but he’ll likely start in the outfield.

Harper, a five-time All-Star, competed in the Home Run Derby once before. He was the runner-up to Yoenis Cespedes in 2013, losing by just one long ball, 9-8.

The 2018 Home Run Derby will take place on July 16 at Nationals Park.

MORE NATS NEWS: