Capitals

Wozniacki to play Stosur for Kremlin Cup title

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Wozniacki to play Stosur for Kremlin Cup title

MOSCOW (AP) Caroline Wozniacki and Samantha Stosur both earned three-set victories on Saturday to reach the final of the Kremlin Cup.

Wozniacki advanced to her third final of the season by beating Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-4, while Stosur rallied past former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Stosur has a 3-2 record against Wozniacki, winning their last two matches.

In a match with 18 breaks of serve, the third-seeded Wozniacki won five consecutive games against Arvidsson to take the first set. Both players then struggled with their serves for the rest of the match.

The 11th-ranked Dane was serving for the match at 6-5 in the second set but was broken. Wozniacki was broken again while serving for the match at 5-3 in the third but finally clinched the victory when the 46th-ranked Swede netted a backhand in the 10th game.

``I was really fighting out there,'' Wozniacki said. ``It's tough on this surface to finish off the point. This surface suits her game much more than mine and she could get lots of balls. Besides, she was playing really good this week. I'm just happy to make it to the final.''

Ivanovic won four consecutive games in the first set but Stosur broke in the eighth game of the second to stay in the match. She then made a decisive break in the seventh game of the decider and sealed the victory on her first match point with a backhand down the line.

Later Saturday in the men's semifinals, Malek Jaziri was scheduled to play second-seeded Andreas Seppi of Italy, while Croatian veteran Ivo Karlovic was to play fourth-seeded Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci.

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Capitals deal Philipp Grubauer and Brooks Orpik ahead of the draft

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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.

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

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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.

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