Fish, Haas to meet in Citi semifinals

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Fish, Haas to meet in Citi semifinals

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Mardy Fish and Tommy Haas will meet in the Citi Open semifinals Saturday, their first matchup since 2007.

They have still seen plenty of each other.

After beating Xavier Malisse 6-3, 6-4 on Friday, the top-seeded Fish said he and Haas are "good friends" who live near each other in Los Angeles, often hanging out and practicing together.

"This is a guy that's trying to take my lunch away tomorrow, and I'm going to try to beat him any way I can," Fish said. "We'll remain friends off the court."

The fourth-seeded Haas routed Tobias Kamke 6-1, 6-2. Haas is 3-1 against Fish.

"He seems to be pretty close to back to 100 percent with his health and hitting the ball as well as I've seen him hit it in a long time," Fish said.

Fish reached the semifinals in the tournament for the first time in seven tries. Haas, also making his seventh appearance in the event, reached the semifinals in 2008, too.

Eighth-seeded Sam Querrey beat third-seeded Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-4 in another quarterfinal. Second-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov faced James Blake later Friday.

Top-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova advanced to the women's final with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory over No. 4 Vania King. Pavlyuchenkova will face Magdalena Rybarikova, a 6-3, 6-3 winner over third-seeded Sloane Stephens.

Pavlyuchenkova received treatment for a heat-related illness on the humid, 94-degree day.

"It was ridiculously hot out there," Pavlyuchenkova said. "I don't know seriously how people live here. It's unbelievable. I think they should consider changing the date of the tournament. . I've been in Australia for six years, and I know what is hot, and I know it's the same for everyone. But today, it just hit me."

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Tom Wilson, an experienced punch-thrower himself, approved of Bryce Harper's fight

Tom Wilson, an experienced punch-thrower himself, approved of Bryce Harper's fight

When Tom Wilson compliments your punching, it's not all that different from when Vince Carter compliments your dunking or LaVar Ball compliments your ability to annoy millions of people just by opening your mouth.

Therefore, Bryce Harper, who initiated a one-on-one fight not normally seen on MLB fields Monday in San Francisco, should feel very honored by this Wilson tweet:

Wilson had more than double the number of penalty minutes than the next closest Capital this past season, so he's familiar with what is and isn't worthy of a trip to the penalty box. He also knows what good fighting looks like, and judging by his hashtag, the Nationals star met Wilson's standards.

Unfortunately for Harper, his punches came on the diamond and not the ice, so he'll likely miss more time than a few minutes once the powers that be have a chance to review his actions. 

RELATED: THE HISTORY THAT CAUSED STRICKLAND TO THROW AT HARPER

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Even after two-plus years, Hunter Strickland couldn't forget last meeting with Bryce Harper

Even after two-plus years, Hunter Strickland couldn't forget last meeting with Bryce Harper

965 days. That's the amount of time that separated the second time Bryce Harper and Hunter Strickland faced each other on an MLB diamond and the third one.

In that second matchup, which came back in Game 4 of the 2014 NLDS, Harper launched a game-tying home run in the seventh inning off of Strickland. Harper also hit a blast off Strickland in Game 1 of the same series.

Well, apparently, the Giants reliever still hasn't gotten over his last time he saw the Nationals star, because on Monday, the right-hander plunked the MVP candidate with a fastball the first chance he had since their postseason encounters almost three years ago.

Ironically enough, after San Francisco beat Washington in the NLDS, Strickland told the SF Chronicle how he would have to "have a short memory" on the mound for the rest of the playoffs and keep his composure after the home runs. Judging by this video, however, it's clear that Strickland's had some issues moving on:

RELATED: MORE ON THE HARPER VS. STRICKLAND BRAWL

When you look back at that Game 4 meeting, you'll see Harper pause at home plate and watch his moonshot after sending it into the McCovey Cove, then glare at Strickland a few times as he rounds the bases. Some will call what No. 34 did a violation of baseball's unwritten rules, but it was a huge moment on a huge stage, which contributed to Harper's emotional reaction.

The fact of the matter is that plenty of pitchers have moved on from much more egregious things in much shorter time frames, but for whatever reason, Strickland just wasn't able to.

Afterward, Harper explained why he thinks the hit by pitch should've never happened.

But Ryan Zimmerman had the best quote of all when talking about the sequence:

The veteran is right on with that statement. Harper was better than Strickland back in 2014, so Strickland felt the need to tag Harper first before Harper had a chance to tag him again on Monday. Essentially, the pitcher followed the, "If you can't beat him, bean him" strategy.

965 days is a long time to get over a grudge. For Hunter Strickland, though, 965 days still wasn't enough.

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