French Open just started and both Williams are out


French Open just started and both Williams are out

From Comcast SportsNet
PARIS (AP) - Venus Williams followed little sister Serena out of the French Open. The elder Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam champion, lost to third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-2, 6-3 Wednesday in the second round. Williams was playing at a major tournament for the first time since last August, when she withdrew before her second-round match at the U.S. Open. It was then that she revealed she had been diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome, a condition that can cause fatigue and joint pain. On Tuesday, Serena Williams lost in the first round of a major tournament for the first time, falling to Virginie Razzano of France 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3.

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Braden Holtby leads Caps to shootout win in goalie duel with Columbus

Braden Holtby leads Caps to shootout win in goalie duel with Columbus

Final score: Washington Capitals 2, Columbus Blue Jackets 1 (SO)

How it happened: Braden Holtby and Sergei Bobrovsky held both teams scoreless through two periods, but Seth Jones put the Jackets on the board just 41 seconds into the third period. Dmitry Orlov responded just six minutes later, however, with a huge slap shot to tie the game at one. That forced the game to overtime. After no winner through five minutes, the game went to a shootout where T.J. Oshie scored on Washington's first attempt and Holtby turned aside all three shots he faced for the win.

What it means: With the win, the Caps maintain first place in the Metropolitan Division. They now lead the Columbus Blue Jackets by three points. The win also ties a franchise record for most home wins in a season (30). The Caps improved to 2-5 in shootouts on the season. This was their first home shootout win of the season.


Blue Jackets goal: Seth Jones from Brandon Dubinsky at 0:41 in the 3rd period. A Dubinsky shot from in close hit off the post and out to the top of the face off circle. Jones stepped up and fired it into the net past Holtby, who had not yet recovered from the initial shot off the post. Caps 0, Blue Jackets 1

Caps goal: Dmitry Orlov from Marcus Johansson and Justin Williams at 6:39 in the 3rd. Johansson held the puck behind the red line in the offensive zone, but saw Olrov open at the blue line. He found him with the pass and Orlov unleashed the monster slap shot to beat Bobrovsky. Caps 1, Blue Jackets 1

3 stars

1. Sergei Bobrovsky: The Caps really poured it on Bobrovsky in this one with 45 shots on goal, but he turned aside 44 of them in a brilliant effort. 

2. Braden Holtby:  Columbus didn't manage as many shots on net as the Caps did, but that shouldn't take away from the performance Holtby had. Per usual, he was strong in net, especially in overtime, matching Bobrovsky as the two teams battled into a goalie duel.

3. Dmitry Orlov: It seems fitting that Orlov would score the game-tying goal on Russian Heritage night for his first goal since March 4.

Look ahead: Washington wraps up its three-game home stand on Saturday against Arizona. They then hit the road for a five-game road trip that will see them go to Minnesota, Colorado, Arizona, Columbus and Toronto.

Tell us what you think: The Caps won, but the Blue Jackets and Penguins remain hot on the Caps' heels. Given Thursday's results, who would you say is in the driver's seat to win the Metro?

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Film study: Most common mistakes Wizards continue to make

Film study: Most common mistakes Wizards continue to make

The 104-100 win against Atlanta Hawks, who led the Wizards by as many as 14 points on Wednesday, was full of missed opportunities that were common in losses to the Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets and Dallas Mavericks.

In this one game alone, the Wizards made these mistakes multiple times and it's where they have to clean up if they want a winning record on a five-game road trip that begins Saturday at the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

Help rotations

They're completely busted more often than not, and in this one Otto Porter gets beaten as he recovers to the ball. Taurean Prince gets an unobstructed view at the rim and it's on Marcin Gortat to leave Dwight Howard to stop him. Instead he stays with Howard. The only chance the Wizards have at stopping this layup is for Gortat to help. If he blocks it, the ball either goes out of bounds and the Hawks have to reset and earn two points the harder way. Or maybe the ball stays inbounds and the Wizards collect it. Regardless of what happens, just allowing this straight-line drive can't be allowed. If Howard gets it and puts it back, so be it. At least that requires another effort by Atlanta to score. Howard can mishandle the rebound, miss the dunk or get fouled and be forced to make the foul shots. 

First-side shots

Too many possesions begin and end like this. The ball doesn't move and the ballhandler, in this case John Wall, takes the shot after dribbling out the shot clock. When the Wizards were playing their best going 18-3 into the All-Star break, these plays were non-existent. They're better when they run motion, rip screen and down screen for each other and go away from the pick-and-roll as the first option. This puts the defense on the move, into switches and recovery. Then the Wizards would hit them with the pick-and-roll while in scramble mode of the intial action didn't produce a good look. Going to it as option one, unless there's a major mismatch that can be exploited, isn't as productive. 

[RELATED: Wizards' Brooks has little sympathy in NBA rest debate]

Open-court execution

How many times have you seen the Wizards deny a possession, force a bad shot or get the steal like Bradley Beal here, get in the open court for a 3-on-1 and end up with this? The passing, spacing and finishing just aren't there. They ended up getting fouled but this should be an easy momentum-building play. 

Running crisp sets

John Wall attacks the basket but really doesn't have a seam. He ends up too far under the basket and has to loft up a prayer. His teammates didn't run this set with much zest. They don't make themselves available on spot-ups either so there are no other options. Wall is playing at one speed. They're all one speed slower.

Clumsy outlets/inbounding

Getting these stolen have become a bad habit. Defenders are trying to slow down the ball so they're staying at home on Wall to prevent him from getting a full sprint. Throwing quick outlet passes after a miss or trying to get a quick inbound to push the pace is what the Wizards are supposed to do. But the inbounder has to survey the floor before first and the guard receiving the ball has to communicate with him, too, if he spots a spy trying to jump the ball.

Late/confused switching

They have to be more aggressive by not allowing too much space when swapping players they must defend, particularly on handoffs. Switching is what must be done because handoffs are effectively screens if executed properly. To stop the ballhandler from going downhill at full speed, a switch has to occur. Any hesitation or delay creates a path to the rim or puts you in a position where you end up fouling. Markieff Morris, who has been limited by a sinus infection recently and mutliple bouts of early foul trouble, has gotten sent to the bench early because of it. 

[RELATED: Beal thinks Wizards got their swag back vs. Hawks]