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  • 19 Mar
    导出博客文章WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Gael Monfils is finally feeling good about his game. Hes
    winning, too. The Frenchman, once ranked among the worlds top 10 players, beat
    Spains Fernando Verdasco 6-7 (10), 6-4, 6-4 on Thursday night to advance to the
    Winston-Salem Open semifinals. The 43rd-ranked Monfils will face Alexandr
    Dolgopolov of the Ukraine, a 7-6 (7), 6-3 winner over Lu Yen-Hsun of Taiwan.
    "Its always good to be in the semifinals, especially after two big wins,"
    Monfils said. "(Verdasco is) very aggressive, hitting lots of winners and making
    lots of mistakes. It makes you play a bit different." In the evening session at
    the Wake Forest Tennis Center, American Sam Querrey beat unseeded Ricardas
    Berankis of Lithuania 6-3, 6-4 in the final hard-court tournament before next
    weeks U.S. Open. Monfils, a touring pro since 2004, was once ranked as high as
    No. 7 in the world at the end of the 2011 season. But a knee injury forced him
    to miss the final four months of the 2012 schedule, dropping him as low as No.
    119 as he tried playing his way back into shape. Then, the Frenchman missed
    another month on the tour dealing with ankle and bicep injuries, with the
    Winston-Salem Open his first tournament action since the forced break. Against
    Verdasco, Monfils had key service breaks in the second and third sets to move
    into a tournament semifinal round for the fifth time this season. "Im pretty
    happy with how things are going," said Monfils, who had seven aces and just one
    double fault. "Hopefully, I can keep winning and try to get back into shape." In
    beating Lu, the 38th-ranked Dolgopolov overcame a knuckle injury on his left
    hand to advance to a semifinal for the first time this season. The right-handed
    Dolgopolov had to take an injury timeout in the fifth game of the second set
    after hitting his left thumb with the frame of his racket on a forehand shot. "I
    couldnt feel it much for a few games," Dolgopolov said. "It just aches -- not a
    hard pain, but it threw off my concentration a bit. Stuff like that happens. You
    have to deal with it and get back as fast as you can." Dolgopolov, who had a
    half-inch cut on the first knuckle of his left thumb, lost serve in that game.
    But he broke right back in the sixth game, then had another service break two
    games later. "I wasnt happy I lost the break," said Dolgopolov, who had nine
    aces against No. 62 Lu. "I was serving pretty solid all match, but after that, I
    gave away three points that he didnt do much to break. After that, I did pretty
    well for a few games." Querrey -- at No. 29, the highest ranked player remaining
    in the field -- advanced to a tournament semifinal for the third time this
    season, and his first since mid-February at San Jose, Calif. "I thought I played
    well -- the best Ive played so far," Querrey said. "I had that mental lapse in
    the second set, but I was fortunate there. I cant afford to have that happen
    tomorrow, but all around it was pretty good. Ive gotten a little better in each
    match, and I hope I can be even better tomorrow." Querrey finished with 10 aces,
    but struggled with his serve at times against the 126th-ranked Berankis. At one
    point in the second set, the two swapped service breaks in four straight games
    before Querrey served out the match. "I was just frustrated about those previous
    two service games," Querrey said. "He broke me in both of those, and that doesnt
    happen often. That last game, I turned the dial up a little bit. I wasnt going
    to be broken a third time, so I went with the gas right down the middle."
    Querrey will next face Austrias Jurgen Melzer, who beat Dmitry Tursunov of
    Russia 6-4, 6-3 in a match that was delayed twice for rain, the second delay
    lasting just over an hour. The 32nd-ranked Melzer had only two aces to eight by
    Tursunov, but he broke the Russians serve four times -- three coming in the
    second set -- to advance to his third tournament semifinal this season and the
    first since winning in Dallas in March. "I felt like I hit the ball well, a lot
    better than I did the first two rounds," Melzer said. "(The rain delays) were
    tough, because I was in a really good rhythm. It was difficult, but I felt like
    I was in command of the game."
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    . The All-Pro lineman got the leg bent under him while trying to
    make a tackle during the first half of a 22-20 overtime loss at Miami on
    Thursday night. The medical staff initially thought hed torn the ligament, and
    the test a day later in Cincinnati confirmed it. Washington general manager Mike
    Rizzo got into a shouting match with second-base umpire Jim Joyce in the hallway
    between clubhouses after the final out of the?New York Mets 9-7 win over the
    visiting?Nationals on Thursday night.It followed the Nationals attempt to rally
    in the ninth inning, which was thwarted when Jayson Werth was called for an
    illegal takeout slide at second base.You blew it, Rizzo said on his way to the
    Nationals clubhouse as he passed the umpire crew, which included Joyce,
    according to the New York Daily News.The call was upheld following a replay
    review, giving the Mets a double play after shortstop?Asdrubal Cabrera had made
    a diving stop of Daniel Murphys sharp grounder.Werth also had an aggressive
    slide into second earlier in the game, but the Mets chose not to challenge the
    call.Rizzo and Joyce then had to be restrained by Citi Field security and the
    other umpires, according to the Daily News report. Among their heated words,
    Joyce shouted to Rizzo to identify himself, which the Nats executive loudly
    obliged.I dont need it out there either. You want to yell? Yell, Rizzo said,
    according to the Daily News. Im right here.Youre the one that came up and talked
    to me, Joyce reportedly replied.Nationals manager Dusty Baker said the
    guidelines regarding slides into second base were tenuous.ddddddddddddI know Ive
    been told four or five different things from different crews about the rules,
    and last time, I was told it was going to be a common-sense-type thing, Baker
    said. I dont know how you teach young players now to break up a double play,
    because theres no such thing as breaking up a double play.Werth deadpanned that
    the play resulted in two outs before reflecting similar thoughts to Bakers.Well,
    I was out. So was the guy at first, I guess, Werth said, according to the Daily
    News. Big spot in the game there. I dont know. Its challenging because I feel
    like on some level, I had the same slide earlier in the game. I talked to Marvin
    Hudson, the third-base umpire, and we talked about the slide rule. It seems like
    everybodys got a different take on it. It seems like its inconsistent.To me,
    thats a clean slide. Its been a clean slide for over 100 years. There was no
    spikes involved. I was down early. If the rule is you cant make contact, then
    Major League Baseball needs to clarify that. Right now, I think its up to
    interpretation.Information from The Associated Press was used in this report. '
    ' '