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s 1 and 2 of this series at the Bel

Fri Jun 22, 2018 3:35 am

LONDON - In a potential blow to Switzerlands Davis Cup ambitions, Roger Federer pulled out of the ATP Finals less than one hour before his title match against Novak Djokovic on Sunday, handing a third straight title at the year-end event to the top-ranked Serb.The 17-time Grand Slam champion said he hurt his back in the nearly three-hour semifinal win over Davis Cup teammate Stan Wawrinka on Saturday night in which Federer saved four match points.Unfortunately Im not match fit, the 33-year-old Swiss told the crowd at the O2 Arena. I tried everything I could last night, also today: painkillers, treatment, rest, so forth, warm-up, until the very end. But I just cant compete at this level with Novak. It would be too risky at my age to do this right now and I hope you understand.Fans appeared to be supportive with applause for Federer when he spoke.The Swiss is set to play for Switzerland in the Davis Cup final against France, starting Friday. If he recovers in time, Federer will be chasing the only major trophy still eluding him. France hosts the match in the northern city of Lille and has opted for clay, a slow surface that could further thwart Federers chances to perform well.I dont think he was calculating and trying to save his body for Davis Cup final, said Djokovic. This is probably the biggest match of the season next to the final of a Grand Slam. I spoke to him, its a question mark for the Davis Cup final as well.It was only the third time in Federers career that he withdrew, each time due to a back injury, following walkovers in 2008 at the Paris Masters and in 2012 in Doha.Following back problems that ruined his 2013 season, Federer enjoyed a superb resurgence this season, losing to Djokovic in an epic Wimbledon final and adding five new titles to his collection.Federer, the most successful player at the ATP Finals with six wins, also made it to the semifinals at the Australian Open and the U.S. Open and won his 23rd Masters title in Shanghai last month. He remained on course for the year-end No. 1 spot until this week and had dropped just one set on the way to the final.I think you have some recurrent things coming back from time to time, the second-ranked Federer said. Its not that much of a surprise. I must say Ive been feeling really good for over a year now, which has been not a surprise, but its been very nice. So this back spasm, whatever it might be, its just not a fun thing to have during the day. Its just uncomfortable. But Im positive and Im hopeful that its going to go away very soon.Djokovic became the first player since Ivan Lendl from 1985-87 to win the year-end event three times in a row but was not in the mood for celebrations.You never like to win, especially these big matches against big rivals, with the retirement, said the four-time champion.Unbeaten on indoor courts in more than two years, Djokovic finished the season No. 1 for the third time in four years, becoming the seventh man to accomplish the feat at least three times. Besides winning his seventh Grand Slam title at the All England Club, Djokovic was also runner-up at the French Open, and won six titles.Right now Im at the pinnacle of my career, he said, adding that winning at Roland Garros would be one his main goals in future years. I physically feel very fit. As long as it is like that, Im going to use these years in front of me to fight for No. 1 of the world and the biggest titles in the sport.Instead of facing Federer, Djokovic played an exhibition with Andy Murray before a doubles match pitting Murray and John McEnroe against Tim Henman and Pat Cash.Federers withdrawal marked the first walkover in a final in the tournaments 45-year history. Denzel Ward Jersey . -- Keith Aulie has joined the Tampa Bay Lightning. Nick Chubb Browns Jersey . Its the second straight year he has decided not to play as he cuts back his schedule. Stricker was replaced in the field by Ryo Ishikawa of Japan. http://www.footballbrownsnflprostore.co ... te-Jersey/. -- Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman is undergoing surgery to repair a broken bone above his left eye but has no other serious injuries after being hit in the face by a line drive in a spring training game. Austin Corbett Jersey . -- What Anthony Jennings lacked in experience, LSU more than compensated for with a talented supporting cast in the Outback Bowl. Custom Browns Jerseys . The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists detailed in a report how Russian and international journalists have been harassed and prevented from covering sensitive stories in Sochi such as the abuse of migrant workers and environmental issues.The Montreal Canadiens will try to stave off elimination in front of their 21,273 faithful at the Bell Centre when they host the New York Rangers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final. You can listen to the game live on TSN Radio 690 in Montreal or on TSN.ca/Montreal. Also, TSN.ca features live streaming of the post-game news conferences from the Bell Centre. The Rangers grabbed a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference Final after Sundays 3-2 overtime victory against the visiting Habs. Martin St. Louis scored at 6:02 of the extra session to help New York take a commanding lead in the best-of-seven set and the Blueshirts hope to close out the series with another win in Montreal. A victory tonight would put the Rangers in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1994 when Mark Messier led the team past the Vancouver Canucks for its most recent championship. "Weve got to take things one period at a time," said Canadiens forward Tomas Plekanec. "The last step for the Rangers is the toughest one to make. Were going to make it hard on them, and were going to use our crowd playing at home. Weve got to take advantage of it." Montreal hopes to stay alive Tuesday and mount a comeback in this series. The Canadiens, who last made it to the Cup Final when they won it all in 1993, have rallied from 3-1 deficits twice over the last decade, in 2004 against the Boston Bruins and against Washington in the opening round of the 2010 playoffs. "By no means are we counting ourselves out," said Habs captain Brian Gionta. "Its a tough loss, its a bitter loss, but at the end of the day were still in this series." If the Canadiens can stave off elimination Tuesday the clubs will reconvene Thursday in New York City for Game 6. Montreal won a 3-2 overtime decision in Game 3 at New York, but the Rangers were the ones celebrating at the end of Sundays OT battle. The Habs tried to clear the puck out of the zone at the left point with several bodies fighting there, but Carl Hagelin was able to keep it in and fed the puck over to the right circle. St. Louis took the pass in the clear and picked his spot, firing a high shot over Dustin Tokarski for the win and a 3-1 lead in the series. "I was tired at the time and I was just hoping hed end the game," said Hagelin. "He did, it was a great shot by him. He didnt have much to shoot at, but he found the spot over the glove." It was the fourth playoff overtime winner of St. Louis career, tying him for the lead among active players with Jaromir Jagr, Patrick Kane and Patrick Marleau. Hagelin posted a ggoal and an assist, while Derick Brassard, who had missed the previous two games with an upper-body injury, returned to play and added a goal for the Rangers, who saw Henrik Lundqvist make 27 saves in the win.dddddddddddd Francis Bouillon and P.K. Subban scored for the Canadiens, while Tokarski stopped 26 shots in the loss. The Rangers, and St. Louis in particular, were having a frustrating time trying to get the puck past Tokarski, who has been spectacular, while starting Games 2, 3 and 4 in place of injured No. 1 Carey Price. St. Louis had five shots on the young netminder without a goal in Game 3 and he scored the winning goal Sunday on his fifth shot of the night. Late in the second period of Game 4, Tokarski snapped his glove hand to rob St. Louis on a breakaway, but in the extra session the Habs goalie wasnt quick enough to deny the veteran winger. "It was a good hockey game and its just unfortunate that we were on the losing end," said Tokarski. "He had a little time with the puck and picked a corner, I just couldnt get it. The only thing Im going to think about now is coming back on Tuesday and winning that game." Montreal, meanwhile, hopes to help out its goalie by being more opportunistic on offence. The Canadiens scored on just one of eight power-play opportunities in Game 4 and are just 1-for-17 with the man advantage in this series. "We had the opportunity on the power play and we didnt take advantage of it," said Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien. The Rangers hope to have Derek Stepan back in the lineup Tuesday after he sat out Game 4 with a broken jaw suffered on a hit from Montreals Brandon Prust in Game 3. Stepan made the trip to Montreal and skated on Tuesday morning wearing a full face guard on a line with Chris Kreider and Rick Nash. Rangers forward J.T. Miller, who suffered an upper-body injury in the second period on Sunday and did not return, did not travel with the team for Game 5. Prust is serving the second part of a two-game suspension tonight for his hit on Stepan. New York can split the all-time tie in playoff meetings against the Habs with a victory tonight. These clubs have split 14 postseason encounters, with the Rangers winning the last matchup in the opening round of the 1996 playoffs. New York is 6-3 as the road team in this postseason and won Games 1 and 2 of this series at the Bell Centre. The Rangers have won four straight road games and havent lost away from home since dropping Game 2 of the second round in Pittsburgh on May 4. The Habs are 4-3 at the Bell Centre in this postseason. 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