TEAM USA PLAYING FOR BRONZE AFTER LOSING TO RUSSIA
helsinki» Yegor Korshkov’s goal and assist Monday helped Russia advance to the gold medal game of the world junior championship for ice hockey with a 2-1 victory over the United States.
Russia will meet tournament host Finland in the title game Tuesday. The Finns advanced by beating Sweden 2-1 in the semifinals.
Pavel Kraskovski also scored for Russia against Team USA, and Ilya Samsonov contributed 26 saves.
Christian Dvorak scored for the Americans, who will play Sweden for the bronze medal Tuesday. Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 31 shots against Russia.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow,” said U.S. star Auston Matthews, whose team is loaded with NHL-drafted talent.
“We’ve got to recover,” Dvorak said. “We’ve got a chance to win a bronze medal, so we’ve got to give it all we’ve got.”
Djokovic dominant in opener
B doha, qatar» Novak Djokovic opened his 2016 season with a 6-2, 6-2 sweep of German qualifier Dustin Brown in the first round of the Qatar Open.
The top-ranked Serb had an exhausting 2015 season in which he won three major titles and reached the final in the other. The Qatar Open was the only tournament of 16 played in 2015 in which Djokovic failed to reach the final, instead losing in the quarterfinals. Last year, Djokovic won a career-best 11 titles and finished with an 82-6 record.
“Obviously you never know how you’re going to start from the blocks,” Djokovic said. “I think I used the offseason very well to train to get my body in the right shape, and I think it was a very good start.”
Daniel Muñoz De La Nava of Spain posted the first upset of the tournament, defeating fifth-seeded countryman Feliciano Lopez 3-6, 7-6 (4), 7-5.
• After a disappointing season last year, Rafael Nadal’s goal for 2016 is simple. “The most important thing is play better,” the Spanish star said.
Nadal managed to recapture some confidence toward the end of the year, posting a 17-5 record after the U.S. Open. That enabled him to finish the year ranked No. 5 in the world.
But the winner of 14 Grand Slam championships is fed up with being asked about his subpar 2015, which delivered only three minor titles. It was the first time in a decade that he failed to win a Grand Slam title. His best results in majors last year were quarterfinal finishes at the Australian Open and French Open.
“Seriously, I’m a little bit tired of talking every day about 2015,” Nadal said. “We are in 2016 already, no? We talked enough about 2015.”
Nadal is seeded No. 2 at the Qatar Open, where he was the champion in 2014. He opens his 2016 season Tuesday with a match against fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta.
“I feel myself ready for the next season,” Nadal said. “The expectations are the normal ones, positive ones, because I feel that I finished the past season playing well and I feel that I am playing well again.”
Milestone victory for jockey
B ludlow, england» Richard Johnson, 38, posted the 3,000th victory of his career on his march toward his first British champion jockey title.
Johnson’s career tally is made up of 2,977 jump wins in Great Britain, 17 in Ireland, four wins on the flat and two international victories.
Colorado State guard Jamie Patrick was named Mountain West women’s basketball player of the week. The 5-foot-10 senior from Hutchinson, Kan., scored a seasonhigh 27 points Saturday against Boise State, propelling the Rams to a 68-64 victory at Moby Arena in their conference opener. ... The University of Denver men’s lacrosse team starts practice Tuesday in preparation for Sunday’s exhibition game against the U.S. national team in Bradenton, Fla. DU is the defending NCAA champion. Denver Post staff and wire services