Cibulkova advances to 2nd round at Kremlin Cup

Cibulkova advances to 2nd round at Kremlin Cup

MOSCOW (AP) Defending champion Dominika Cibulkova advanced to the second round of the Kremlin Cup, rallying to beat Ekaterina Makarova of Russia 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 Tuesday.

The fifth-seeded Slovak struggled in the first set, losing four consecutive games, but she broke Makarova in the 10th game of the second set to even the match before jumping out to a 5-1 lead in the third set.

``The surface is very much different from the one here last year, and it's not the best surface I would say,'' Cibulkova said. ``Last year it was much softer and it was like a gum. But now it's very slow and very rough. It was not easy to get into the rhythm, that's why I had so many mishits in the first set.''

In the second round, Cibulkova will face Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria, who beat American Varvara Lepchenko 6-0, 7-6 (3).

Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan eliminated Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-2.

``With my tennis today, I had no chances against Yaroslava,'' Pavlyuchenkova said. ``I made too many mistakes on my serve, while Yaroslava played aggressively and attacked from the first return.''

Also, Vesna Dolonc of Serbia made it into the final 16, rallying to beat Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan 1-6, 6-1, 6-4, while Alize Cornet of France defeated Anastasia Rodionova of Australia, 6-4, 6-3.

In the first round of the men's tournament, Alex Bogomolov Jr. upset fellow Russian and three-time champion Nikolay Davydenko 7-5, 6-4. The two met two weeks ago in Beijing with Davydenko winning in straight sets in the first round.

``Today, I won the first set and was leading 4-0 in the second, but Nikolay didn't want to give up. I was lucky to win in straight sets,'' Bogomolov said.

Davydenko saved two match points in the last game before sending a backhand cross just wide on the third.

``I've made too many mistakes in the match,'' Davydenko said. ``But it's positive that it was not my opponent who forced me to make mistakes - I myself faulted trying to find my game. It's a pity ... I wanted to play a good match but failed.''

Also, seventh-seeded Carlos Berlocq of Argentina rallied past Russian qualifier Andrey Kuznetsov 1-6, 6-4, 6-3; Konstantin Kravchuk of Russia ousted Evgeny Korolev of Kazakhstan 6-4, 6-3; and Igor Sijsling of the Netherlands beat Michael Berrer of Germany 7-6 (7), 6-3.

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2018 Olympic Hockey Results: Czech Republic eliminate U.S. men in shootout winner

USA Today Sports

2018 Olympic Hockey Results: Czech Republic eliminate U.S. men in shootout winner

GANGNEUNG, South Korea -- Pavel Francouz stopped all five shooters and Petr Kouka scored the shootout winner as the Czech Republic eliminated the United States with a 3-2 victory in the quarterfinals Wednesday.

Jan Kovar and Tomas Kundratek scored in regulation for the Czech Republic, which was fresher after winning its group and getting a bye into the quarterfinals. The U.S. looked fatigued after facing Slovakia in the qualification round and was outshot 29-20.

Ryan Donato and Jim Slater scored for the U.S, which again was led by its youngest players, including speedster Troy Terry. U.S. goaltender Ryan Zapolski allowed three goals on 29 shots and one in the shotoout, while Francouz stopped 18 in regulation and overtime.

Koukal was the only player to score in overtime. Chris Bourque, Ryan Donato, Marc Arcobello, Terry and Bobby Butler couldn't beat Francouz.


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Need to Know: The Redskins appear to be set at center

Associated Press

Need to Know: The Redskins appear to be set at center

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, February 21, 21 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The Redskins appear to be set at center

Originally published 12/19/17

Chase Roullier might have been the Redskins’ fourth choice to play at center this year. But he could be snapping the ball for Washington for a long time.

Kory Lichtensteiger, the starter for the previous three years when healthy, retired. Veteran backup John Sullivan departed as a free agent. Spencer Long started six games this season before knee and quad problems pushed him to the sideline, elevating the rookie Roullier into the starting lineup.

The sixth-round pick started three games before breaking his right hand at some point during the game against the Saints. That’s his snapping hand and him finishing that game was an underrated act of courage this year. But he was out for three games before returning against the Cardinals on Sunday. Jay Gruden was pleased with his play. 

“Chase did good. He did good,” said Gruden. “It was good to see him back in there. His snaps were outstanding and handled the calls and play well.”

That was good but standard praise. What was interesting was what he said next.  

“I like Chase’s progress right now,” he said. “I think he is going to be a very good center for a long time here. It was a great pickup for us in the draft.”

It appears that you can at least pencil in Roullier as the 2018 starter at center, if not put him in with a Sharpie.

Where would this leave Long, who is slated to be a free agent in March? The Redskins could let him walk and go with the younger and cheaper Roullier. They also could sign him to be their starting left guard. That job has belonged to Shawn Lauvao. But Lauvao also is a pending free agent and he is 30 and he has missed large chunks of two of the last three seasons with injuries. When he missed the last 13 games of the 2015 season, Long went in at left guard and played well.

If that happens, that would give the Redskins a starting offensive line consisting entirely of players drafted by the team and with only Trent Williams over the age of 27 in Week 1 of 2018.

Regardless of what happens at left guard, it looks like Roullier will be the man in the middle for 2018 and beyond.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 8
—NFL Draft (4/26) 64
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 200