Wizards

Malisse, Rochus advance in Auckland

Malisse, Rochus advance in Auckland

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) Belgian veterans Olivier Rochus and Xavier Malisse both beat higher-ranked opponents to advance to the second round of the Heineken Open on Monday, and American Brian Baker continued his surprising comeback by ousting fifth-seeded Jerzy Janowicz of Poland 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4.

The 89th-ranked Rochus, who reached the final in Auckland for the second time last year but needed a wild card to enter the main draw this time, beat 51st-ranked Albert Ramos of Spain 6-2, 5-7, 6-2. The 30-year-old Belgian's victory improved his record in singles in Auckland to 14-7.

Baker returned to the ATP Tour last year after a six-year absence and, after reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon, has lifted his ranking to No. 61.

``The conditions were very, very tough,'' Rochus said of the swirling wind at the Auckland Tennis Center. ``They were some of the toughest conditions I've ever played in and I'm very happy to have won and to be able to continue.

``It was the windiest conditions I've ever played in and the wind was going all over the place. Fortunately, I kept my mind focused and I was able to win.''

Rochus will play fourth-seeded Sam Querrey of the United States in the second round. The top four seeded players in the Heineken Open - David Ferrer, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Tommy Haas and Querrey - received byes into the second round.

Earlier, the 32-year-old Malisse beat seventh-seeded Martin Klizan of Slovakia 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-4. Malisse is ranked No. 62.

Also, eighth-seeded Thomasz Bellucci of Brazil defeated David Goffin of Belgium 7-6 (5), 6-2.

Quick Links

Kevin Durant commits $10 million to Prince George's County public schools

usatsi_10629862.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant commits $10 million to Prince George's County public schools

Kevin Durant continues to give back to the community that raised him. 

Durant, who calls Prince George's County, MD., home, recently announced a partnership with Prince George's County public schools. 

The partnership, which comes with a $10 million dollar commitment from Durant, will help fund a program called College Track. Essentially, it's a 10-year program that provides basic infrastructure — test prep, tutoring, college selection and how to get financial aid — that kids from less-advantaged families often times don’t have.

Durant's money will go towards building College Track's Maryland center. There are nine other College Tracks across California, Colorado, and Louisiana, and the program has helped over 3,000 students get to college and beyond. This Maryland center will be the first of three that are planned to go up in the DC area. 

You can read the entire article about Durant and College Track right here. 

RELATED: WHAT THE SESSIONS SIGNING MEANS FOR TOMAS SATORANSKY

Quick Links

Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

usatsi_10473485.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

A 2017 midseason trade for Martavis Bryant made no sense for the Redskins. A 2018 offseason trade for Martavis Bryant, however, might make sense for the Redskins. 

Bryant is on the trade block, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, and will be an intriguing prospect for receiver-needy teams across the NFL. In parts of three seasons with the Steelers, Bryant has 17 touchdowns and a 15.2 yards-per-reception average. 

A big play threat from any place on the field, Bryant would immediately make the Redskins receiving unit more athletic and explosive. 

It's not all good news with Bryant, though.

He was suspended for the entire 2016 season after repeated drug violations and caused some distraction for Pittsburgh during the 2017 season when he asked for a trade via social media. 

MORE: CAN YOU GUESS THESE REDSKINS BASED ON THEIR COMBINE NUMBERS?

Is the talent enough to overcome the off-field distractions? Many would say it is. 

Last year, in just eight starts, Bryant grabbed 50 catches for more than 600 yards and three TDs. In their lone playoff loss to the Jaguars, Bryant caught two passes for 78 yards and a TD. 

Remember, too, the Steelers have an explosive offense, and Bryant is coupled with Antonio Brown on the receiver front along with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback and Le'Veon Bell at running back. The Pittsburgh offense is loaded. 

Washington's offense is not nearly the prolific unit that the Steelers send out, but Jay Gruden does design a good offense. 

The real question surrounding any talk of trading for Bryant is the cost.

The Redskins are not in a position to send away any more draft picks this offseason after giving up a third-round pick, in addition to Kendall Fuller, to acquire Alex Smith. Bruce Allen and the Redskins front office need to improve their team in plenty of spots, and the team's draft picks are quite valuable. 

Bryant only has one year remaining on his rookie deal, and it's hard to balance that sort of short-term investment with the value of adding a rookie committed to the team for at least four years. Perhaps a late-round pick would make sense, but it would need to be a sixth-rounder. 

This could be one of those rare situations in the NFL where a player for player swap could work, though pulling that type of maneuver requires a lot of moving parts. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!