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Serena beats Radwanska for fifth Wimbledon title

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Serena beats Radwanska for fifth Wimbledon title

WIMBLEDON, England -- Serena Williams is back, and she looks almost as good as ever. The 30-year-old American won her fifth Wimbledon title Saturday on Centre Court, beating Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 to claim her 14th major championship. After hitting a backhand winner on match point, she fell onto her back to the grass. She then rose with a grin as big sister Venus -- another five-time Wimbledon champion -- smiled and applauded, along with the rest of the crowd. After shaking hands with Radwanska, Williams climbed into the box where her family was seated. She hugged her father, Venus, their mother and others. "I can't even describe it. I almost didn't make it," said Williams, who has battled health issues since winning the 2010 Wimbledon title. "A few years ago, you know, I was in the hospital, and now I'm here again. It's so worth it, and I'm so happy." Out on court, Williams had little trouble at the start, using her hard serve and powerful groundstrokes to win the first five games and run Radwanska all over the grass. Radwanska, who was playing in her first Grand Slam final, has been ill with a respiratory problem, making it difficult for her to speak. In the second set and already down a break, the third-seeded Pole was coughing and blowing her nose during a changeover. But she broke Williams in the next game to even the score at 4-4, and then broke again to win the second set. Williams responded in the third set, breaking twice and serving out to win another major title. Williams finished with 58 winners to 13 for Radwanska, including an edge of 20-3 in the final set. Williams lost only eight points on her first serve. "Aggie played so well. That's why she has had such a great career, and so young," Williams told the crowd. "You guys should give her another round of applause because she's amazing and she did an amazing job today." The match was played with the Centre Court roof open, and it was delayed by rain for a short time after the first set. "Serena played too good today, but I'm just very happy to be here in the final," Radwanska said. "It was not my day. I'll try just next year. We'll see." Later Saturday, Serena and Venus Williams will play in the doubles final. A little more than a month ago, many started writing Williams off for good. She lost in the first round of this year's French Open, the first time she had ever exited a Grand Slam tournament that early. But at Wimbledon, she looked every bit a champion again. She broke her own tournament record for aces in a match with 23 against Zheng Jie in the third round. Less than a week later, she eclipsed that mark with 24 against Victoria Azarenka in the semifinals. On Saturday, she finished with 17 aces and a record 102 for the tournament. It was Williams' first Grand Slam title since she won at the All England Club two years ago. Shortly after winning that title, Williams cut her feet on glass at a restaurant, leading to a series of health problems, including being hospitalized for clots in her lungs. "I never dreamt of being here again, being so down," Williams said. "Never give up. You can continue." Williams is the first woman in her 30s to win a Wimbledon title since Martina Navratilova, who won at the All England Club in 1990 when she was 33. In the men's final on Sunday, six-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer will face British hope Andy Murray. The fourth-seeded Murray is trying to become the first British man to win the title at the All England Club since Fred Perry in 1936.

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Trade to Caps potentially offers Jerabek what he never got in Montreal

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USA TODAY Sports

Trade to Caps potentially offers Jerabek what he never got in Montreal

Defenseman Jakub Jerabek is really happy about the opportunity to play with the Washington Capitals, but it could have come at a better time. The trade came with his parents already on their way from the Czech Republic to visit him.

“It was crazy days past three days because I had my parents on the way to Montreal and they didn't know so it was a big surprise for them,” Jerabek told reporters Saturday after his first skate with the team.

A native of the Czech Republic, Jerabek signed his first NHL contract with the Montreal Canadiens in May 2017. After spending some time in the AHL and struggling to consistently earn a spot in the Canadiens’ lineup, he knew a trade was possible.

“My family, maybe we expected some trade. When its come with Caps and it was Washington, I was really happy.”

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Jerabek said he came into the NHL with no expectations and was simply happy for the opportunity, but it is fair to wonder if he was not just the least bit frustrated with how he was utilized by Montreal.

For a player with experience playing for the national team, the Czech league and the KHL, getting only 25 games with a bad Montreal team seems a bit low.

“In first two weeks, I didn't know what's going on because the coaches just told me that I played well, but we just make some competition between the [defensemen] and that I have to wait for my next chance,” Jerabek said. “It was hard, but now I'm happy down here.”

Washington now offers a very different opportunity. In need of help on the blue line, Jeraebek has the chance to earn consistent playing time for a team on pace to reach the postseason.

Jerabek will not play in Saturday’s game against Buffalo, but he was hopeful he would be in the lineup for Monday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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For now, Jerabek and head coach Barry Trotz are unclear as to what his ultimate role on the team will be. With eight defensemen now on the roster, Trotz cautioned any lineup decision could not be rushed because of the trickle-down effect it will have on the other players.

“You always look at chemistry and all that with your group depending how high that player goes up the lineup, it affects different people,” Trotz said. “In a forward group, if you get a guy that you all of a sudden stick on the first line, there's four other guys that are bumped down and one guy's bumped out.”

The addition of Jerabek, however, offers the Caps another defenseman who can quickly move the puck out of the defensive zone, something the team has struggled with immensely throughout the season. Though he shoots left, he also said he is comfortable playing on the right said and has played there regularly over the past few years. That provides the lineup with some flexibility on the third pair behind Matt Niskanen and John Carlson.

As for Jerabek’s parents, they will be arriving in Washington on Saturday.

“I tried to figure out the situation with them to get them to here and they will come today,” he said. “So I'm really happy.”

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

Instead of visiting the White House when they come to Washington this week to play the Wizards, the defending-champion Golden State Warriors plan to hold an event with D.C.-area kids.

Their invitation was rescinded by president Donald Trump following a back-and-forth between the two sides last year. After the Warriors won the title, they openly questioned whether they should follow the tradition given many of the players and coaches disagree with his policies. Trump took the opportunity away before they came to a final decision.

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The Warriors' event will be closed off to the media and held at an undisclosed location. It is set for Tuesday, the day before they play the Wizards at Capital One Arena. The Warriors had the option of holding a ceremony with other politicians in the Democratic party, but decided that would send the wrong message. 

"It's their championship. They got disinvited to the White House, so it's up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans," coach Steve Kerr said. "I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they're doing."

The Warriors are the first NBA team to make this choice since Trump was elected president. Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers held their celebration with president Barack Obama in November. They did so just days after Trump was elected and LeBron James questioned at the time whether he would visit the White House with Trump in office.

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Sports teams visiting the White House goes back to the mid-1800s. The first World Series title team to visit was the 1924 Washington Senators. By the 1960s, NBA teams were going and by the 1980s NFL and NHL teams made it a tradition.

Entire teams snubbing the White House is unusual, but many players have turned down the opportunity. In the NBA, some famous cases include Larry Bird in 1984 and Michael Jordan in 1991, according to Rolling Stone.

Perhaps the Warriors start a trend, or maybe it will be a one-off thing. Regardless, the alternative they chose is a respectable one. 

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