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Australia, Spain open Hopman Cup with wins

Australia, Spain open Hopman Cup with wins

PERTH, Australia (AP) Australia beat Germany 3-0 in the Hopman Cup mixed team competition Saturday after Andrea Petkovic had to retire from her singles match with a right knee injury.

Bernard Tomic had given Australia a 1-0 lead with by beating Tommy Haas 7-6 (6), 3-6, 7-5, but Petkovic looked likely to force the series into a decisive mixed doubles when she won the first set 6-4 against 16-year old Ashleigh Barty. However, she called for treatment and was in tears as her right knee was bandaged.

Spain clinched a 2-1 victory over South Africa after winning the mixed doubles 6-4, 6-7 (3), 10-8.

Kevin Anderson had given South Africa the lead by beating Fernando Verdasco 7-6 (5), 6-4, before Annabel Medina Garrigues evened the contest with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Chanelle Scheepers. The Spanish duo then outlasted the South Africans in the Champions tiebreaker of the doubles match.

Earlier, Tomic hit 14 aces to overcome his more experienced opponent. Haas led the first set tiebreaker 6-1 before Tomic swept the next seven points. A forehand error at 4-3 gave Haas the only break of the second set, and the German broke again early in the third. But Tomic leveled at 5-5 and broke again before clinching the win on his third match point.

``It was a very tough first set and my first to play for a few months,'' Tomic said after claiming his first victory since September. ``It was difficult to play Tommy. He played really well at the beginning of the tiebreak and I don't know how I got out of that.''

South Africa's Anderson held two set points at 5-4 in his the first set of his singles match but made errors on both before winning the tiebreaker. The South African then broke at 4-4 in the second before serving out the match.

Scheepers maintained the pressure in the second set as Medina Garrigues faced eight break points. However, the Spaniard broke for 3-1, fought off five break points to hold for 5-2 and broke serve again when she converted her second match point.

``I was a little bit lucky,'' Medina Garrigues said. ``The doubles was also tough, one and a half hours, but Fernando was playing good and now we have to recover (to face France) tomorrow.''

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The Redskins did exactly what DeAngelo Hall said they should on opening drive vs. Packers

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USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins did exactly what DeAngelo Hall said they should on opening drive vs. Packers

These days, DeAngelo Hall is an analyst on NBC Sports Washington's Redskins pre- and postgame shows. Before Sunday's Redskins-Packers matchup, though, Hall showed he wouldn't be too shabby of an offensive coordinator. 

The former corner wasn't pleased with what he saw from Washington in their Week 2 loss vs. Indy (the entire region is right there with him, of course) but was specifically upset with the offense. And on "Redskins Kickoff Live," he explained the change in approach he wanted to see in Week 3.

"Alex has to be comfortable enough with his targets and with those guys and know how they like the balls downfield," Hall said. "This Green Bay team is struggling on defense."

"Our offense can exploit those guys," he continued. "We have to take those shots downfield and give them opportunities."

Well, uh, it only took four plays for the 'Skins to be more aggressive through the air. On their opening drive, Smith found Paul Richardson deep down the seam for a 46-yard scoring strike to give the home team an early lead.

Overall, Smith looked more willing to push the ball past the sticks and beyond throughout the entire first half. It's almost as if a 14-year NFL veteran and ex-defensive back knows how to attack a secondary!

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Le'Veon Bell might be available in a trade, but don't expect the Redskins to call

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USA Today Sports

Le'Veon Bell might be available in a trade, but don't expect the Redskins to call

Want to make a deal? Evidently the Steelers do, and it involves star running back Le'Veon Bell. 

ESPN reported Sunday morning that Pittsburgh will listen to trade offers for Bell. An All-Pro back last season, Bell is holding out for a lucrative, multi-year contract instead of the one year, $14 million franchise tag the Steelers used for this season. 

The biggest question becomes what team will trade for Bell, and what will that trade look like. 

Don't expect the Redskins to be that team.

On the most basic level, Washington could not afford Bell. The 'Skins have about $10 million of salary cap space, and that wouldn't even cover Bell's franchise tag. No team will make the move for Bell without a long-term deal in place, and Washington certainly does not have space for that.

Beyond just the money, the Redskins selected Derrius Guice in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft with the intention of making the former LSU star the running back of the future. 

Guice got injured in preseason, and the team signed future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson to replace him. In two games, Peterson has shown he has plenty of gas left.

And, oh yeah, the Redskins also have Chris Thompson. He's one of the best third down backs in the NFL, and he's under contract through the 2019 season. 

Bell might get moved, but don't believe he will be wearing Burgundy and Gold. 

The price tag for Bell will be high. Expect first round draft picks to be a part of any package. For a team to do that, they need to feel like one elite player could push them to a Super Bowl.

What are some teams like that? Bell paired up with Aaron Rodgers would be lethal. Just saying. 

 

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