Ravens

Azarenka advances to Australian Open semifinals

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Azarenka advances to Australian Open semifinals

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) With her most famous fan sitting in the crowd wearing a shirt reminding her to keep calm, defending champion Victoria Azarenka overcame some early jitters to beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5, 6-1 on Wednesday and advance to the Australian Open semifinals.

After dropping serve in a long fourth game which went to deuce 10 times, Azarenka recovered to dominate the rest of the match against Kuznetsova, a two-time major winner who was floating dangerously in the draw with a No. 75 ranking as she recovers from a knee injury.

Azarenka will meet the winner of Wednesday's later quarterfinal between Serena Williams and 19-year-old American Sloane Stephens. Williams has lost only one match since a first-round exit at the French Open in a streak that included back-to-back major titles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open as well as the Olympic gold medal and season-sending WTA Championship.

She beat Azarenka all five times they played last year, and is 11-1 in career head-to-heads against the 23-year-old Belarusian.

Azarenka's American rapper friend, Redfoo, returned from a concert in Malaysia to attend Wednesday's quarterfinal match.

Wearing a red sleeveless T-shirt that read ``Keep Calm and Bring Out the Bottles,'' the name of his next single, Redfoo stood, clapped and yelled ``Come on, Vika!'' during the tight first set.

Asked if it helped to have her No. 1 fan wearing a keep calm logo, Azareka said ``I was looking more at the part that says `Bring out the bottles.'''

Of her game, she added, ``I'm just glad I could produce my good tennis when it was needed.''

In the men's quarterfinals, 17-time major winner Roger Federer was playing No. 7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a night match and U.S. Open champion Andy Murray was to meet Jeremy Chardy of France.

Novak Djokovic is already through the semifinals after his 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 win over fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych on Tuesday night.

The 2-hour, 31-minute victory took exactly half the time of his five-set, fourth-round win two nights previously against Stanislas Wawrinka.

``It was a great performance. I was hoping to have a shorter match ... just not to go over 5 hours,'' Djokovic said, in a comparatively subdued mood Tuesday after a considerably more routine victory. ``It's always going to be tough against Tomas; he's an established player. He has a big game, big serve. He can compete against anyone on any surface.''

In the semifinals, Djokovic will meet No. 4-seeded David Ferrer.

Ferrer survived a quarterfinal battle with fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro. Almagro had three chances to serve for the match, but Ferrer broke back each time and went on to win 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4), 6-2.

Maria Sharapova had a 6-2, 6-2 quarterfinal win over Ekatrina Makarova earlier Tuesday, and has conceded only nine games in five matches - a record in Australia.

``To be honest, those are not the stats you want to be known for,'' Sharapova said.

She'll play Li Na, who reached the semifinals for the third time in four years at Melbourne Park after beating Agnieszka Radwanska 7-5, 6-3.

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Mr. Consistency Justin Tucker misses first field goal of the season

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Mr. Consistency Justin Tucker misses first field goal of the season

Justin Tucker is the best kicker in the NFL. That much hasn’t changed.

Now that we’re on the same page, it’s time to admit something. He hasn’t looked totally himself as of late. While most of his kicks have still found their way between the uprights, many have looked closer than they should.

That trend culminated with his first miss Sunday against the Texans. Tucker’s attempt on the Ravens’ first drive of the game -- from 43 yards out -- bounced off the right upright.

The miss snapped a streak of 22 consecutive made field goals for Tucker, who is the NFL’s all-time leader in field goal percentage. He is the only kicker in NFL history to convert more than 90% of his field goal attempts.

It’s too soon to be concerned about Tucker going forward. For now, just pick your jaws up off the floor and go back to feeling confident in the Ravens’ most consistent player the next time he jogs out onto the field.

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Redskins vs. Jets Week 11 Inactives: Guice returns, Richardson out

Redskins vs. Jets Week 11 Inactives: Guice returns, Richardson out

When rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins makes his first start at FedExField vs. the Jets, he'll be without one of his top wide receivers. Veteran Paul Richardson was ruled out Friday with a hamstring injury. Second-year wide receiver Cam Sims has been called up to the 53-man roster from the practice squad. 

Haskins will have running back Derrius Guice to lean on, however. The second-year running back was activated off injured reserve last week and is set to return against the Jets. For the first time, Redskins fans will get to see Haskins, Guice, and standout rookie wideout Terry McLaurin in action together.

Neither tight end Vernon Davis or running back Chris Thompson, two of the team's best offensive weapons, will play vs. New York. Davis will miss his sixth consecutive game, still recovering from a concussion he suffered in Week 4 vs. the Giants. Thompson has still yet to practice since suffering a toe injury against Miami in Week 6 and will miss his fourth consecutive game.

Safety Montae Nicholson, who has not played since Week 6, is active. Earlier this week, he was cooperating with police following a 21-year-old woman's death.

Special teams captain and safety DeShazor Everett is inactive. He has not played since the Redskins Week 5 loss to New England.

Here are the Week 11 inactives.

Redskins vs. Jets Week 11 Inactives

Redskins Inactives:

TE Vernon Davis
RB Chris Thompson
QB Colt McCoy
DL Tim Settle
WR Paul Richardson
OL Ross Pierschbacher
S Deshazor Everett

Jets Inactives:

S Matthias Farley
LB C.J. Mosely
LB Paul Worrilow
CB Darryl Roberts
OL Leo Koloamatangi
CB Nate Hairston
DL Jordan Willis

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