Washington Football

Davydenko, Gasquet reach Qatar Open final

Davydenko, Gasquet reach Qatar Open final

DOHA, Qatar (AP) Nikolay Davydenko and Richard Gasquet advanced to the Qatar Open final, both winning Friday in straight sets.

Davydenko, a former No. 3 who has dropped to 44th in the world, beat top-seeded David Ferrer 6-2, 6-3. The second-seeded Gasquet overcame German qualifier Daniel Brands 7-5, 7-5.

Davydenko broke Ferrer to go up 2-1 and then again to make it 5-2, winning 13 of 14 points in one stretch. Ferrer, was uncharacteristically sloppy, hitting only two winners and making 15 unforced errors.

``I waited already a long time to reach a final. Last season was pretty tough and the best result was a semifinal,'' said Davydenko, who beat Rafael Nadal to win the 2010 Qatar tournament. ``Now in my first tournament, I'm in a final so happy.''

With the win, Davydenko improved to 4-2 against Ferrer.

``He played better than me all the time,'' Ferrer said. ``He served better. He received better. He was better. I didn't have any chance in the match.''

In the early match, the 10th-ranked Gasquet struggled early against the big-hitting German. Brands controlled the rallies with his forehand, often pushing Gasquet beyond the baseline. But as the first set went on, the Frenchman started mixing up his shots and serving better.

The second set was just as tight, with Brands saving a break point to even the set at 3-3. But Gasquet continued his strong serving, hitting an ace to go up 5-4 and another good serve to lead 6-5. Gasquet broke the 153rd-ranked Brands with a backhand winner for the victory and a chance to claim his eighth title.

``He was very powerful, serving the forehand. So very talented,'' Gasquet said. ``I was mentally tough, and I played well.''

Gasquet, who last year won his seventh title in Bangkok and reached the top 10 for the first time since 2007, said he is feeling fit.

``Tomorrow I have to win this final, but, yeah, it's true, I'm feeling well,'' Gasquet said. ``I don't know what I can do this year. But on every match I will try to fight, and I will try to prepare better on Grand Slams, to win some tournaments, to start in Doha in the final, so it's important to win.''

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In one tweet, Wale revealed his preferred Washington football name and a receiver he wants

In one tweet, Wale revealed his preferred Washington football name and a receiver he wants

Wale apparently knows how to get to the point.

The acclaimed rapper and famous Washington football fan sent out a tweet on Wednesday that revealed his stance on two hot topics: The team's next name and their wide receiver situation.

By now, you're well aware of what's going on with that first issue. As for the second, the depth chart on the outside is looking even more sparse after Kelvin Harmon's torn ACL.

Well, Wale needed just six words to show where his head is at in regards to both conversations:

 

While the Red Wolves movement is growing in size every day, the artist seems to have already adopted Washington FC, a.k.a. Washington Football Club, as his personal label for the franchise he's long supported.

And though many are hoping Ron Rivera will opt to bring in Antonio Brown to inject the offense with talent, Wale is obviously advocating for the organization to sign Josh Gordon. That's something Dwayne Haskins looks to be in favor of as well. 

Perhaps the most critical takeaway of all, though, is how Wale tackled such complex things in so few words. Can you imagine how annoying it'd be if a website wrote an entire story around his simple take? 

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Nationals know they can’t ‘do the whole 19-31’ again in shortened season

Nationals know they can’t ‘do the whole 19-31’ again in shortened season

WASHINGTON -- A number hanging over the tenuous 60-game season is 2.7. Each game is worth 2.7 times as much as it would be in a 162-game season. Which means amplification never before seen in Major League Baseball.

Slump for two weeks? That could be it for your average in 2020. Have a bad relief appearance? Your ERA is toast.
 
Team-wise, a five-game losing streak is the equivalent of a 14-game losing streak. That’s barely a bad week. But, when the season is just more than two months, each day carries new significance. And, the start is paramount.

The Nationals open July 23 at home against the New York Yankees and Gerrit Cole. Three games with the Yankees are followed by back-to-back two-game series with Toronto. The Nationals venture to Miami for three games to close the first full week.

“I think we all know that from Day One games are going to be important,” Yan Gomes said. “But also we all know that one of the last pitchers we faced last year was Gerrit Cole and I think we want to ride that confidence we got with him last [year]. Even though it’s a whole new ball game -- it’s a whole new season. Everyone is doing as much as they can right now, ramping it up and really getting game ready because we know it’s going to be a short season. We can’t really do the whole 19-31 and make it a story again. I think the story is going to be on the other end.”

RELATED: DANIEL HUDSON ISN’T SURE A 60-GAME MLB SEASON CAN DETERMINE THE BEST TEAM

Washington’s longest 2019 losing streak is any easy one to remember. It lost five in a row from May 19-23. Four of those losses came during the debacle in Flushing against the Mets, leading to the 19-31 no one can forget and everyone knows is a guaranteed baseball crash this year.

“First and foremost that’s good coaching by Yan,” Davey Martinez joked. “We cannot go 19-31. For me, it’s just do the little things. We’ve got to get 27 quick outs. We’ve got to get guys over from second base when we have to. At the end of the day, scoring one more run than the other team.

“Every game in a 60-game season, you start off kind of in a playoff run.”

Nine full series populate August. Four of them are against the Orioles or Marlins (12 of the 28 games total). The Mets, Braves, Phillies and Red Sox fill out the rest of the month. The Nationals have an off-day Aug. 20. They will be almost halfway through the season by then, less than a month after it started. The strange trade deadline occurs at the end of the month.

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The brevity of the season and subsequent weight of games brings another layer of challenges. If a mediocre -- or worse -- team has a bad opening week, will that prompt more opt-outs? Will it be easier for teams to go from rut to abyss? Does that have a chance of under-mining the competitiveness of an already dubious season setup?

If the Nationals win the World Series, are they back-to-back champions? If not, are they still really the “true” champion? It’s apparent how local viewpoints will go on that topic.

But, that argument will only come up if they start well and make it into the playoffs. Go 3-10 across two weeks? That’s 9-27. It’s over. Better be ready from the jump.

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