Redskins

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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How the boy becomes king, Dwayne Haskins became Simba

How the boy becomes king, Dwayne Haskins became Simba

By Julie Donaldson

Most nicknames are either earned or given to you.  On the Redskins, take "AD's" (standing for "All Day,") never quit mentality in Oklahoma.  Another Sooner Trent Williams is fondly known as "Silverback," as his teammates said he was a beast on the field. Former Redskin Ha Ha Clinton-Dix said his Grandma started calling him Ha Ha because he giggled so much as a kid. His real name is Ha’Sean. 

Then, there are these from around the league: Marshawn Lynch, a.k.a "Beast Mode." There's the Cowboys' Demarcus Lawrence, known as "Tank "because his big brother would always “tank him” when wrestling. Cincinnati's quarterback Andy Dalton is the "Red Rifle" for more obvious reasons. 

All of these names were given to the player by a teammate, coach, friend, or family member as a term of endearment. Such is the case for Dwayne Haskins Jr., who goes by "Simba." Simba, of course, was the cub that is born to take over the throne, or football team for the sake of this story. 

Haskins adopted the name Simba when he was seven. His Aunt was combing out what Haskins said was his "fro" and she told him it looked like a lion's mane. Thus, Simba was born. 

Last night, a new King was born as Dwayne Haskins brings his moniker to Ashburn. Welcome, Simba. Rule well! 

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Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, Orlov to join Team Russia for 2019 IIHF World Championship

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Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, Orlov to join Team Russia for 2019 IIHF World Championship

Now that the Capitals' postseason has come to an abrupt end, the team is regrouping for the offseason beginning with locker cleanout Friday morning.

As players figure out offseason plans, Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov will be heading back to their home country of Russia to join the national team for this year's IIHF World Championship in Slovakia. 

The Russian National team's official English Twitter account confirmed the news Thursday.

Ovechkin, Kuznetsov and Orlov join other Russian NHL players such as Toronto Maple Leaf's Nikita Zaitsev and Evgenii Dadonov of the Florida Panthers. 

The last time Ovechkin participated in the IIHF World Championship was after the Capitals' postseason loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016. Team Russia went on to beat Team USA in the Bronze Medal game.

Kuznetsov and Orlov joined Team Russia in the 2017 IIHF's where Russia won the Bronze in consecutive years.

The 2019 IIHF World Championship begins in two weeks on Friday, May 10.

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