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Federer hopes to play 2016 Games in Rio

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Federer hopes to play 2016 Games in Rio

SAO PAULO (AP) Roger Federer says he won't play as often in the next few years but wants to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The 31-year-old Swiss star intends to be more mindful about the tournaments he plays to make sure he can keep playing at a high level.

``I have to make sure that I take care of my schedule, of my body, of my mind,'' he said Thursday. ``Hopefully, I can still stay on tour for many more years and hopefully play the Olympics here in three and a half years or so, so I have to look far ahead and not just the next six months.''

The winner of 17 Grand Slams is in Sao Paulo for exhibition matches involving Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Tommy Robredo, Tommy Haas and Thomaz Bellucci. The Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike, are also participating. Federer plays Bellucci, Brazil's top-ranked player, on Thursday.

Federer has competed in four Olympics, winning a doubles gold in 2008 and a singles silver this year. He would love to make it to the Rio Games.

``There is a lot of passion for sports here,'' he said. ``It's a hot place to play tennis right now.''

Federer, who ended the season ranked No. 2, said this year was difficult because of additional commitments that kept him from practice and his family.

``I've played a lot of tennis. It's been a big challenge, especially with the Olympics and the Davis Cup this year,'' he said. ``I found my way back to world No. 1 and it took a lot of sacrifices. I'd like to be home a little bit more often and in a relaxed fashion.''

Still, he said it was a rewarding season.

``I'm very happy that I'm still playing at a very high level,'' said Federer, who won six titles this year, including Wimbledon. ``I had one of my best years on tour this year, and one of the most emotional ones, of course. Next year tournament victories will probably be more important than the rankings, that's why I need to make sure I practice a lot next year.''

Federer played 19 tournaments in 2012, two more than top-ranked Novak Djokovic. No. 3 Andy Murray also played 19 and Rafael Nadal, nursing a knee injury, played only 11.

``I'm not going to play 25 tournaments, but every tournament that I will be playing I'll be emotionally attached to it because I either won there before or because I've been there many times or because I love the city or the country and the fans,'' he said. ``Today I've reached a point in my life that I can pick and choose where I want to play and how much I want to play.''

One of the tournaments he left off his 2013 schedule was Miami, the Masters event in March he has played since 1999 and won twice.

``Miami was a tough decision for me,'' he said. ``But I have to take some time off, first of all, but most importantly, I need to practice. This year I couldn't practice at all. Something had to go in the calendar and that was Miami, unfortunately.''

Federer said he thinks he will need two Grand Slams and five to eight titles in other tournaments to get back to No. 1.

``It's difficult,'' he said. ``But I'm happy to set that challenge and I'll give everything I have.''

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Former Giants OL Mitch Petrus dies of heat stroke at 32

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Former Giants OL Mitch Petrus dies of heat stroke at 32

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Offensive lineman Mitch Petrus, a walk-on at Arkansas who went on to a three-year NFL career that included a Super Bowl win with the New York Giants, has died. He was 32.

Pulaski County Coroner Gerone Hobbs said Petrus died of heat stroke Thursday night at a North Little Rock hospital after working outside that day at his family's shop about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Little Rock.

Like much of the country, Arkansas is in the grips of an intense heat wave. In Lonoke County, where Petrus was working, the heat index on Thursday made it feel like it was than 100 degrees (38 Celsius) outside, according to the National Weather Service.

During his college career, Petrus played alongside Razorback greats Darren McFadden and Felix Jones and later earned all-Southeastern Conference honors.

He was drafted by the Giants in the fifth round in 2010 and got into 11 regular-season games his rookie year, with no starts. In his second season, Petrus played in six regular-season games, starting three of them, as the Giants went on to win the Super Bowl. He played six games for the Giants the following season before being released. He was picked up by the New England and played two games for the Patriots before being released. Tennessee then signed him and he played two games for the Titans before the team released him the following March.

After retiring from the NFL in 2013, Petrus returned to Arkansas, where he was well-known and often appeared as a studio analyst and sidelines reporter during televised high school football games. He also had an interest in politics, serving as Republican state Sen. Dismang's chief of staff during the Legislature's 2018 session, when Dismang was the chamber's president.

"With his energy and how positive he was, he was just a perfect fit for that session," Dismang said Friday.

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Michael Vick thinks Dwayne Haskins is in the perfect situation with the Redskins

Michael Vick thinks Dwayne Haskins is in the perfect situation with the Redskins

Though Michael Vick was drafted first overall by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2001 NFL Draft, he didn't immediately become the starter. Instead, he spent most of his rookie season watching and getting accustomed to the NFL before assuming the starting job in 2002 and launching his exciting career. 

Rather than being thrown right into the fire, Vick was given time to learn and transition to the pros.

Now the newest No. 7 to enter the league, Dwayne Haskins, could find himself in a similar situation. With only one year of real experience in college, the Redskins could opt to let Haskins continue to adjust from the sideline and work under the veteran passers on the roster. 

To Vick, that path will make the transition much smoother.

"It's not difficult at all when you have an opportunity to sit behind guys like Case Keenum, who has a ton of experience and knows how to play the game. [Or] Colt McCoy," Vick said Friday on The Sports Junkies when asked about how hard the jump to the NFL will be for Haskins.

While Haskins will most likely take the starting role in the long run, Vick is fine with Keenum or McCoy taking the starting spot to begin the season.

Seeing that Haskins could benefit from the tutelage of the quarterback room in a situation where he's not being put under maximum pressure, Vick strongly believes Haskins progression will be better if it comes naturally.

The now-NFL analyst even mentioned that he talked to head coach Jay Gruden at a golf event recently and stated that Gruden told him, "It's going to take some time" with Haskins. That may not be what some fans want to hear, but Vick knows that time behind the veterans may be exactly what Haskins needs.

"It's not like he's been rushed out there to play. He has some time to develop," Vick said. "That's the most important thing for him right now."

"That's very fortunate for Dwayne to be in that position," he added.

Even as a high-profile pick coming into the league Vick's ascension to starter took time, and that decision seemed to work out pretty well for him.

The Redskins have an opportunity to do the same with Haskins, letting him ease into the NFL and take in everything he can from two veterans. According to Vick, it's the perfect scenario for a rookie QB to be in.

"You get to soak up everything, you get to gain the whole experience without having to be under pressure," Vick said. "That makes it extremely easy when you step out there for the first time."

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