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Sharapova cruises, Stosur stumbles at Aussie Open

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Sharapova cruises, Stosur stumbles at Aussie Open

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) For someone with precious little match ``toughness'' heading into the Australian Open, Maria Sharapova didn't look overly concerned Wednesday.

The second-seeded Russian beat Japan's Misaki Doi 6-0, 6-0 in just 47 minutes, her second consecutive match at Melbourne Park in which her opponent failed to win a game. Doi won only 15 points.

Sharapova, last year's Australian Open runner-up, pulled out of the Brisbane International with a right collarbone injury two weeks ago and had not played a competitive match this year until her 6-0, 6-0 win over fellow Russian Olga Puchkova in the first round Monday.

She is the first woman to post consecutive ``double bagels'' at a Grand Slam tournament since Wendy Turnbull at the Australian Open in 1985.

``I've been playing really aggressive and doing the right things,'' Sharapova said. ``It's not easy to be up so much because you can have a few letdowns. You just have to try to concentrate. My job is to make it as easy as possible.''

Sharapova might find the competition tougher in the next round, where she'll met seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams on Friday. The older Williams sister beat Alize Cornet 6-3, 6-3 in the first night match Wednesday on Rod Laver Arena, taking advantage of the French player's double-fault to end the first set.

``Tennis ... is about winning when it's not your best day,'' said the 25th-seeded Williams. Next up ``I'm playing against Maria. I'm going to have to be at my best against her.''

Top-seeded and defending champion Novak Djokovic was scheduled to play American Ryan Harrison in the late match.

The final match of Wednesday's session on the center court was disappointing, though not wholly unexpected, for the home crowd and Australia's top-ranked female player.

Ninth-seeded Samantha Stosur, who has spoken of her anxiety over playing in front of her home fans, served twice for the match but double-faulted on match point in a 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 loss to China's Zheng Jie.

``It was a bit of a choke,'' Stosur admitted. ``Obviously it's a hard one to take when you get yourself into a winning position and you lose five games straight.''

Stosur, who had nine double-faults and 56 unforced errors, has never gone beyond the fourth round at her home Grand Slam, lost in the first round last year and also lost in her first matches at warm-up tournaments this year in Brisbane and Sydney.

``I needed to keep fighting and enjoy the match,'' Zheng said. ``It's amazing I came back.''

Earlier, fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanksa extended the year's best winning streak to 11 matches. She eased into the third round with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Romania's Irina-Camelia Begu and remains unbeaten this year, including titles at warm-up tournaments this month at Auckland and Sydney.

``I can play even better,'' said Radwanska, who lost last year's Wimbledon final to Serena Williams. ``I didn't really expect I could win that many matches in a row, and hopefully I can keep going.''

Her last two trips to the Australian Open have ended in quarterfinal losses to the eventual champion - Kim Clijsters in 2011 and Victoria Azarenka last year.

With top-ranked Azarenka and Serena Williams on the other half of the draw, Radwanska's main obstacles to reaching the final are 2011 French Open champion Li Na, who beat Olga Goortsova of Belarus 6-2, 7-5 to reach the third round, and potential semifinal rivals Sharapova or No. 5 Angelique Kerber, who advanced with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Lucie Hradecka.

Williams hurt her ankle in her opening victory on Tuesday, putting her bid for a third consecutive major title in jeopardy. She has only lost one match since her first-round exit at the French Open last year. Williams canceled an outdoor practice session and moved it indoors.

In other women's second-round matches: No. 11 Marion Bartoli beat Serbian qualifier Vesna Dolonc 7-5, 6-0; No. 13 Ana Ivanovic had a 7-5, 1-6, 6-4 win over Taiwanese qualifier Chan Yung-jan; No. 18 Julia Gorges beat Romina Oprandi 6-3, 6-2; No. 22 Jelena Jankovic, a former world No. 1, beat qualifier Maria Joao Koehler 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2; and 17-year-old American wild-card Madison Keys beat No. 30 Tamira Paszek of Austria 6-2, 6-1.

Russian qualifier Valeria Savinykh upset No. 15 Dominika Cibulkova 7-6 (6), 6-4 and Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium beat No. 23 Klara Zakopalova 6-1, 6-0.

On the men's side, No. 4-ranked David Ferrer needed five match points before clinching a 6-0, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 win over American Tim Smyczek, who got into the main draw as a lucky loser from qualifying.

Fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych beat Guillaume Rufin of France 6-2, 6-2, 6-4, and No. 10 Nicolas Almagro and No. 16-ranked Kei Nishikori also moved on. No. 24 Jerzy Janowicz of Poland rallied from two sets down to overpower India's Somdev Devvarman 6-7 (10), 3-6, 6-1, 6-0, 7-5.

Also advancing were No. 28 Marcos Baghdatis, the 2006 Australian Open runner-up, No. 31 Rad Stepanek and No. 32 Julien Benneteau.

No. 20 Sam Querrey advanced when fellow American Brian Baker retired in the second set with a right knee injury and next plays No. 15 Stanislas Wawrinka.

Baker, who returned to the tour last year after missing almost six seasons with a variety of injuries, won a first-set tiebreaker and was level at 1-1 on serve in the second. He was later pushed from Court 6 in a wheelchair.

Tournament organizers said that Baker had a torn meniscus and is expected to be out about four months.

``Yeah, he's the last person that deserves anything like that with his five or six surgeries already,'' Querrey said.

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Terry McLaurin continues to dominate the Eagles with an electric 75-yard touchdown

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Terry McLaurin continues to dominate the Eagles with an electric 75-yard touchdown

In Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season, Terry McLaurin introduced himself to opposing defenses, specifically the Eagles secondary, as he racked up 125 yards and a touchdown on five receptions.

Since then, the rookie receiver has continued to showcase his talent, establishing himself as Washington's No. 1 target and a pass catcher that all teams should fear. Through incredible catches and strong runs after the receptions, he's shown he can do it all.

So with the Eagles coming to town in Week 15 for a divisional battle, what would he do for an encore? It didn't take long for Philadelphia to find out.

Catching a pass from Dwayne Haskins on a slant, McLaurin turned upfield, left the secondary in the dust and sprinted into the end zone for a 75-yard score to give Washington a 7-3 lead in the first half.

Not only did the touchdown show McLaurin's ability, but it also displayed the growing connection between him and Haskins. Teammates in college, the two are still continuing to get more comfortable with each other. Plays like that are a sign of things to come, something that will please Redskins fans and even get a smile out of their former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, who was reportedly in attendance for Sunday's game.

If McLaurin is doing this in his rookie year, the Eagles are not going to enjoy the coming years.

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There’s one team that could reportedly stop a Terrell Suggs return to Baltimore

There’s one team that could reportedly stop a Terrell Suggs return to Baltimore

According to a report from Ian Rapoport, there’s one team that could ruin a Terrell Suggs return to Baltimore

Rapoport reported on Sunday morning that the Tennessee Titans were one team that appears poised to claim the 37-year-old outside linebacker. 

The Titans entered Sunday at 8-5 and tied for the division lead in the AFC South. 

A connection for Suggs in Tennessee is Dean Pees, who was a linebackers coach for the Ravens from 2010 and 2011 before he became defensive coordinator, a role he held from 2012-2017. He became the Titans defensive coordinator in 2018.

The Ravens don’t have much power when it comes to bringing the franchise icon to Baltimore, as they are currently last on the waiver wire. 

Suggs will be on waivers until Monday at 4 p.m., where he’ll find out which team — if any — claimed the former Defensive Player of the Year. 

Adam Schefter previously reported that Suggs might not report to the team that claims him, should it not be the Ravens. 

Whatever the case is with Suggs, the resolution is coming by Monday evening. 

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