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Tennis stars Evert, Davenport take swing at acting

Tennis stars Evert, Davenport take swing at acting

LOS ANGELES (AP) Chris Evert and Lindsay Davenport are taking a swing at acting as guest stars on ``CSI.'' Some script revisions were in order, though, when the retired tennis champions shot their scenes.

Evert, Davenport and tennis commentator Justin Gimelstob all play themselves on Wednesday's episode of the CBS series starring Ted Danson and Elisabeth Shue, a friend of Evert's.

According to Evert, the original script called for Davenport to find the body of a female pro player that sets the episode in motion.

Evert recalled thinking: ``Oh my God, Lindsay has a scene where she has to act.''

``She never likes attention,'' Evert said.

Davenport read the script and said, ``I had a panic attack. I was like, `There's no way.'''

By the time Evert arrived at Calabasas Tennis Club for filming, Gimelstob was being fingered as the suspect.

``Most things that come to me that are outside my comfort zone are things that I don't want to do,'' Davenport said. ``You either have that personality or you don't.''

Gimelstob egged both Evert and Davenport on, although Evert didn't need too much persuasion. She hosted ``Saturday Night Live'' in 1989 and played a commentator in the movie ``Wimbledon.''

Shue is a big tennis fan and urged the ``CSI'' writers to pen an episode involving the sport. She's played in Evert's charity event in Florida and the Hall of Famer said the actress' game makes her ``one of the best women celebrities I've ever seen.''

So who flubbed their lines?

``Oh my Lord, that's not a nice question,'' Evert said. ``We came prepared. I don't know if we were any good. Justin probably took it more seriously than we did.''

Evert said acting is relaxed compared to playing pro tennis.

``If you flub up your lines, you can do it five times. In tennis, there's no dress rehearsal. You play your match and that's it,'' the 18-time major champion said.

Shue's character interrogates Evert, and the two trade shots on the court in a scene that took a good part of their 10-hour day to set up and shoot. Cameras filmed each woman's side of the court at least 10 times and then pulled back to film the entire court.

``It was just like commentating. Like we do at Wimbledon, it's hurry up and wait,'' Evert said. ``The first year I did commentating it was like, `Whoa, this is a lot of doing nothing.'''

Davenport felt more comfortable once Gimelstob was taking the heat on camera.

``It was great to be able to play a tennis commentator on a show that I've loved and watched for years,'' she said.

Both Davenport and Evert have three children. Davenport's son and two daughters are 5 and under, while Evert's three sons are 16, 18 and 21.

Evert's sons all played high school tennis, and Davenport's son plays a couple times a week. But don't look for any of them on the pro tours.

``They're all like their father,'' Evert said, referring to ex-husband and former Olympic skier Andy Mill. ``They like the extreme sports.''

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10 Questions in 10 days: What is Kevin O’Connell's new role in Redskins offense?

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10 Questions in 10 days: What is Kevin O’Connell's new role in Redskins offense?

With Redskins Training Camp set to begin July 26th, JP Finlay takes a look at 10 of the most pressing questions for the Burgundy and Gold. 

No. 10: Major questions at linebacker on Redskins depth chart 

No. 9: What is Kevin O’Connell's new role in Redskins offense?

It might be hard to remember now, but there was a week late last season for the Redskins where most informed people considered Kevin O'Connell on his way out. The talented young quarterbacks coach was being pursued by Chip Kelly to be offensive coordinator at UCLA, and the smart money suggested O'Connell would take the job. 

Except he didn't. 

O'Connell decided to stay with the Redskins and continue to work on Jay Gruden's staff. In turn, Washington promoted O'Connell to passing game coordinator, a new title that likely means much more involvement in game-planning. 

Working for Gruden comes with some perks. Sean McVay ran the offense for Gruden for a few seasons and landed a prime head coaching job with the Rams. McVay has plenty of his own talent, but throughout the NFL, Gruden's offense is widely respected. 

How will O'Connell's influence shape things this fall?

Consider that he deserves some credit for Kirk Cousins improved play out of the pocket in 2017. Now combine a coach that schemes plays for QBs on the move with new Washington passer Alex Smith, a strong runner and serious athlete, and this offense could look much more mobile in 2018. 

Gruden still has the final call on gameday, but O'Connell's voice will matter this year, more so than before. Bill Callahan and Matt Cavanaugh retain their roles and prominence in the offensive game-planning, for sure, but as Washington imports more run-pass option plays and QB movement, know that O'Connell is playing his part. 

Things will look different with Alex Smith running the Redskins offense than they did with Kirk Cousins at the helm. 

Just remember, O'Connell didn't turn down a job in Hollywood for no reason. 

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Need to Know: The best receivers the Redskins will face in 2018

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Need to Know: The best receivers the Redskins will face in 2018

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, July 17, nine days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The five best pass catchers the Redskins will face in 2018

This week we’ll be looking at the best of what the Redskins will face during the 2018 season. Today the pass catchers are up. They are roughly ranked 2017 receiving yards, although I did some juggling based on offseason moves and other factors. Prior to this, we looked at the best teams and quarterbacks

Julio Jones, Falcons—Somehow the perception is that he had an off year in 2017 even though he still had 1,444 yards receiving. His touchdowns were down; his total of three TDs was a career worst for a full season. Still, he’s a beast to try to cover and even if you have him perfectly covered he can still make the catch on you. 

DeAndre Hopkins, Texans—Despite working with some shaky quarterbacks, Hopkins has managed to gain over 1,100 receiving yards in three of the last four seasons. He is a highlight show regular and his 13 touchdowns led the league in 2017. 

Michael Thomas, Saints—The third-year player doesn’t have high name recognition outside of New Orleans and maybe fans of the other NFC South teams. Defensive coordinators certainly don’t sleep on him. Thomas is as consistent as they come, posting nine games with 80 or more receiving yards last season. 

Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals—I keep wondering when he will show signs of his age (he’ll be 35 before the season starts). He didn’t last year, posting 109 receptions despite the fact that his quarterbacks were an aging Carson Palmer plus journeymen Blaine Gabbert and Drew Stanton. 

Mike Evans, Buccaneers—At 6-5, he is able to physically beat most cornerbacks. Evans will turn 25 just before the season starts and he got a five-year, $82.5 million contract extension. He is worth every bit of it. If Jameis Winston gets a big contract (something that is up in the air right now), he owes a good chunk of it to Evans. 

Best of the rest: T.Y. Hilton, Colts; Davante Adams, Packers; Alvin Kamara (RB), Saints; Zach Ertz (TE), Eagles

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Timeline 

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 9
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 23
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 46

The Redskins last played a game 198 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 54 days. 

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