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US Open adds extra day in 2013; men's final Monday

US Open adds extra day in 2013; men's final Monday

The U.S. Open tennis tournament is moving the women's final to Sunday and men's final to Monday in 2013, building in a day of rest ahead of each title match for the first time.

The U.S. Tennis Association, which runs the Grand Slam event played in New York, announced the changes Friday - but only for next year.

A decision about 2014 and beyond probably will come after the 2013 tournament, USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier said.

Rain forced the USTA to postpone the men's final from its scheduled Sunday slot to Monday each of the past five years.

Some top male players complained that the U.S. Open was the sport's only major tournament that put their semifinals and final on consecutive days. The men's semifinals in New York will stay on Saturday under the new plan.

Friday's moves end the tradition of what the U.S. Open has called ``Super Saturday'' since 1984, with both men's semifinals and the women's final all on that day's schedule at Flushing Meadows, followed by the men's final Sunday.

Wimbledon, the French Open and Australian Open follow another pattern: women's semifinals Thursday, men's semifinals Friday, women's final Saturday, men's final Sunday. The U.S. Open now joins the French Open - which starts and ends on Sundays - as 15-day Grand Slam tournaments.

As part of the new schedule, the USTA is scrapping its Saturday night session in 2013; the women's final had been played in prime time since 2001.

Now the women's final will be in the old men's final time slot, 4 p.m. ET on Sunday. The men's final will be at 5 p.m. ET on Sept. 9. Both will remain on CBS. The tournament will start on Aug. 26.

The USTA also announced Friday that total prize money in 2013 will jump $4 million to a record $29.5 million. The increase is the largest in tournament history, doubling the roughly $2 million hike from 2011 to 2012.

The USTA has not decided how the new money will be distributed.

``Both the prize money increase and the addition of a day of rest are great for the players,'' four-time U.S. Open champion Serena Williams said in a statement issued via the USTA. ``These moves make the tournament stronger than it's ever been for all players.''

Williams' title in New York this year, her 15th at a major tournament, came on a Sunday, the fourth time in the past five years the women's final was delayed a day because of rain.

Unlike at Wimbledon and the Australian Open, the U.S. Open does not have a roof to protect any court used for tournament matches. It's also the only Grand Slam tournament that has been scheduling two men's semifinals a day before the men's final, which leaves less room for scheduling flexibility when there is disruptive weather.

``We listened to the players and understood we needed to accommodate their request for an extra day of rest between the semifinals and final. ... The USTA reached out to many of the top players, player agents, as well as the respective tours,'' Widmaier said.

``So far, everything has been fairly positive. The day of rest is being embraced across the board,'' he added. ``Because of the nature of the game, and to assure a final that can be played at the highest competitive level, you need an extra day of rest. We recognized that.''

In a statement released by the USTA, 2012 champion Andy Murray said: ``I'm pleased that the USTA has modified the U.S. Open schedule to include a day of rest between the semifinals and final. Together with the prize money increase, it's good that they've taken on board the players' concerns.''

Widmaier said the tournament still needs to figure out on which days the men's, women's and mixed doubles finals will be played next year. One reason for the need to reschedule: The women's doubles championship match has been on Sunday in the past, but can't be in 2013, with the singles shifting to that day.

``We appreciate the USTA's announcement of increased prize money and 40 years of equal compensation for the athletes of our sport,'' WTA CEO Stacey Allaster said. ``The changes made for the 2013 U.S. Open are steps in the right direction.''

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Connect with Howard Fendrich on Twitter athttp://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

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The Browns called the Redskins 15 years ago hoping to trade up for Sean Taylor, but the Redskins said 'no'

The Browns called the Redskins 15 years ago hoping to trade up for Sean Taylor, but the Redskins said 'no'

Thanks to his illustrious career at Miami, Sean Taylor caught the eyes of Joe Gibbs and the Redskins heading into the 2004 NFL Draft.

Not surprisingly, though, Washington wasn't the only franchise interested in adding a do-it-all, safety-in-a-linebacker's-body prospect to their defense.

In a terrific look-back at that draft from Sports Illustrated — a draft in which a record six Miami products went in the first 21 picks — you'll find this excerpt:

But at the last minute, the Browns, owners of the No. 7 pick, called asking to trade up. Butch Davis, Cleveland’s coach and EVP, had previously been the head coach at Miami and had recruited all six of these Hurricane prospects out of high school...

[Vinny] Cerrato says the Browns were coming for Taylor. Davis is more diplomatic about it: “It was probably about 60-40 that we would’ve taken Sean [over Winslow],” he says. He wanted to know what it’d cost to get Taylor. But Washington wasn’t budging. “There was no interest whatsoever,” Cerrato says. “We wanted Sean Taylor.”

Cleveland also reportedly contacted the Giants about their fourth overall selection so they could skip the 'Skins entirely, but New York ended up orchestrating their own deal to land Eli Manning.

Fortunately, the Burgundy and Gold stayed in place and got Taylor despite the calls. Often times, trading back in the draft is an attractive option. This time around, however, that option paled in comparison to the opportunity to acquire Taylor.

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2019 NFL Draft Preview Special: How to watch

2019 NFL Draft Preview Special: How to watch

Were the countless mock drafts not enough? Do you need a little more explanation before the nail-biter that is Round 1? NBC Sports has you covered.

Representatives from every branch of the NBC Sports Regional Network will be breaking down the 2019 NFL Draft on Thursday, April 25th just hours before one of the most anticipated and nerve-wracking shows in all of sports. Beginning at 3 p.m. ET, experts and insiders will preview Round 1 and the draft needs of their network's respective teams.

So obviously, we've got Redskins insider JP Finlay on set and ready to discuss what's in store for the 2019 Burgundy and Gold.

<<CHECK OUT NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON'S LATEST NFL MOCK DRAFT>> 

The special will be available exclusively on the MyTeams by NBC Sports App. If you haven't already downloaded the MyTeams App, you can do so right now, RIGHT HERE.

How to watch NBC Sports's 2019 Draft Preview Live Stream

When: Thursday, April 25th

Time: 3 p.m. ET

Who: JP Finlay and team-specific NFL experts across the Regional Sports Network

Steam: MyTeams App

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