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Venus Williams easily wins 1st match in Luxembourg

Venus Williams easily wins 1st match in Luxembourg

LUXEMBOURG (AP) Venus Williams cruised through her first match since the U.S. Open, beating 15-year-old WTA rookie Belinda Bencic of Switzerland 6-3, 6-1 Tuesday in the first round of the Luxembourg Open.

Williams struggled with a back problem at the U.S. Open but said she felt better in her return to the court, breaking Bencic five times and losing her own serve only once in the first set.

``I was playing with some problems at the Open. It was difficult to serve, and that's a huge part of my game,'' Williams said. ``But I have worked really hard to be able to be here, and I came planning to put some good serves in the box.

``I was happy with it today. Right now I'm going more for percentage than power, which is tough, because I really like hitting it hard.''

Bencic was playing her first tour match and said she had been excited when she saw the draw.

``It was a very great experience to play against Venus in my first WTA main draw,'' she said. ``There were things I could have done better, but I'm happy how I did.''

Earlier, top-seeded Roberta Vinci of Italy beat an inconsistent Olga Govortsova of Belarus 6-0, 2-6, 6-0 to reach the second round. Govortsova won just six points on her serve in the first set, and nine in the third - but she converted all three of her break points in the middle set in a see-saw match.

Jelena Jankovic also advanced when China's Peng Shuai retired with a shoulder injury while the former top-ranked Serb was leading 3-0.

Second-seeded Julia Goerges of Germany easily beat Spain's Silvia Soler-Espinosa 6-2, 6-1, while Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens eliminated fifth-seeded Sabine Lisicki of Germany, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.

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Amidst Jags controversy, Landon Collins goes full Suge Knight to recruit Jalen Ramsey to Redskins

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USA Today Sports Images

Amidst Jags controversy, Landon Collins goes full Suge Knight to recruit Jalen Ramsey to Redskins

Even during this relatively quiet period of the NFL calendar, there's still plenty of controversy around the league.

Take Jacksonville for example, where Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey has been firing back at executive vice president Tom Coughlin for saying he wants every player to attend the team's voluntary offseason workouts. Ramsey, as you may have already guessed, has elected to skip these workouts. 

Seeing an opportunity, new Redskins safety Landon Collins invited Ramsey to Washington via Twitter, going into full Suge Knight "Come to Death Row" mode to make his pitch. 

Ramsey seemed quite amused by the prospect, but also didn't seem totally opposed to the idea of teaming up with Collins in D.C. 

While it's unlikely Washington trades for Ramsey, nothing's stopping you from firing up the NFL Roster Builder and putting the two-time Pro Bowler in burgundy and gold, Redskins fans! 

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John Carlson's autograph the finishing touch to a Capitals fan's tattoo sleeve

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Leah Carey/Twitter

John Carlson's autograph the finishing touch to a Capitals fan's tattoo sleeve

It's been a long time in the making, but a local Washington fan finally put the finishing touches on his Capitals-themed tattoo sleeve on Thursday.

Maryland-based fan Leah Carey posted a picture of her father's tattooed arm on Twitter, showing off the finished product.

John Carlson is credited with the final assist, as his signature was the last thing Carey's father needed to complete the tattoo collection. He finally got the signaure when Carlson took the time to autograph his arm after a recent practice. Carey then got it tattooed the following day.

In addition to Carlson's autograph, the sleeve includes various Caps' logos over the years, including their Stanley Cup championship crest.

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