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Ovechkin says Kirilenko good for him

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Ovechkin says Kirilenko good for him

They are a match made in tabloid heaven.

Alex Ovechkin, the burly, jut-jawed captain of the Washington Capitals. Maria Kirilenko, the stunningly beautiful princess of Russian tennis.

OK, so they havent quite reached the celebrity status of Brad and Angelina, William and Kate or Justin and Selena. But if youve been watching any womens tennis lately, youve probably spotted Ovechkin cheering on his girlfriend from the stands.

So just how many of Kirilenkos matches did the Capitals captain take in this summer?

Every match, he told CSNWashington on Friday. It was fun. It was something good for me to support her. Its something I like to do when I have time off and I have vacation.

Ovechkin, who will turn 27 on Sept. 17, and Kirilenko, who will turn 26 in January, are both from Moscow. They began dating early last season, although Ovechkin admits it was a long-distance relationship at first.

We were always on the phone or on Skype, Ovechkin said. Later in the season three times she come here, so she was here a lot. Its good. Its the kind of relationship I like.

Ovechkin accompanied Kirilenko to Wimbledon, where she reached the quarterfinals, and to the Summer Olympics in London, where she lost in the semifinals to silver medalist Maria Sharapova.

Kirilenko came home from London with a bronze medal after she and Nadia Petrova upset the No. 1-ranked doubles team of Lisa Raymond and Liezel Huber. She has recently risen to 12th in the WTA ranking, her highest ever.

London was cool for the Olympics and Wimbledon was unbelievable, Ovechkin said.

I met great athletes and great people. Just to see how the best tennis players prepare, what they do before, how they warm up, its always nice to see what different players do.

Ovechkin said he would arrive at stadiums 3 hours before Kirlenkos matches.

Its a lot of waiting, he said, but its something exciting.

Before meeting Kirilenko, Ovechkin admits he knew nothing about tennis. But he played a lot of it this summer.

Tennis helps me a lot to be in good shape, Ovechkin said. When youre not practicing and eating food and watching you get out of shape. But I was always running and moving when I played.

In following the WTA tour Ovechkin said he quickly realized what the rest of the tennis world already knows Serena Williams is nearly unbeatable.

I think Serena right now is the best, Ovechkin said. Shes just a machine, especially in the Olympics, beating everyone 6-0, 6-1. Shes amazing.

It was during the Olympics that Ovechkin tweeted out photos of him and Kirilenko, including one that showed a large ring on the ring finger of her left hand.

So, is the sound of wedding bells in the air for two of Russias most eligible athletes?

Oh, no, Ovechkin said. Just a present from me, thats all. No engagement. No wedding bells.

At least not yet.

We have a good relationship, he said. Its always nice to have that kind of person around you. Its good.

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Alex Ovechkin takes home ESPY for Best Male Athlete Award

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Alex Ovechkin takes home ESPY for Best Male Athlete Award

Alexander Ovechkin's offseason continues to be one for the books. 

Just a week removed from celebrating with the Stanley Cup in Moscow, Ovechkin was named Best Male Athlete Wednesday night at the 2018 ESPYs. 

The 32-year-old is the first NHL player to win the award since it was first introduced in 1993. 

"The Great Eight" beat out Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros, James Harden of the Houston Rockets and Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. 

Ovechkin was not in Los Angeles to accept the award.

 

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Braden Holtby’s save in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup wasn’t even nominated for an ESPY

Braden Holtby’s save in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup wasn’t even nominated for an ESPY

On Wednesday night ESPN hosts their yearly sports award show, the ESPYs, to celebrate the best of the last 365 days in sport. 

One thing they will not be celebrating, or did not even consider celebrating, was Braden Holtby’s save in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final

This year there were 16 plays nominated to be the “Best Play” and were seeded into a bracket. For the past month fans have been voting in each head-to-head matchup culminating in four pretty outstanding plays:

All of those plays can be viewed here

Three of those four were in a championship game, the other was a just a once in a lifetime play from a teenager. 

But the ESPYs are saying that there are 16 plays from this past year that were better than Holtby’s save… Can we really believe that? Everyone loves buzzer beaters, but they accounted for six of the 16 plays. One of them could have easily gotten bumped. 

And aside from the three listed above there were only two that were in the championship event for each sport. Holtby could have rounded it out for six.

We’re not saying that Holtby’s play was the best in the past year, or even in the top four. Heck, there should be no one that tops Ogunbowale’s incredible heroics. But arguably the best play in D.C. sports history not making the top-16 for best plays in a 365 day period? 

It must have been one heck of a sports year.  

For those that are nominated, Alex Ovechkin is a finalist for Best Male Athlete and Best NHL Player. The Capitals are in the running for Best Team.

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