Serena beats Radwanska for fifth Wimbledon title

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Serena beats Radwanska for fifth Wimbledon title

WIMBLEDON, England -- Serena Williams is back, and she looks almost as good as ever. The 30-year-old American won her fifth Wimbledon title Saturday on Centre Court, beating Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 to claim her 14th major championship. After hitting a backhand winner on match point, she fell onto her back to the grass. She then rose with a grin as big sister Venus -- another five-time Wimbledon champion -- smiled and applauded, along with the rest of the crowd. After shaking hands with Radwanska, Williams climbed into the box where her family was seated. She hugged her father, Venus, their mother and others. "I can't even describe it. I almost didn't make it," said Williams, who has battled health issues since winning the 2010 Wimbledon title. "A few years ago, you know, I was in the hospital, and now I'm here again. It's so worth it, and I'm so happy." Out on court, Williams had little trouble at the start, using her hard serve and powerful groundstrokes to win the first five games and run Radwanska all over the grass. Radwanska, who was playing in her first Grand Slam final, has been ill with a respiratory problem, making it difficult for her to speak. In the second set and already down a break, the third-seeded Pole was coughing and blowing her nose during a changeover. But she broke Williams in the next game to even the score at 4-4, and then broke again to win the second set. Williams responded in the third set, breaking twice and serving out to win another major title. Williams finished with 58 winners to 13 for Radwanska, including an edge of 20-3 in the final set. Williams lost only eight points on her first serve. "Aggie played so well. That's why she has had such a great career, and so young," Williams told the crowd. "You guys should give her another round of applause because she's amazing and she did an amazing job today." The match was played with the Centre Court roof open, and it was delayed by rain for a short time after the first set. "Serena played too good today, but I'm just very happy to be here in the final," Radwanska said. "It was not my day. I'll try just next year. We'll see." Later Saturday, Serena and Venus Williams will play in the doubles final. A little more than a month ago, many started writing Williams off for good. She lost in the first round of this year's French Open, the first time she had ever exited a Grand Slam tournament that early. But at Wimbledon, she looked every bit a champion again. She broke her own tournament record for aces in a match with 23 against Zheng Jie in the third round. Less than a week later, she eclipsed that mark with 24 against Victoria Azarenka in the semifinals. On Saturday, she finished with 17 aces and a record 102 for the tournament. It was Williams' first Grand Slam title since she won at the All England Club two years ago. Shortly after winning that title, Williams cut her feet on glass at a restaurant, leading to a series of health problems, including being hospitalized for clots in her lungs. "I never dreamt of being here again, being so down," Williams said. "Never give up. You can continue." Williams is the first woman in her 30s to win a Wimbledon title since Martina Navratilova, who won at the All England Club in 1990 when she was 33. In the men's final on Sunday, six-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer will face British hope Andy Murray. The fourth-seeded Murray is trying to become the first British man to win the title at the All England Club since Fred Perry in 1936.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Nats reportedly willing to trade Lucas Giolito 'straight up' for Andrew Miller

MLB Trade Rumors: Nats reportedly willing to trade Lucas Giolito 'straight up' for Andrew Miller

The Nationals are very interested in acquiring a closer before the trade deadline on Monday.

The hang up has been — as it was with a potential deal for Aroldis Chapman — with the number of pieces they would have to give up in the process.

While keeping all of their top prospects would be ideal, a source close to the MLB's Jon Morosi believes the Nationals would be willing to trade 22-year-old RHP Lucas Giolito to the Yankees for 31-year-old closer Andrew Miller.

RELATED: WHO ARE THE NATS' TOP TRADE DEADLINE TARGETS?

The Yankees had previously insisted that they would be keeping Miller, but with the team looking to stockpile young talent for the future, a one-for-one trade would do them well. But having just dealt Chapman, the Yankees may want more in return, which the Nationals have balked at in recent talks.

But Miller would be an upgrade from the Nationals' current situation.

Jonathan Papelbon has been shaky and inconsistent as of late, and while Shawn Kelley has been capable of spot closing duties, it is clear that the team is deficient in that department. Miller only has nine saves this season, but has played second fiddle to Chapman and his blistering pitch speed. Miller has a 1.39 ERA and has struck out 77 batters this season.

Miller is a good closer, but is he worth giving up a bona fide top prospect in Lucas Giolito?

The answer will become clear by the end of the weekend.

RELATED: NATS' INTERESTED IN PIRATES' ALL-STAR CLOSER

 

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Mike Wallace finally passes conditioning test; allowed to join Ravens at practice

Mike Wallace finally passes conditioning test; allowed to join Ravens at practice

OWINGS MILLS – Ravens wide receiver Mike Wallace was back on the practice field Friday, after passing his conditioning test on the second try.

Wallace missed Thursday’s practice after he failed the test on his first attempt. Joining him on the field Friday was wide receiver Dobson Collins, who also passed the test on his second attempt.

The Ravens hope Wallace will return to the form he had early in his career, when he was a consistent deep threat for Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Wallace was a disappointment during stints with the Dolphins and Vikings, but Joe Flacco’s ability to throw the deep ball could help Wallace rejuvenate his career.

RELATED: RAVENS TIGHT END LEAVES CAMP WITH INJURY

In other practice news, cornerback Jerraud Powers missed practice for the second straight day and remained the only player yet to pass the conditioning test. Running back Kenneth Dixon, who sprained his left knee Thursday, also did not practice.  

Ravens coach John Harbaugh was hoping the team would stay disciplined during the first day of practice in pads on Saturday.

“The biggest message when you put the pads on is, ‘You’ve been in pads before,’’’ Harbaugh said. ‘“Don’t overreact. It’s going to be fine.’…I want to get right into executing and keep building on what we’ve done the last two days.

“We’re not going to be out here tackling too much – especially the veteran guys. Let’s just go play football.”

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Report: Nats talking to Pirates about All-Star closer Melancon

Report: Nats talking to Pirates about All-Star closer Melancon

With Aroldis Chapman now in Chicago, the Nationals have moved on to other options in their search for bullpen help.

They have been linked to Andrew Miller of the Yankees and Wade Davis of the Royals.

On Friday, another veteran name emerged on the rumor mill. That would be All-Star closer Mark Melancon of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

RELATED: NATS' TOP TRADE DEADLINE TARGETS

See this tweet from FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal:

Melancon, like Chapman, would be a rental, as his contract expires after this season. He is a three-time All-Star who finished eighth in NL Cy Young voting in 2015.

Melancon has been brilliant for Pittsburgh this year with a 1.51 ERA and 30 saves in 33 chances. He led the majors last season with 51 saves in 53 tries.

What stands out about this rumor, though, is that the Pirates would even be willing to part with Melancon. They are currently just two games out of an NL wild card spot. Teams in their position do not usually become sellers.

Because of that, one would have to imagine the price would be high for Melancon, as Pittsburgh has no urgency to move him. One could argue they have no reason to in the first place.

Regardless, it's good news for the Nats if the Pirates will listen to offers. Melancon would be a rare commodity on the trade market as a closer with experience and a long track record of proven results.

[RELATED: Papelbon's job as Nats closer now a real question]

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