Haas catches Fish, faces Dolgopolov for Citi Open title

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Haas catches Fish, faces Dolgopolov for Citi Open title

In a perfect world, Tommy Haas would not even be in Washington this week. Denied a London Olympics opportunity, the last player with a win over Roger Federer is making the of his DC experience.Top seed Mardy Fish, Haas friend and Los Angeles neighbor, was the latest victim caught in the No. 4 seeds scorned wake. Haas reached his first championship in Washington with a 6-3, 7-5 victory at the Citi Open on Saturday afternoon. Alexandr Dolgopolov hopes hes not next, though the laid-back Ukrainian hardly seems stressed, like ever. Like Haas, the crafty No. 2 seed has yet to lose a set this week including a 6-4, 6-4 triumph over eighth-seeded Sam Querrey in the other semifinal at the Fitzgerald Tennis Center.The days session concluded with unseeded Magdalena Rybarikova continuing her upset-fueled tournament by defeating No. 1 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 6-1 in the womens championship match.Haas sets streak appeared in jeopardy at 4-5, 30-40 in the second against Fish, but he fended off a simultaneous break and set point. He subsequently took the game, then broke the 15th ranked player in the worlds serve, then served successfully for the match.There was just a few points (difference) here and there really, said Haas, a winner in five of his last six matches against top 15 ranked players this year. If you get a break point opportunity, like so often in many matches you try to win those big points. The majority of them went my way today.The 34-year-old Haas has appeared in three finals this year, all coming within the last 10 weeks. One ended with a pre-Wimbledon championship over Federer, who subsequently won at Wimbledon and next plays for Olympic gold on Sunday.Anytime in a final you can beat someone like Roger Federer, pretty recently, youre playing some good tennis, Fish said. No disgrace to lose to someone like that.An Olympic silver medalist in 2000, Haas desired a berth on the current German team. His country required a top-24 world ranking, which at the time Haas, who began the year 205, did not possess. That led to a decision the one-time No. 2 ranked player in the world and since 2010, also an American citizen - declared after his first round match this week, a big mistake in my eyes.Ironically, with a win in the championship against Dolgopolov, Haas rank will jump inside the top 24.Against Fish in the first set, Haas lost only two points on serve and did not commit an unforced error. ''That's obviously something that doesn't happen often in my game, because I play very aggressively at times and miss a few balls here and there,'' said Haas, now 4-1 in his career against Fish. ''But in order to beat people like Mardy Fish, you have to play at a very high level.''Fishs attempt at dictating play on set point failed when a slice backhand inadvertently turned into a drop shot, allowing Haas to recover and win the point.That was the biggest point of the match for me, said the 30-year-old Fish, who continues rounding back into shape after an extended medical absence on tour following a procedure for an irregular heartbeat.This was a great week for me to get some matches, see where I am, to build on, Fish said. Im not happy with the result today, but happy with the week.While Haas is quite familiar with his occasional LA knock around pal, hes never faced Dolgopolov, who broke the big serving Querrey in the matchs opening game. That was really important, said Dolgopolov, who will see his ranking jump from 25 to 16 next week regardless of whether he wins his second career title on Sunday. Its tough to break his serve. To start the game like that, its a lot of confidence.The 23-year-old Ukrainian with the semi-contrarian, high-risk game also ripped off 25 winners while thwarting all five of Querreys break chances.He has an awkward-style game, and it makes it tough to play against, said Querrey, whose semifinals appearance backed up his title win in Los Angeles last week.Ranked 102 entering this week, Rybarikova did not lose a set in any of her five matches, including wins over the top three ranked players in the womens draw. The Slovak drubbed Pavlyuchenkova in65 minutes en route to winning her third career title and doing so in the first year the Washington tournament, a staple on the ATP schedule, combined with the WTA Tour. NotesThe mens final is scheduled for 4 pm on SundayQuerrey and partner Kevin Anderson will play for the doubles championship at 1 pm against the team of Trent Conrad Huey and Dominic InglotNo American male has won theWashington championship since Andy Roddick in 2007.

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It will take a while, but expect Kirk Cousins to sign long-term with Redskins, per analyst

It will take a while, but expect Kirk Cousins to sign long-term with Redskins, per analyst

All signs point to the Redskins again placing the franchise tag on Kirk Cousins, and the March 1 deadline to make that move grows ever closer. The franchise tag, however, will not prevent the organization from making a long-term deal with the quarterback, and CBS' Jason La Canfora expects the 'Skins to get a deal done with Cousins sometime this summer.

"Unlike last year, the Redskins will make a legit concerted effort to sign him to a fair-market deal (unlike the low-ball overtures of a year ago). And by July 15, I suspect Cousins has a long-term deal with Washington agreed to."

July 15 marks the deadline for teams to negotiate with tagged players. Last year, the Redskins hardly offered Cousins more money than was guaranteed by his one-year, $20 million contract dictated by the franchise tag. This season, that figure jumps to $24 million.

There is some debate as to what will constitute a 'fair-market deal' for Cousins. Will the 'Skins passer get to the Andrew Luck level, with more than $80 million guaranteed? Will the team use the non-exclusive tag and let Cousins see what his value is with other teams?

Nothing but questions and specualtion will dominate the Cousins conversation, at least until March 1 when the 'Skins are forced to use the tag or let the QB walk to the open market. That won't happen, but it is possible the team and Cousins reach a multi-year deal before then.

Don't plan on it. The NFL is a deadline driven league. March 1, and then July 15, could prove to be the most important days in the 2017 version of the Cousins saga. 

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Kings send DeMarcus Cousins to Pelicans for Hield, Evans and 2017 picks

Kings send DeMarcus Cousins to Pelicans for Hield, Evans and 2017 picks

NEW ORLEANS -- The saga between the Sacramento Kings and DeMarcus Cousins finally is over as the three-time All-Star was traded to the Pelicans on Sunday night to the host city for the 66th All-Star Game.

Cousins played just two minutes and made a quick exit from the game with the West All-Stars. As soon as he made a three-point shot, his night was complete.

Cousins, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, was acquired for a 2017 first-round, second-round pick, Buddy Hield and Tyreke Evans.

Before the deal was consummated, Kentucky teammate John Wall had this response on Cousins teaming up with Anthony Davis: "Wooooo."

He paused, took a sip of his sports drink, and gasped. "I'm just going to drink on that one."

Cousins never led the Kings, a dysfuctional franchise since the day he was drafted in 2010, to the postseason. They'd never won more than 33 games with Cousins and were 24-33 this season.

Cousins had career averages of 21.1 points, 10.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists in  six-plus seasons. Davis scored 52 points Sunday en route to being the All-Star Game MVP. 

The Pelicans are 23-24.