SPORTS INSIDER WEEKLY – Su’a Cravens shocks Redskins with unexpected exit; American women dominate U.S. Open

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September 6, 2017
Ceci Ferrara
Sports Writer
Sport Insider Weekly

Photos: Keith Allison

The Washington Redskins’ received unexpected news over Labor Day weekend when second year safety Su’a Cravens announced his desire to retire. The news sent shockwaves through the Redskins organizations, with many left wondering how to fill the void. His decision came at the conclusion of the preseason, with the 22-year old projected to be the team’s starting safety. Washington felt so stunned, team president Bruce Allen convinced him to postpone a formal retirement, and instead, offered Cravens a month in which to resolve personal issues that may have played a role in his decision.

He will start the season on the exempt list. Cravens was selected with the 53rd pick in the 2016 NFL draft before signing a four-year, $4.43 million contract in May 2016. The footballer has remained mum on the reasoning behind his decision, instead telling his Snapchat followers he didn’t owe anybody an explanation.

“I don’t feel like I need to explain myself. I don’t feel like I have to,” Cravens said on the app. “I think I need to follow what makes me happy. Get my mental right. My well-being right. My family right. I’m not worried about the comments or what people think about me.”

While many Washington fans have reacted angrily to Cravens’ decision, some even calling him “selfish,” coach Jon Gruden offered a more compassionate response.

“He has given us everything he has had since he has been here,” the Redskins coach said. “I think sometimes your personal life is more important, and in this case, for him, it is.”

U.S. Open

15th-seeded Madison Keys enjoyed a comeback win over No. 4 seed Elina Svitolina on Monday night to give the United States four women in the US Open quarterfinals for the first time in 15 years.

The 22-year-old Keys jointed No. 9 Venus Williams, No. 20 CoCo Vandeweghe, and unseeded Sloane Stephens in the last eight at Flushing Meadows. As none of them face each other until the next round, it’s possible that the semi-finals could be all-American.

“I think it shows how hard we’ve been working,” Keys said. “I think it’s just really exciting. I’m really happy that none of us are playing each other in the quarter-finals.”

Williams, the only remaining competitor who has won a US Open, was there in 2002 when the U.S. women enjoyed a similar dominance at the tournament. That year, her sister Serena beat her in the last all-American final for her 4th career Grand Slam title (and second U.S. Open victory).

Even with Serena currently enjoying motherhood with her newborn baby, Venus still has plenty of competition. She will face No. 13 seeded Petra Kvitova on Tuesday night.

“I think success breeds success,” the 37-year old tennis star said. “If you win, you learn how to win, and you win more. But I’m firmly a person that lives in the future. I don’t get nervous or tight because I have to defend points or because I won a tournament last year. I don’t care about the last year. I’m about, ‘Is this win happening today?'”

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