Lara Gut rediscovers winning form in Cortina super-G

Lara Gut

Swiss Lara Gut snapped a drought to win the final speed event of the World Cup season before the Sochi Olympics in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, on Sunday.

Gut prevailed in 1 minute, 27.81 seconds, beating Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather by .12. German overall World Cup leader Maria Hoefl-Riesch was third.

Americans Stacey Cook and Julia Mancuso were 13th and 16th, taking a step back after two straight days in the top 10 in the Italian Dolomites.

The victory was important for Gut’s medal hopes in Sochi. She had won three of the first four races this season in November after never winning more than one World Cup race in a single season.

Gut, a double 2009 world silver medalist, then disappeared beginning in mid-December, making the podium once over 10 races and tumbling to fifth in the World Cup overall standings.

“It was a difficult time,” Gut said, according to Agence-France Presse. “I could see success in my mind, but you couldn’t see it on the slopes. Now today, this win, it was very important for me.”

She has now won three of five super-G races this season and is the clear Olympic gold-medal favorite in the event. Weirather is her top challenger. Hoefl-Riesch is better in the downhill.

The women’s Alpine skiing World Cup continues with a giant slalom and slalom in Slovenia next weekend, the final races before the Olympics. American Mikaela Shiffrin will highlight the fields.

Cortina d’Ampezzo Super-G
1. Lara Gut (SUI) 1:27.81
2. Tina Weirather (LIE) 1:27.93
3. Maria Hoefl-Riesch (GER) 1:28.42
4. Verena Stuffer (ITA) 1:28.49
5. Tina Maze (SLO) 1:28.53
6. Elisabeth Goergl (AUT) 1:28.63
7. Nadia Fanchini (ITA) 1:28.79
8. Anna Fenninger (AUT) 1:29.00
9. Marie Marchand-Arvier (FRA) 1:29.10
10. Nicole Hosp (AUT) 1:29.22
13. Stacey Cook (USA) 1:29.35
16. Julia Mancuso (USA) 1:29.71
29. Jacqueline Wiles (USA) 1:31.18
32. Leanne Smith (USA) 1:31.32
35. Laurenne Ross (USA) 1:31.84
DNF. Julia Ford (USA)

Kelly Clark beats 13-year-old for Winter X title

U.S. women’s basketball team wins 3×3 world title; men take silver

FIBA 3x3 World Cup

U.S. basketball teams took women’s gold and men’s silver at the FIBA 3×3 World Cup, the most prestigious tournament outside of the Olympics.

The U.S. women’s team of current NCAA standouts Cameron Brink (Stanford) and Hailey Van Lith (LSU transfer from Louisville), plus former WNBA players Cierra Burdick and Linnae Harper went 7-1 in this week’s tournament in Vienna, capped with a 16-12 win over France in Sunday’s final.

The U.S. women took gold in the event’s Olympic debut in Tokyo with WNBA standouts Stefanie Dolson, Allisha Gray, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young.

Also Sunday, a U.S. men’s team headlined by 2011 NCAA Player of the Year Jimmer Fredette lost 21-19 to Serbia in their final. Serbia has won six of the eight world titles in men’s 3×3, plus Olympic bronze in Tokyo.

While the World Cup does not offer direct 2024 Olympic qualification, it will factor significantly into world rankings that in November will determine the first three nations to earn spots in the Olympic men’s and women’s tournaments.

If the U.S. qualifies for Paris, a committee will choose the roster(s). Active NBA players are not expected to take part.

The U.S. men did not qualify for the Tokyo Olympics despite being reigning world champions.

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Novak Djokovic breaks record he shared with Rafael Nadal at French Open

Novak Djokovic French Open

Novak Djokovic broke a tie with rival Rafael Nadal by reaching the French Open quarterfinals for the record 17th time, never truly in trouble during a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Juan Pablo Varillas on Sunday.

Djokovic is closing on bettering Nadal in a more prestigious category: Grand Slam singles championships. Both currently sit at 22. For Djokovic, that total includes two at Roland Garros, in 2016 and 2021, and he can become the first man to own at least three trophies from each major tournament.

Nadal is a 14-time champion in Paris but is missing this time because of a hip injury; he had arthroscopic surgery Friday night.

Against the 94th-ranked Varillas, who had never won a Slam match until this event and then took three in a row in five sets, Djokovic was, not surprisingly, at his dominant best at Court Philippe Chatrier on a warm, sunny day.

The 36-year-old from Serbia finished with more than twice as many winners, 35-15, and fewer unforced errors. He went 15 for 17 on trips to the net. He put in 80% of his first serves. He converted 6 of 12 break points while dropping his serve only once.

All in all, a no-drama showing in under two hours from Djokovic, who hasn’t ceded a set yet through four matches. He’s had his less-than-amiable back-and-forths with some spectators over the past week in Paris, but when this one ended, Djokovic gestured as though to hug everyone as he heard some chants of his two-syllable nickname, “No-le!”

In his 55th career major quarterfinal — Roger Federer, who retired with 58, is the only man to reach more — and 14th in a row at Roland Garros, the No. 3-seeded Djokovic will face No. 11 Karen Khachanov on Tuesday.

Khachanov, who is 1-8 against Djokovic, made it this far at a Slam for the fifth time by defeating Lorenzo Sonego 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7), 6-1.

Also Sunday, No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz beat No. 17 Lorenzo Musetti by the same scoreline as Djokovic’s win over Varillas — 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. He will next play No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas or Sebastian Ofner.

Three unseeded women moved into quarterfinals: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the 2021 runner-up at Roland Garros, Karolina Muchova and Elina Svitolina.

Pavlyuchenkova, who missed last year’s tournament as part of a lengthy absence with a knee injury, got past a third consecutive seeded opponent, No. 28 Elise Mertens, by a 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3 score.

Muchova was a 6-4, 6-4 winner against Elina Avanesyan, who lost in qualifying but got into the main draw when another player withdrew. Muchova plays Pavlyuchenkova next.

Svitolina, a Ukrainian mom once ranked No. 3 in the world, took out No. 9 seed Daria Kasatkina of Russia 6-4, 7-6 (5).

The other women’s match scheduled for later: No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka vs. 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Women | Men | Broadcast Schedule

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