Sochi Olympic Daily Recap & Medal Count: Day 6


The U.S. finally got a Sochi Olympic gold medal outside of snowboarding, and it came as part of a medals sweep in the inaugural men’s ski slopestyle competition.

Joss Christensen (gold), Gus Kenworthy (silver), and Nick Goepper (bronze) became the third American trio to pull that feat off in a Winter Olympics, joining those from the 1956 men’s figure skating and 2002 men’s snowboard halfpipe podiums. After the event, Christensen dedicated the win to his late father, saying to’s Nick Zaccardi:  “I hope I made him proud.”…

While the Americans continued their Sochi slopestyle surge, the world of figure skating said a dramatic goodbye to Yevgeny Plushenko, who withdrew from the men’s competition after suffering an apparent injury in warmups before today’s short program and then retired shortly afterwards.

Plushenko was both loved and hated but he was impossible to ignore, and his departure marks the end of an era. But the show went on and it was quite a show indeed.

MORE: Complete recap of Team USA on Day 6

After U.S. skater Jeremy Abbott showed what he’s made of after a hard fall on his opening jump, Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu earned a world-record score to take the lead going into tomorrow’s free skate. Jason Brown of the U.S., making his Olympic debut in Sochi, put on a solid program and placed sixth to put himself in medal contention…

French biathlete Martin Fourcade earned his second Sochi gold in the 20km individual, while Ole Einar Bjoerndalen finished 34th in his second attempt to become the most decorated Winter Olympian ever in these Olympics. The race also saw Team USA’s Lowell Bailey finish eighth, the best-ever individual result at the Olympics by a U.S. biathlete

The U.S. speedskaters had another trying day at Adler Arena, with Heather Richardson and Brittany Bowe both unable to medal in the women’s 1000m, a race won by China’s Zhang Hong…

China also got a gold today in short track as Li Jianrou won the women’s 500m after teammate and event favorite Fan Kexin crashed out in the semifinals…

Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland overcame a broken foot to win the women’s cross-country 10km classic, and the all-conquering German lugers won the first-ever team relay event at the Sanki Sliding Center…

The U.S. and Canadian men’s hockey teams both began their Sochi programs with wins, as the Americans thrashed Slovakia and Team Canada topped Norway. Host nation Russia also got a win over Slovenia in front of a red-hot crowd and Finland scored a whopping eight goals in their win over Austria…

American hopefuls Noelle Pikus-Pace and Katie Uhlaender are firmly in the medal conversation after the first of two days in women’s skeleton…

Out of competition, officials are still trying to figure out how a track worker at Sanki Sliding Center was hit by a forerunner sled prior to training runs this afternoon…

The aforementioned Mr. Kenworthy is trying to adopt and bring home a group of stray puppies and their mother, who have been living by an Olympics media center (yes, there are photos of the cuddly pooches in the link)…

Fans and athletes alike have been working around the relatively warm temperatures in Sochi…

The slopestyle set aren’t all that bothered by their falling pants

Two-time Olympian/NBC Olympics figure skating analyst Johnny Weir shows off some of his fashion ensembles

And new halfpipe champion Kaitlyn Farrington got a sigil from the “Game of Thrones” gang.

(Country – Gold/Silver/Bronze – Total Medals)
1. Germany – 7/2/1 – 10
2. Canada – 4/4/2 – 10
3. Norway – 4/3/6 – 13
4. Netherlands – 4/3/5 – 12
5. United States – 4/2/6 – 12
6. Switzerland – 3/0/1 – 4
7. Russia – 2/5/4 – 11
8. China – 2/1/0 – 3
9. France – 2/0/2 – 4
10. Poland – 2/0/0 – 2
11. Austria – 1/4/0 – 5
12. Slovenia – 1/1/2 – 4
13. Korea – 1/0/1 – 2
T-14. Belarus – 1/0/0 – 1
T-14. Slovakia – 1/0/0 – 1
16. Sweden – 0/4/1 – 5
T-17. Czech Republic – 0/2/1 – 3
T-17. Italy – 0/2/1 – 3
T-17. Japan – 0/2/1 – 3
T-20. Australia – 0/1/0 – 1
T-20. Finland – 0/1/0 – 1
22. Latvia – 0/0/2 – 2
T-23. Great Britain – 0/0/1 – 1
T-23. Ukraine – 0/0/1 – 1

Frances Tiafoe, Taylor Fritz exit French Open, leaving no U.S. men

Frances Tiafoe French Open

Frances Tiafoe kept coming oh so close to extending his French Open match against Alexander Zverev: 12 times Saturday night, the American was two points from forcing things to a fifth set.

Yet the 12th-seeded Tiafoe never got closer than that.

Instead, the 22nd-seeded Zverev finished out his 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-1, 7-6 (5) victory after more than 3 1/2 hours in Court Philippe Chatrier to reach the fourth round. With Tiafoe’s exit, none of the 16 men from the United States who were in the bracket at the start of the tournament are still in the field.

“I mean, for the majority of the match, I felt like I was in control,” said Tiafoe, a 25-year-old from Maryland who fell to 1-7 against Zverev.

“It’s just tough,” he said about a half-hour after his loss ended, rubbing his face with his hand. “I should be playing the fifth right now.”

Two other American men lost earlier Saturday: No. 9 seed Taylor Fritz and unseeded Marcos Giron.

No. 23 Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina beat Fritz 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5, and Nicolas Jarry of Chile eliminated Giron 6-2, 6-3, 6-7 (7), 6-3.

There are three U.S women remaining: No. 6 Coco Gauff, Sloane Stephens and Bernarda Pera.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Women | Men | Broadcast Schedule

It is the second year in a row that zero men from the United States will participate in the fourth round at Roland Garros. If nothing else, it stands as a symbolic step back for the group after what seemed to be a couple of breakthrough showings at the past two majors.

For Tiafoe, getting to the fourth round is never the goal.

“I want to win the trophy,” he said.

Remember: No American man has won any Grand Slam title since Andy Roddick at the 2003 U.S. Open. The French Open has been the least successful major in that stretch with no U.S. men reaching the quarterfinals since Andre Agassi in 2003.

But Tiafoe beat Rafael Nadal in the fourth round of the U.S. Open along the way to getting to the semifinals there last September, the first time in 16 years the host nation had a representative in the men’s final four at Flushing Meadows.

Then, at the Australian Open this January, Tommy Paul, Sebastian Korda and Ben Shelton became the first trio of Americans in the men’s quarterfinals in Melbourne since 2000. Paul made it a step beyond that, to the semifinals.

After that came this benchmark: 10 Americans were ranked in the ATP’s Top 50, something that last happened in June 1995.

On Saturday, after putting aside a whiffed over-the-shoulder volley — he leaned atop the net for a moment in disbelief — Tiafoe served for the fourth set at 5-3, but couldn’t seal the deal.

In that game, and the next, and later on, too, including at 5-all in the tiebreaker, he would come within two points of owning that set.

Each time, Zverev claimed the very next point. When Tiafoe sent a forehand wide to end it, Zverev let out two big yells. Then the two, who have been pals for about 15 years, met for a warm embrace at the net, and Zverev placed his hand atop Tiafoe’s head.

“He’s one of my best friends on tour,” said Zverev, a German who twice has reached the semifinals on the red clay of Paris, “but on the court, I’m trying to win.”

At the 2022 French Open, Zverev tore ligaments in his right ankle while playing Nadal in the semifinals and had to stop.

“It’s been definitely the hardest year of my life, that’s for sure,” Zverev said. “I love tennis more than anything in the world.”

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2023 French Open women’s singles draw, scores

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At the French Open, Iga Swiatek of Poland eyes a third title at Roland Garros and a fourth Grand Slam singles crown overall.

The tournament airs live on NBC Sports, Peacock and Tennis Channel through championship points in Paris.

Swiatek, the No. 1 seed from Poland, can join Serena Williams and Justine Henin as the lone women to win three or more French Opens since 2000.

Having turned 22 on Wednesday, she can become the youngest woman to win three French Opens since Monica Seles in 1992 and the youngest woman to win four Slams overall since Williams in 2002.

FRENCH OPEN: Broadcast Schedule | Men’s Draw

But Swiatek is not as dominant as in 2022, when she went 16-0 in the spring clay season during an overall 37-match win streak.

She retired from her last pre-French Open match with a right thigh injury and said it wasn’t serious. Before that, she lost the final of another clay-court tournament to Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.

Sabalenka, the No. 2 seed, is her top remaining challenger in Paris.

No. 3 Jessica Pegula, the highest-seeded American man or woman, was eliminated in the third round. No. 4 Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, who has three wins over Swiatek this year, withdrew before her third-round match due to illness.

No. 6 Coco Gauff, runner-up to Swiatek last year, is the best hope to become the first American to win a Grand Slam singles title since Sofia Kenin at the 2020 Australian Open. The 11-major drought is the longest for U.S. women since Seles won the 1996 Australian Open.

MORE: All you need to know for 2023 French Open

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2023 French Open Women’s Singles Draw

French Open Women's Singles Draw French Open Women's Singles Draw French Open Women's Singles Draw French Open Women's Singles Draw