U.S. women’s curling trying “to end on a good note”

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SOCHI, Russia – The U.S. women’s curling team is finally playing like a medal contender, like it expected to at the beginning of the Olympic tournament.

Erika Brown’s rink put undefeated Canada under more pressure than any of its seven previous opponents, forcing an extra end before falling 7-6 in its next-to-last game Sunday.

It would have been a shocking upset based solely on the nations’ form in the Black Sea resort.

The U.S. entered in last place, 1-6, and Canada was 7-0 and two games away from becoming the first women’s team to go undefeated through round-robin play at an Olympics. The U.S. had already been mathematically eliminated from advancing to medal-round play. The pressure was off, but it still had desire.

VIDEO: How did the U.S. get to this point?

“This team is so talented that it’s obviously been hard to not perform in the moment we’ve been preparing for,” said lead Ann Swisshelm, 45, who will retire after Sochi.

Canadian skip Jennifer Jones missed a final shot (hammer) that would have clinched a victory in regulation – 10 ends – but came through in her second chance in the 11th. Canada moved to 8-0 and will likely wrap up round-robin play an unprecedented 9-0 with a game against lowly South Korea on Monday.

The U.S., too, will play South Korea on Monday. Its tournament began in dreadful fashion, with four straight losses. It gave up an Olympic record seven points in one end in a 12-3 defeat to world champion Great Britain on Tuesday.

Brown and Co., nicknamed the All-Star team of U.S. curling for its championship experience, bounced back in the last two games. The U.S. lost to world silver medalist Sweden 7-6 on Saturday, leading 6-5 going into the final end.

“I think it says a lot about this team,” said Brown, 41, who made her Olympic debut in 1988 at age 15 when curling was a demonstration sport. “This team has a lot of tenacity.”

VIDEO: Mary Carillo and how curling grew into a phenomenon

The U.S. was thinking medal going into Sochi after finishing fourth at the 2013 World Championships. It would have been the first U.S. women’s curling medal ever, to join the men’s bronze in 2006.

Instead, the Americans will finish in last place or tied for last for a third straight Olympics. It might have the same record as 2006 and 2010, too, if it beats South Korea to finish 2-7.

“I’m proud of us for hanging in there,” vice skip Debbie McCormick said. “We’re going to keep fighting. We’ve got one left, and we want to end on a good note.”

Anna van der Breggen is first cyclist to sweep road world titles in 25 years

Anna van der Breggen
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Dutchwoman Anna van der Breggen added the road race crown to her time trial victory at the world road cycling championships, becoming the second rider in history to win both events at the same edition.

“This is, for me, pretty good so far,” she said.

Van der Breggen, the Rio Olympic road race champion, won after a solo attack with more than 25 miles left of an 89-mile course in Imola, Italy, on Saturday.

She prevailed after more than four hours of racing by 80 seconds over countrywoman Annemiek van Vleuten, the 2019 champion. Van Vleuten raced nine days after breaking her left wrist in a Giro Rosa crash.

Italian Elisa Longo Borghini took bronze in the same time as van Vleuten after losing a photo-finish sprint. Lauren Stephens was the top American in 11th.

Full results are here.

The race lacked American standout Chloé Dygert, who crashed out of the time trial while leading on Thursday and required leg surgery.

Van der Breggen joined Frenchwoman Jeannie Longo as the only male or female cyclists to sweep the time trial and road race at a single worlds. Longo did so in 1995 at age 36.

Van der Breggen, 30, said in May that she will retire after the 2021 Olympic season.

It will be the end of one of the great cycling careers. She is now a three-time world champion and nine-time world medalist to go along with her road race gold and time trial bronze in her Olympic debut in Rio.

Worlds conclude Sunday with the men’s road race. A TV and stream schedule is here.

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MORE: A more equal future for women’s cycling? Lizzie Deignan has high hopes

2020 French Open TV, live stream schedule

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Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams can each tie Grand Slam singles titles records at the French Open, with daily live coverage among NBC Sports, Peacock and Tennis Channel.

NBC coverage starts Sunday with first-round action at Roland Garros, its 38th straight year covering the event. Tennis Channel airs the majority of weekday coverage. Peacock, NBC Universal’s new streaming service, has middle weekend broadcasts.

All NBC TV coverage alo streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app.

Nadal is the primary men’s storyline, favored to tie Roger Federer‘s male record of 20 major titles and extend his own record of 12 French Open crowns. Federer is absent after knee operations earlier this year.

The Spaniard’s primary competition is top-ranked Novak Djokovic, the 2016 French Open champion whose only defeat in 2020 was a U.S. Open default for hitting a ball that struck a linesperson in the throat.

Williams bids again to match the overall Grand Slam singles mark of 24 held by Australian Margaret Court. Williams, a three-time French Open champion, lost in the third and fourth round the last two years and is coming off a U.S. Open semifinal exit.

The women’s field is led by 2018 champion Simona Halep but lacks defending champion Ash Barty of Australia, not traveling due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also out: U.S. Open winner Naomi Osaka, citing a sore hamstring and tight turnaround from prevailing in New York two weeks ago.

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MORE: How Jay-Z, Beyonce helped Naomi Osaka come out of her shell

French Open TV Schedule

Date Time (ET) Network Round
Sunday, Sept. 27 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
12-3 p.m. NBC
Monday, Sept. 28 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
Tuesday, Sept. 29 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
Wednesday, Sept. 30 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Second Round
Thursday, Oct. 1 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Second Round
Friday, Oct. 2 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Third Round
Saturday, Oct. 3 5 a.m.-12 p.m. Tennis Channel Third Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Sunday, Oct. 4 5 a.m.-12 p.m. Tennis Channel Fourth Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Monday, Oct. 5 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Fourth Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Tuesday, Oct. 6 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tennis Channel Quarterfinals
Wednesday, Oct. 7 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tennis Channel Quarterfinals
Thursday, Oct. 8 5 a.m.-2 p.m. Tennis Channel Women’s Semis
11 a.m. NBC, NBCSN
Friday, Oct. 9 5 a.m.-4 p.m. Tennis Channel Men’s Semis
11 a.m. NBC, NBCSN
Saturday, Oct. 10 9 a.m. NBC Women’s Final
Sunday, Oct. 11 9 a.m. NBC Men’s Final