Collegiate Rugby Championships set for this weekend

Collegiate Rugby Championships
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The newest Olympic sport will be showcased at the Collegiate Rugby Championships in Philadelphia this weekend.

It’s possible that some of the players in the 20-school tournament could be part of the first U.S. Olympic Rugby Sevens Team, should the U.S. qualify for the Rio 2016 Games.

“Once people see the sport, it becomes pretty compelling despite whether or not people know the laws of the game just yet,” said NBC Sports rugby sevens analyst Brian Hightower, a former U.S. National Team captain. “There’s just so much sheer athleticism, a lot of contact, also a lot of skill and open running. It’s a pretty dynamic game.”

Hightower said at least three players from last year’s Collegiate Rugby Championships are in the U.S. National Team player pool already.

California, historically the most successful program in the traditional 15-per-side rugby union, won its first national sevens title last year after being upset by Utah in the tournament’s debut in 2010 and taking third in 2012. Dartmouth captured titles in 2011 and 2012.

Cal and Dartmouth are among the favorites out of 20 schools split into five groups that will play round-robin games Saturday (games consist of seven-minute halves and a two-minute halftime). The five group winners plus the top three second-place teams advance to the championship knockout rounds Sunday, with the final later at 5:29 p.m. ET.

Players to watch include Cal captain Seamus Kelly and Dartmouth’s Madison Hughes. who already have U.S. National Team caps.

Here’s the broadcast schedule:

Saturday
NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra, 3-4:30 p.m. ET
NBCSN and Live Extra, 4:30-6
Comcast Network, 6-8

Sunday
NBCSN, 2-4 p.m. ET
NBC and Live Extra, 4-6

“Every year this tournament gets a little bit bigger,” Hightower said. “It really has kind of signaled the growth of the game as it reaches toward the Olympics.”

Prefontaine Classic schedule, broadcast info, preview

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.

Main draw play began Sunday, live on Peacock.

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.

Turning 22 during the tournament, 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 most recent match with a right thigh injury last week 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, and Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, the No. 4 seed and Wimbledon champion, are the top challengers in Paris.

No. 3 Jessica Pegula and No. 6 Coco Gauff, runner-up to Swiatek last year, are the best hopes 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

2023 French Open men’s singles draw, scores

French Open Men's Draw
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The French Open men’s singles draw is missing injured 14-time champion Rafael Nadal for the first time since 2004, leaving the Coupe des Mousquetaires ripe for the taking.

Main draw play began Sunday, live on Peacock.

Novak Djokovic is not only bidding for a third crown at Roland Garros, but also to lift a 23rd Grand Slam singles trophy to break his tie with Nadal for the most in men’s history.

FRENCH OPEN: Broadcast Schedule | Women’s Draw

But the No. 1 seed is Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, who won last year’s U.S. Open to become, at 19, the youngest man to win a major since Nadal’s first French Open title in 2005.

Now Alcaraz looks to become the second-youngest man to win at Roland Garros since 1989, after Nadal of course.

Alcaraz missed the Australian Open in January due to a right leg injury, but since went 30-3 with four titles. Notably, he has not faced Djokovic this year. They could meet in the semifinals.

Russian Daniil Medvedev, who lost in the French Open first round in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, is improved on clay. He won the Italian Open, the last top-level clay event before the French Open, and is the No. 2 seed ahead of Djokovic.

No. 9 Taylor Fritz, No. 12 Frances Tiafoe and No. 16 Tommy Paul are the highest-seeded Americans, all looking to become the first U.S. man to make the French Open quarterfinals since Andre Agassi in 2003. Since then, five different American men combined to make the fourth round on eight occasions.

MORE: All you need to know for 2023 French Open

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2023 French Open Men’s Singles Draw

French Open Men's Singles Draw French Open Men's Singles Draw French Open Men's Singles Draw French Open Men's Singles Draw