Maya Moore

U.S. women can clinch Olympic berth; FIBA World Championships preview

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The U.S. women’s basketball team’s objective at the FIBA World Championships, which start Saturday, is exactly the same as what the U.S. men accomplished two weeks ago — repeat as world champion and clinch a spot in the 2016 Olympics.

The team guided by UConn coach Geno Auriemma is arguably more heavily favored than Mike Krzyzewski‘s crew to reach that goal, even after losing its first game in three years in an exhibition last week.

The U.S. roster includes Brittney Griner for the first time at a global championship plus seven members of the 2012 Olympic champion team. WNBA MVP Maya Moore and Finals MVP Diana Taurasi are in Turkey for the tournament, but the U.S. squad is so deep that All-WNBA First Team selection Skylar Diggins was one of the final cuts. (more analysis of the U.S. roster here)

The U.S. showed some weakness in pre-tournament games — its first loss since 2011 on Sunday, a 76-72 defeat to France. The U.S. beat France in the London Olympic final by 36 points.

Still, the U.S. is in much better shape than its longtime top challenger — Australia. The Aussies took silver in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics and came the closest to the U.S. at the 2012 Olympics, falling by 13 in the semifinals.

For the World Championships, Australia is without stalwart Lauren Jackson (hip injury) and its No. 2 scorer from London, Liz Cambage, who ruptured an Achilles tendon in a 72-66 exhibition loss to the U.S. last week.

Still, Australia beat France without Jackson and Cambage by 16 points last Saturday. The Aussies will be led by two-time Olympian Penny Taylor, the MVP of the 2006 FIBA World Championship, when the U.S. was shocked by Russia in the semifinals.

The U.S. begins play in four-nation Group D against China on Saturday. All four group winners advance to the quarterfinals. The second- and third-place teams advance to an elimination round to determine the other four quarterfinalists.

If the U.S. and Australia win their groups and their quarterfinals, they will meet in the Oct. 4 semifinals.

Here’s the U.S. schedule:

Saturday — China, 2:30 p.m. ET
Sunday — Serbia, 2:30 p.m. ET
Tuesday — Angola, 2:30 p.m. ET
Friday, Oct. 3 — Quarterfinal
Saturday, Oct. 4 — Semifinal
Sunday, Oct. 5 — Final

Kosuke Hagino not satisfied with 7 medals at Asian Games

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 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