Mikaela Shiffrin finished sixth in a World Cup giant slalom in front of home fans in Aspen, Colo., on Saturday.
Shiffrin, who became the youngest Olympic slalom champion in Sochi, improved from 10th place after the first of two runs. She dealt with a stomach illness this week.
“It seemed like an insurmountable gap,” Shiffrin said of being 2.23 seconds behind going into the second run. “If I keep improving my skiing, and I get a little bit more confidence, I might be able to make up that kind of a gap someday.”
She finished 1.71 seconds behind Austrian Eva-Maria Brem, who won her first World Cup race. Another Austrian, Kathrin Zettel, was second followed by Italian Federica Brignone.
“It’s hard to describe what I’m feeling right now,” Brem said. “I tried to push the second run because I thought if I don’t win this now, I will never get over it.”
Shiffrin, 19, gave up her World Cup overall lead to Zettel, though the season is still very young.
Shiffrin won her first World Cup giant slalom in the season opener in Soelden, Austria, on Oct. 25. She’s aiming to expand from her specialty of slalom this season by adding victories in giant slalom and debuting in super-G.
Watch Shiffrin in the Aspen giant slalom on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra on Saturday from 5:30-6:30 p.m. ET. Shiffrin will then ski her best event, the slalom, live on NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra on Sunday from 3-4 p.m. ET.
If Serena Williams is to win a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title at the French Open, she may have to go through her older sister in the fourth round.
Williams, the sixth seed, could play Venus Williams in the round of 16 at Roland Garros, which begins Sunday.
Serena opens against countrywoman Kristie Ahn, whom she beat in the first round at the U.S. Open. Serena could then get her U.S. Open quarterfinal opponent, fellow mom Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria, in the second round.
If Venus is to reach the fourth round, she must potentially get past U.S. Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka in the second round. Azarenka beat Serena in the U.S. Open semifinals, ending the American’s latest bid to tie Margaret Court‘s major titles record.
Venus lost in the French Open first round the last two years.
The French Open top seed is 2018 champion Simona Halep, who could play 2019 semifinalist Amanda Anisimova in the third round.
Coco Gauff, the rising 16-year-old American, gets 2019 semifinalist Jo Konta of Great Britain in the first round in the same quarter of the draw as Halep.
The field 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.
Rafael Nadal was put into the same half of the French Open draw as fellow 2018 and 2019 finalist Dominic Thiem of Austria, with top-ranked Novak Djokovic catching a break.
Nadal, trying to tie Roger Federer‘s male record 20 Grand Slam singles titles, could play sixth-seeded German Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals before a potential clash with Thiem, who just won the U.S. Open.
Djokovic, who is undefeated in 2020 save being defaulted out of the U.S. Open, could play No. 7 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy in the quarterfinals before a possible semifinal with Russian Daniil Medvedev.
Medvedev is the fourth seed but is 0-3 at the French Open. Another possible Djokovic semifinal opponent is fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, who reached the fourth round last year.
The most anticipated first-round matchup is between three-time major champion Andy Murray and 2015 French Open champion Stan Wawrinka. In Murray’s most recent French Open match, he lost in five sets to Wawrinka in the 2017 semifinals.