Gracie Gold wants to put turbulent season behind her at World Championships

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Gracie Gold‘s discombobulated season took another confusing turn at her most recent competition.

“It felt like I was surfing,” she said.

Gold, the 2014 U.S. champion and fourth-place finisher at the Sochi Olympics, finished fourth as the most accomplished skater in the field at the Four Continents Championships in Seoul in February.

She hopes to perform better at the World Championships next week in Shanghai, where she is one of three Americans looking to win the first U.S. women’s medal at Worlds since 2006.

“If I were to turn on my music at any time of the day, I would not skate as poorly as I did at Four Continents,” Gold said Monday. “I was just so nervous, and it just didn’t feel like me out there.”

Gold, who trains in Southern California, said she’s consistently skated clean long programs in practice daily, maybe with one mistake, since returning from Four Continents one month ago.

“Most things I’ve really learned about myself and about training is always after a bad competition, after a disappointment,” she said.

Gold pointed to an improper mindset at Four Continents, where she singled at least one jump in both of her programs.

“Possibly, I put too much expectation on myself and crumbled under my own pressure,” she said. “We were just so focused on, at least I was, about winning the competition and winning and winning and winning that I kind of got lost in that and I forgot what the most important part is, which is about buckling down and just skating your program.”

The ups and, mostly, downs in the post-Olympic season have been plentiful. They started before the season, actually, as her prep was delayed due to a post-Olympic tour — her first extended period away from home. She also felt out of shape, switched skate blades and changed boot sizes.

“I’ve had a lot of trouble finding my rhythm,” she said. “I’ve kind of been all over the place this year. It hasn’t been my most consistent, by far.”

Gold managed to win her first Grand Prix Series title at NHK Trophy in November but then came home to find she had a stress fracture in her left foot.

“My first major injury,” she said.

Gold, with less than three weeks of jumping training after that injury, relinquished her U.S. title to Ashley Wagner in January.

Then in February, she had trouble sleeping in Seoul, was off in practice and nervous in warm-ups and was also affected by an hourlong bus ride from her hotel to the rink at Four Continents.

“I didn’t feel like I was in my own skates,” Gold said.

Gold called the defeat a blessing and counts on the “little glimmers of hope” she’s seen in her skating this season that prove she is a medal contender at Worlds.

The confidence is still there. Gold even said she and coach Frank Carroll have talked about working on a triple Axel or quadruple Salchow, though not adding it in competition any time soon.

Russian Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, who won the Grand Prix Final in December and European Championships in January, was recently seen in video landing a triple Axel. She’s the only elite active women’s skater performing the jump. It’s been a while since quads have been talked about in women’s competition.

“That’s something I’ve always been awe of,” Gold said of Tuktamysheva’s triple Axel. “I’m looking forward, hopefully in the next Olympic cycle, we’ll see even more triple Axels being tried and maybe even some quads by ladies. I think that it’s very doable.”

Polina Edmunds hopes reputation doesn’t impact World Championships

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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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