Gracie Gold doesn’t expect to compete as long as Ashley Wagner

Gracie Gold
AP
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While Ashley Wagner attempts to become the oldest U.S. women’s figure skating champion in 79 years next week, Gracie Gold is confident that she won’t be around to challenge that kind of age record.

When asked if she would be skating at Wagner’s current age (24), the 20-year-old Gold said she was “leaning towards probably not.”

“[If] I get an Olympic medal at 2018 in the team event and the singles, I’d say I’d probably retire, truthfully, just because I would already be 22,” Gold said Thursday. “I’ve seen so much life, and I still have several years of this journey to go. There’s so many cool people and things to see in the world, and I’d really like to start a different journey on my life. So I think, after 22, I’d still love to do shows, and I’d always like to be involved in skating whenever I can, but I think there are other things out there for me as well. So I would say maybe, leaning towards probably not [skating at 24 years old] .”

Gold, the 2014 U.S. champion who finished fourth at both the 2014 Olympics and 2015 World Championships, will attempt to reclaim her U.S. title after finishing second to Wagner last year.

U.S. Championships coverage starts with a preview show on NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra on Sunday (full schedule here).

Gold said that last January she competed at Nationals merely hoping to qualify for the World Championships, essentially to finish on the podium. She skated then off limited practice due to a small stress fracture in her foot suffered late in the fall.

“I was trying to get through it and survive,” Gold said of 2015, when she finished a distant 15.48 points behind Wagner’s record-breaking total score. “I want to set myself apart as the National champion [this year].”

This season, Gold finished second at Skate America in October but outscored the winner, Russian Yevgenia Medvedeva, in the free skate as Medvedeva fell.

Medvedeva went on to win the Grand Prix Final in December and is the favorite for the World Championships in Boston in a little more than two months.

Then Gold skated a personal-best short program at Trophée Bompard in Bordeaux, France, on Nov. 13. The free skate was canceled due to the Paris terror attacks.

At the Grand Prix Final, Gold had multiple errors on jumps in both her short and long programs and finished fifth out of six skaters, one spot behind Wagner.

Gold said she “freaked out” before skating, worrying about what her competitors were doing.

“I just choked,” Gold said. “I beat myself. Nobody really beat me. … There wasn’t a fire. There wasn’t an attack. It was just very meh.”

If Gold finishes in the top three at the U.S. Championships, she’s in line to be named to her fourth straight Worlds team. Gold’s record at Worlds — sixth, fifth and fourth the last three years.

Gold has finished between fourth and sixth in individual standings in all seven of her starts at the Olympics, Worlds, Grand Prix Final and Four Continents Championships.

“It’s always been two steps forward, one step back, it seems like,” she said. “I’m tired of going down without a fight, like by doing doubles [instead of triple jumps] … I want to at least go down guns blazing.”

MORE: Gold recalls being in France during Paris attacks

Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz set French Open semifinal showdown

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Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz will play in the French Open semifinals on Friday in the most anticipated match of the tournament.

Each man advanced with a quarterfinal win on Tuesday.

Djokovic, eyeing a record-breaking 23rd Grand Slam men’s singles title, rallied past 11th-seeded Russian Karen Khachanov 4-6, 7-6 (0), 6-2, 6-4. The Serb reached his 45th career major semifinal, one shy of Roger Federer‘s men’s record.

Later Tuesday, top seed Alcaraz crushed fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (5) to consolidate his status as the favorite in Friday’s showdown.

“This match, everyone wants to watch,” Alcaraz said. “I really wanted to play this match as well. I always say that if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.”

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Women | Men | Broadcast Schedule

Alcaraz, who at last year’s U.S. Open became the first male teen to win a major since Rafael Nadal in 2005, is at this event the youngest man to be the top seed at a major since Boris Becker at 1987 Wimbledon.

The Djokovic-Alcaraz semifinal will produce the clear favorite for Sunday’s final given left-handed 14-time French Open champion Nadal is out this year with a hip injury and No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev lost in the first round. Djokovic and Nadal share the record 22 men’s major titles.

Djokovic and Alcaraz met once, with Alcaraz winning last year on clay in Madrid 6-7 (5), 7-5, 7-6 (5).

“[Alcaraz] brings a lot of intensity on the court,” Djokovic said, before breaking into a smile. “Reminds me of someone from his country that plays with a left hand.”

Alcaraz and Djokovic were set to be on opposite halves of the draw — and thus not able to meet until the final — until Medvedev won the last top-level clay event before the French Open to move ahead of Djokovic in the rankings. That meant Djokovic had a 50 percent chance to wind up in Alcaraz’s half, and that’s what the random draw spit out two weeks ago.

Earlier Tuesday in the first two women’s quarterfinals, No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus and 43rd-ranked Czech Karolina Muchova advanced to face off in Thursday’s semifinals.

Sabalenka, the Australian Open champion, swept Ukrainian Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-4 to complete her set of semifinals in all four Grand Slams. Sabalenka will take the No. 1 ranking from Iga Swiatek if Swiatek loses before the final, or if Sabalenka makes the final and Swiatek does not win the title.

Svitolina, a former world No. 3, returned to competition in April from childbirth.

Muchova took out 2021 French Open runner-up Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 7-5, 6-2, to make her second major semifinal after the 2021 Australian Open.

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2023 French Open men’s singles draw

Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz
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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.

The tournament airs live on NBC Sports, Peacock and Tennis Channel through championship points in Paris.

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 meet in Friday’s semifinals.

Russian Daniil Medvedev, the No. 2 seed, was upset in the first round by 172nd-ranked Brazilian qualifier Thiago Seyboth Wild. It marked the first time a men’s top-two seed lost in the first round of any major since 2003 Wimbledon (Ivo Karlovic d. Lleyton Hewitt).

All of the American men lost before the fourth round. The last U.S. man to make the French Open quarterfinals was Andre Agassi in 2003.

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