Olympic bronze medalist Carolina Kostner plans to compete for the first time in almost three years in December.
Kostner, a 29-year-old Italian, is scheduled to skate at Golden Spin, a lower-level event in Zagreb, Croatia, from Dec. 9-10. Italian media first reported the news last month, and somebody close to the skater confirmed it for the first time Tuesday.
The Italian Championships are later in December, with the European Championships in January and the world championships in March and April.
Previous reports had Kostner saying she would return in September or that she would return at a small Italian event in November.
The six-time world championships medalist hasn’t competed outside of a pro-am since taking bronze at the March 2014 World Championships, one month after she became the second-oldest Olympic women’s singles medalist since 1928 in Sochi, according to sports-reference.com.
In January, Kostner finished second to retired Canadian 2010 Olympic bronze medalist Joannie Rochette in a free-skate only exhibition in Japan, after serving a backdated 21-month suspension for helping ex-boyfriend and Olympic race-walking champion Alex Schwazer evade drug testers in 2012.
Kostner said before the Schwazer controversy that she would take the 2014-15 season off.
She has recently worked with Russian Alexei Mishin, the longtime coach of Yevgeny Plushenko.
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 last pre-French Open match with a right thigh injury 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, the highest-seeded American man or woman, was eliminated in the third round.
No. 6 Coco Gauff, runner-up to Swiatek last year, is the best hope 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 Seleswon the 1996 Australian Open.
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, 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).
No. 9 Taylor Fritz and No. 12 Frances Tiafoe are the highest-seeded Americans, 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.