Morgan Hurd, new world all-around champ, bonds with J.K. Rowling

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U.S. gymnast Morgan Hurd‘s two highlights from the past week:

“Clearly winning,” said the surprise world all-around champion, ” … and clearly getting the tweet from J.K.”

Hurd, the 4 1/2-foot, 16-year-old who competes in glasses, was clearly the standout performer of last week’s world gymnastics championships in Montreal.

Fifth at the U.S. junior championships a year ago — and sixth at this year’s senior nationals (coming off elbow surgery) — Hurd surged to win the most coveted prize in the sport aside from the Olympics.

Word reached Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, who has clearly had an effect on Hurd.

Then came Saturday and Sunday.

Teammate Jade Carey captured Hurd’s reaction to the first congratulatory tweet. Hurd was lying down, receiving treatment ahead of Sunday’s balance beam final.

“I stopped and started bawling,” Hurd said later. “I had tears streaming down my face.”

Hurd had trouble sleeping the last several nights, acknowledging lament in not being able to thank every single person who praised her on social media.

She awoke Sunday to see the second tweet from Rowling call her a hero.

“I started freaking out, but I had to be really quiet because [teammate] Ragan [Smith] was still sleeping,” Hurd said. “I was, like, jumping up and down in my bed.”

Hurd’s love for Rowling’s series about the boy wizard is compounded by the fact she is a rare gymnast who competes while wearing glasses. Very Potter-like.

“I tried contacts,” she said, according to FloGymnastics in May, “but they made my eyeballs dry, and when I got stuff in my eyes, I had to take them out and put them back in.”

Hurd is not the first elite gymnast to go the glasses route. Remember Fabian Hambuechen in Athens?

Hurd was born in China and adopted as a toddler, moving to Delaware. By developmental camps, she acted and looked like an adult, said her coach, Slava Glazounov.

“She would get herself a little cappucino, without the caffeine,” he said Sunday. “She would sit with her leg up and drink the coffee and read the book. And this was a 10-year-old kid. She does the same thing now.”

Hurd, who was born between “The Goblet of Fire” and “The Order of the Phoenix,” has twice taken the Pottermore quiz to determine her Hogwarts House.

Questions include — moon or stars? And would you rather be envied, imitated, trusted, praised, liked or feared?

Hurd was sorted into Ravenclaw — known for intelligence — and then, the second time, Gryffindor — marked by courage and bravery.

“I truly think I’m a Gryffindor because, I mean, I flip on a four-inch piece of wood,” said Hurd, who earned silver in Sunday’s balance beam final. “That’s got to count for something, right?”

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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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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