Nathan Chen leads a record-tying six U.S. entries in this week’s Grand Prix Final airing live on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA.
All Olympic Channel coverage will also stream on NBCSports.com/live, the NBC Sports app, OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app for subscribers.
The Grand Prix Final is the biggest international figure skating event before the Olympics, gathering the top six per discipline from the fall Grand Prix series.
It is the single best indicator of Olympic medal favorites, though reigning world champions Yuzuru Hanyu and Yevgenia Medvedeva are out with injuries.
The U.S. champion Chen is the only male skater to win both of his Grand Prix events this fall.
A victory this week in Nagoya, Japan, would mark the biggest international victory for an American in any discipline since Meryl Davis and Charlie White became the first U.S. Olympic ice dance champions in Sochi.
Chen is joined in the six-man Grand Prix Final field by the two skaters who preceded him as U.S. champions — Adam Rippon and Jason Brown. Strong showings this week will boost their chances to make the three-man Olympic team named after nationals in early January.
The other U.S. entries are all in ice dance.
Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani, Madison Chock and Evan Bates and Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue make up half of the Grand Prix Final dance field for the third straight year.
Full Grand Prix Final fields and top scores this season are here.
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 most recent match with a right thigh injury last week 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 and No. 6 Coco Gauff, runner-up to Swiatek last year, are the best hopes 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, who lost in the French Open first round in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, is improved on clay. He won the Italian Open, the last top-level clay event before the French Open, and is the No. 2 seed ahead of Djokovic.
No. 9 Taylor Fritz, No. 12 Frances Tiafoe and No. 16 Tommy Paul are the highest-seeded Americans, all 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.