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Winter Olympics: What to watch/stream

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The U.S. women’s hockey team has waited four years for this moment as they take on Canada in the second game of group play. Minus that slight hiccup against Finland in the final six seconds of the first intermission earlier this week, the American women have looked very strong. So, too, have Canada. It’s clear that these two teams are neck-and-neck, and they leave a sizeable gap between themselves and third best.

Sure, it’s not the gold medal match – yet. But this game will set the tone for the rest of the tournament for these two teams Puck drop is at 10:10p.m. EST / 7:10p.m. PST.

Skeleton, alpine skiing, and figure skating all feature in NBC’s primetime coverage tonight. After several delays, athletes in the oft-delayed alpine skiing event will hope to finally take to the slopes.

Hockey

Both the USA and Canada have looked so strong entering tonight, sweeping past both Finland and Olympic Athletes from Russia. This isn’t the gold medal match, but do expect a much more physical game tonight as these rivals battle it out once again.

There’s more than just one hockey game on tonight, though, as Finland and Germany begin their campaigns in the men’s competition. Finland have reached the podium in the past three Olympic games and, though not fielding quite as strong a team as in years past, do have the quality to see off Germany fairly comfortably.

Women’s Tournament

USA vs. CAN Stream Live Here 10:10p.m. EST / 7:10p.m. PST

Men’s Tournament

FIN vs. GER Stream Live Here 10:10p.m. EST / 7:10p.m. PST

Figure Skating

The pairs figure skating program concludes with the free skating event. Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim currently sit in 14th position after the first round. Though they likely won’t medal, a dramatic four-way fight for gold. China, OAR, Canada, and Germany currently hold the top four spots.

Click here for a full recap of the first round

Pairs Free Program Stream Live Here 8:30p.m. EST / 5:30p.m. PST

Alpine Skiing

Wind permitting, Mikaela Shiffrin will finally get back on her skis tonight as she looks to defend her Olympic gold medal in the women’s giant slalom. Tessa Worley and Viktoria Wesenberg, who are occupy the top two standings in the World Cup rankings, will be challenging the American for the top spot on the podium.

Bryce Bennett, meanwhile, will be leading the men’s contingent in the downhill event.

Women’s Giant Slalom Run 1 Stream Live Here 8:00p.m. EST / 5:00p.m. PST

Women’s Giant Slalom Run 2 Stream Live Here 11:45p.m. EST / 5:00p.m. PST

Men’s Downhill Stream Live Here 9:30p.m. EST / 6:30p.m. PST

Snowboard Cross

After some incredible performances on the slopestyle and halfpipe, it’s time for the snowboarding competition to take several different directions in the cross. Similar to cross country skiing, snowboarders line up in heats to race down a course – with “x” amount of snowboarders advancing out of each heat.

Following the seeding qualification, the tournament continues into late night with the quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals. Pierre Vaultier is the defending Olympic gold medalist. Team USA’s Alex Deibold finished third in 2014.

Men’s qualification Stream Live Here 9:00p.m.. EST / 6:00p.m. PST

Curling

A very tough match awaits the USA tonight as they challenge Great Britain. The Britons a serious medal contenders and, seeing as how Canada is the standard by which all other teams should be judged, should easily take care of the Americans. If Great Britain is capable of pushing Canada, then the Americans probably won’t amount much to a challenge.

CHN vs. OAR Stream Live Here 7:05p.m. EST / 4:05p.m. PST

GBR vs. USA Stream Live Here 7:05p.m. EST / 4:05p.m. PST

DEN vs. JPN Stream Live Here 7:05p.m. EST / 4:05p.m. PST

CAN vs. KOR Stream Live Here 7:05p.m. EST / 4:05p.m. PST

Skeleton

Team USA’s Matt Antoine is back, looking to at least equal his bronze medal performance in 2014. Since then, Latvia’s Tomass Dukurs has emerged as the man to beat. The Latvian just missed out on a medal in 2014, but he’s got 50 World Cup titles to his name and is coming into the tournament fourth in the World Cup rankings. Axel Jungk will be making a serious Olympic gold challenge.

South Korea has got a hopeful contending for a gold medal as well. Yun Sung-Bin has seven World Cup titles to his pedigree, and should do much better than his 16th finish in Sochi.

Men’s Runs 1 and 2 Stream Live Here 8:00p.m. EST / 5:00p.m. PST

 

Novak Djokovic rolls at French Open; top women escape

Novak Djokovic
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Novak Djokovic began what could be a march to his 18th Grand Slam title, sweeping Swede Mikael Ymer 6-0, 6-2, 6-3 in the French Open first round on Tuesday.

The top seed Djokovic lost just seven points in the first set. He gets Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis in the second round in a half of the draw that includes no other man with French Open semifinal experience.

Djokovic had plenty going for him into Roland Garros, seeking to repeat his 2016 run to the title. The chilly weather is similar to four years ago.

“I don’t like usually comparing the years,” he said. “But I think [the conditions are] quite suitable to my style of the game.”

As is Djokovic’s form. His only loss in 2020 was when he was defaulted at the U.S. Open for hitting a ball in anger that struck a linesperson in the throat.

Djokovic got a break with the draw when No. 3 seed Dominic Thiem was put in No. 2 Rafael Nadal‘s half. The Serbian also won his clay-court tune-up event in Rome, where he received warnings in back-to-back matches for breaking a racket and uttering an obscenity.

“I don’t think that [the linesperson incident] will have any significant negative impact on how I feel on the tennis court,” Djokovic said before Roland Garros. “I mean, I won the tournament in Rome just a week later after what happened in New York.

“I really want to be my best version as a player, as a human being on the court, and win a tennis match. Because of the care that I have for that, I sometimes express my emotions in good way or maybe less good way.”

If Djokovic can lift the Coupe des Mousquetaires two Sundays from now, he will move within two of Roger Federer‘s career Slams record. Also notable: He would keep Nadal from tying Federer’s record and head into the Australian Open in January, his signature Slam, with a chance to match Nadal at 19.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule

Earlier Tuesday, No. 2 Karolina Pliskova and No. 4 Sofia Kenin each needed three sets to reach the second round.

The Czech Pliskova rallied past Egyptian qualifier Mayar Sherif 6-7 (9), 6-2, 6-4. Pliskova, the highest-ranked player without a major title, next gets 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia.

“Let’s not talk about my level [of play],” Pliskova said. “I think there is big room for improvement.”

Kenin, the American who won the Australian Open in February, outlasted Russian Liudmila Samsonova 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

“It doesn’t matter how you win — ugly, pretty, doesn’t matter,” Kenin said on Tennis Channel.

She gets Romanian Ana Bogdan in the second round. Only one other seed — No. 14 Elena Rybakina — is left in Kenin’s section en route to a possible quarterfinal.

American Jen Brady, who made a breakthrough run to the U.S. Open semifinals, was beaten by Danish qualifier Clara Tauson  6-4, 3-6, 9-7.

Sam Querrey nearly made it eight American men into the second round, serving for the match in the third set. But he succumbed to 13th-seeded Russian Andrey Rublev 6-7 (5), 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-4, 6-3. It’s still the best first-round showing for U.S. men since nine advanced in 1996.

The second round begins Wednesday, highlighted by Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal.

MORE: Halep, Comaneci and the genesis of a Romanian friendship

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U.S. men off to best French Open start in 24 years

Sebastian Korda
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The last time U.S. men started this well at the French Open, Sebastian Korda wasn’t alive and his dad had yet to win a Grand Slam singles title.

Eight American men are into the second round at Roland Garros, the largest contingent in the last 64 since 1996. It could have been nine, had Sam Querrey served out the match in the third set against 13th seed Andrey Rublev of Russia.

Still, the U.S. has more men in the second round than any other nation. Astonishing, given U.S. men went a collective 1-9 at the 2019 French Open.

Back in 1996, nine American men won first-round matches. That group included Pete SamprasAndre AgassiJim Courier and Michael Chang (in Sampras’ deepest run in Paris, to the semifinals).

Clay has long been kryptonite for this generation of Americans — the last U.S. man to make a Roland Garros quarterfinal was Agassi in 2003.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule

This group includes veterans like Jack Sock, who swept countryman Reilly Opelka 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 on Monday. Sock, 28, was once ranked eighth in the world.

He then dropped out of the rankings entirely, missing time due to injury and going 10 months between tour-level match wins. He’s now at No. 310 and preparing to play No. 3 Dominic Thiem in the second round.

“A pretty horrific two years in a row,” Sock said. “I’m not opposed to silencing some haters after the last couple years I’ve gone through. I’ve read and seen enough of it, heard enough of it. I’m kind of ready to reestablish myself out there, let people know that I’m back.”

Then there’s 35-year-old John Isner, the big server who swept a French wild card in round one. Isner, the highest seeded U.S. man at No. 21, has posted some decent Roland Garros results, reaching the fourth round three times.

There are new faces, too. Taylor Fritz is seeded 27, aged 22 and in an open section of the draw to make his first Grand Slam fourth round.

On Sunday, 20-year-old Korda became the youngest U.S. man to win a French Open main-draw match since an 18-year-old Andy Roddick beat Chang in 2001.

He is the son of 1998 Australian Open champion Petr Korda and brother of the world’s second- and 22nd-ranked female golfers (Nelly and Jessica).

So far, Sebastian’s biggest feats: winning the 2018 Australian Open junior title and, in his only golf tournament, beating both of his sisters when he was 11. It was around that age that he gave up ice hockey and focused solely on tennis.

Korda was hooked after watching a Czech whom his dad coached, Radek Stepanek, at the U.S. Open in 2009.

“He played Djokovic on [Arthur] Ashe [Stadium] like at 10:30 at night,” Korda, nicknamed Sebi, said on Tennis Channel. “Completely packed. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I went home, and I was like, this is exactly what I want to do.”

An American man is already guaranteed to make the third round in Paris. Korda faces Isner on Thursday.

“I grew up on the clay,” Korda said, “so I know how to play on it a little bit.”

MORE: Halep, Comaneci and the genesis of a Romanian friendship

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