Maria Sharapova routed by Garbine Muguruza in French Open quarterfinal

AP
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The extra rest from Maria Sharapova‘s walkover from an injured Serena Williams did little for her in the French Open quarterfinals.

Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, the No. 3 seed and 2016 French Open champ, routed Sharapova 6-2, 6-1 in 70 minutes to advance to Thursday’s semifinals against top-ranked Simona Halep, a 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-2 winner over Angelique Kerber later Wednesday.

Americans Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys meet in the other Thursday semi.

On the men’s side, Rafael Nadal‘s quarterfinal was stopped by rain with Argentine Diego Schwartzman leading 6-4, 3-5, and Nadal serving, two points from evening the match. Nadal-Schwartzman and the last men’s quarterfinal, Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro tied 5-5 in a first-set tiebreak, are scheduled to resume Thursday at 6 a.m. ET.

Sharapova, a two-time French Open champ, played at Roland Garros this year for the first time since 2015. She missed 2016 due to a doping ban and wasn’t given a wild card in 2017, when her comeback ranking wasn’t high enough to earn a main-draw spot.

Sharapova was to face Williams in a fourth-round showdown Monday. The Russian received a walkover after Williams withdrew with a right pectoral muscle injury that prevented her from serving.

On Wednesday, Sharapova looked far from her best right from the start, double-faulting three times to get broken in the opening game. She ended up with six double-faults and 27 total unforced errors, 12 more than Muguruza.

“I think she did a lot of things better than I did. I think she was the aggressive one,” Sharapova said. “She had a lot more depth in the ball. I think my shots were a lot more forced. She served a lot better than I did.”

Muguruza hasn’t dropped a set in Paris. She entered Wednesday’s quarterfinal fresh, too, after Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko retired from their fourth-round match Monday with a leg injury after two games.

NBC, NBCSports.com/live and NBC Sports app coverage of the French Open continues Thursday at 11 a.m. across all time zones.

French Open Semifinals
Women
(1) Simona Halep – (3) Garbine Muguruza
(13) Madison Keys – (10) Sloane Stephens

Men
(1) Nadal/(11) Schwartzman – (3) Cilic/(5) Del Potro
Marco Cecchinato – (7) Dominic Thiem

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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FRENCH OPEN: TV/Stream Schedule | Scores | Men’s Draw (PDF) | Women’s Draw

Joel Embiid gains U.S. citizenship, mum on Olympic nationality

Joel Embiid
Getty
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Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid said he is now a U.S. citizen and it’s way too early to think about what nation he would represent at the Olympics.

“I just want to be healthy and win a championship and go from there,” he said, according to The Associated Press.

Embiid, 28, was born in Cameroon and has never competed in a major international tournament. In July, he gained French nationality, a step toward being able to represent that nation at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

In the spring, French media reported that Embiid started the process to become eligible to represent France in international basketball, quoting national team general manager Boris Diaw.

Embiid was second in NBA MVP voting this season behind Serbian Nikola Jokic. He was the All-NBA second team center.

What nation Embiid represents could have a major impact on the Paris Games.

In Tokyo, a French team led by another center, Rudy Gobert, handed the U.S. its first Olympic defeat since 2004. That was in group play. The Americans then beat the French in the gold-medal game 87-82.

That France team had five NBA players to the U.S.’ 12: Nicolas BatumEvan FournierTimothe Luwawu-CabarrotFrank Ntilikina and Gobert.

Anthony Davis, who skipped the Tokyo Olympics, is the lone U.S. center to make an All-NBA team in the last five seasons. In that time, Embiid made four All-NBA second teams and Gobert made three All-NBA third teams.

No Olympic team other than the U.S. has ever had two reigning All-NBA players on its roster.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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LA 2028, Delta unveil first-of-its-kind emblems for Olympics, Paralympics

Delta LA 2028
LA 2028
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Emblems for the 2028 Los Angeles Games that include logos of Delta Air Lines is the first integration of its kind in Olympic and Paralympic history.

Organizers released the latest set of emblems for the LA 2028 Olympics and Paralympics on Thursday, each with a Delta symbol occupying the “A” spot in LA 28.

Two years ago, the LA 2028 logo concept was unveiled with an ever-changing “A” that allowed for infinite possibilities. Many athletes already created their own logos, as has NBC.

“You can make your own,” LA28 chairperson Casey Wasserman said in 2020. “There’s not one way to represent Los Angeles, and there is strength in our diverse cultures. We have to represent the creativity and imagination of Los Angeles, the diversity of our community and the big dreams the Olympic and Paralympic Games provide.”

Also in 2020, Delta was announced as LA 2028’s inaugural founding partner. Becoming the first partner to have an integrated LA 2028 emblem was “extremely important for us,” said Emmakate Young, Delta’s managing director, brand marketing and sponsorships.

“It is a symbol of our partnership with LA, our commitment to the people there, as well as those who come through LA, and a commitment to the Olympics,” she said.

The ever-changing emblem succeeds an angelic bid logo unveiled in February 2016 when the city was going for the 2024 Games, along with the slogan, “Follow the Sun.” In July 2017, the IOC made a historic double awarding of the Olympics and Paralympics — to Paris for 2024 and Los Angeles for 2028.

The U.S. will host its first Olympics and Paralympics since 2002 (and first Summer Games since 1996), ending its longest drought between hosting the Games since the 28-year gap between 1932 and 1960.

Delta began an eight-year Olympic partnership in 2021, becoming the official airline of Team USA and the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

Athletes flew to this year’s Winter Games in Beijing on chartered Delta flights and will do so for every Games through at least 2028.

Previously, Delta sponsored the last two Olympics held in the U.S. — the 1996 Atlanta Games and the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games.

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