Rafael Nadal, Juan Martin del Potro
AP/Getty Images

WATCH LIVE: French Open men’s semifinals on NBC Sports, streaming

Leave a comment

Rafael Nadal is two wins from his 11th French Open title, but his semifinal opponent knows what it’s like to topple the great Spaniard on sport’s biggest stage.

Argentine Juan Martin del Potro will take a swing at becoming the first man to beat Nadal in the final four of Roland Garros. That’s right, Nadal is 20-0 in his career in French Open semifinals and finals.

NBC Sports coverage of the men’s semifinals starts at 11 a.m. across all time zones on NBC and 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT on NBCSN.

The Nadal-del Potro winner gets Austrian Dominic Thiem in Sunday’s final. The No. 7 seed Thiem, who handed Nadal his last two losses on clay (and is 3-5 vs. Nadal on the surface since the start of 2016), beat 72nd-ranked Italian Marco Cecchinato 7-5, 7-6 (10), 6-1 in Friday’s early semifinal.

WATCH LIVE: French Open men’s semifinals — STREAM LINK

Two of del Potro’s biggest career wins came against Nadal in semifinals — en route to his only Grand Slam title at the 2009 U.S. Open (dominating 6-2, 6-2, 6-2) and at the Rio Olympics (5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (5).

But none of del Potro’s five wins in 14 matches against Nadal have come on clay. Their only meeting on the surface came at the 2007 French Open, when Nadal swept 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 before del Potro’s breakthrough two years later.

Ted Robinson handles play-by-play for NBC’s coverage, joined by analysts John McEnroe and Mary Carillo. This is NBC’s 36th straight year broadcasting the French Open.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

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

No medal for David Boudia as China extends perfect run at diving worlds

AP
Leave a comment

David Boudia is very much a work in progress in his first year as a springboard diver. That much was evident in his dive list for Thursday’s final at the world championships, where Boudia had the lowest total degree of difficulty.

Boudia, a four-time Olympic platform medalist who earned individual platform silver at his last three world championships, took fifth in the springboard final in Gwangju, South Korea while performing easier dives than the other 11 men.

It marked Boudia’s first major international meet since Rio. He took 2017 off from diving to sell homes. In February 2018, he suffered a concussion on a badly missed dive in training off the 10-meter platform, sparking the switch to springboard, a common move for divers late in their careers.

Boudia will spend the next year — the next six months in particular — trying to close the gap on the medalists. China’s Xie Siyi and Cao Yuan went one-two.

Great Britain’s Jack Laugher was in position to become the first non-Chinese diver to take gold in 10 events this week before failing his last dive for 30.6 points, the lowest-scoring dive of the 72 in the final. Laugher scored at least 9.0s on his first five dives, including a 10, before recording between 2s and 3s from the seven judges in the last round and squandering a 31.1-point lead.

Laugher had 21.6 points in difficulty in Thursday’s final. Xie had 21.3 and Cao 21.2. Boudia had 19.9, arguably putting him out of the running for the podium before he stepped on the springboard.

Boudia, a 30-year-old father of three, accomplished his goal for worlds simply by making the final.

Boudia and Rio Olympian Michael Hixon reached the top 12 to ensure the U.S. gets two men’s springboard spots at Tokyo 2020, to be filled at June’s Olympic trials in Indianapolis. Hixon, who was 10th in Rio and 20th at the 2017 Worlds, finished seventh in Gwangju.

Diving worlds continue with the women’s springboard final, featuring Chinese Olympic champion Shi Tingmao but no Americans, on Friday. The men’s platform final is Saturday.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Diving Worlds TV Schedule

Chris Froome wins 2011 Vuelta a Espana

Getty Images
Leave a comment

AIGLE, Switzerland (AP) — Chris Froome has become the 2011 Spanish Vuelta winner because of Juan Jose Cobo’s disqualification for blood doping.

The International Cycling Union says Cobo did not meet a deadline to challenge his three-year ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The UCI says Cobo’s suspension announced last month is confirmed, and he is stripped of results at the 2009 world championships and Vuelta, and the 2011 Vuelta which he won.

Froome was runner-up eight years ago and becomes the winner of his first Grand Tour title, and seventh overall.

Froome also becomes the first British winner of any of the major stage races — the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, or Vuelta.

That honor was held by Bradley Wiggins, the 2012 Tour winner who rises from third to be runner-up at the 2011 Vuelta.

The 38-year-old Cobo is retired from racing. His doping ban was announced days after Froome suffered season-ending injuries crashing at the Dauphine race in France.

Watch world-class cycling events throughout the year with the NBC Sports Gold Cycling Pass, including all 21 stages of the Tour de France live & commercial-free, plus access to renowned races like La Vuelta, Paris-Roubaix, the UCI World Championships and many more.

TOUR DE FRANCE: TV Schedule | Full Standings

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!