Mikaela Shiffrin rallies for podium as Italy goes 1-2 in Killington giant slalom

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KILLINGTON, Vt (AP) — Victory eluded Mikaela Shiffrin once again in a World Cup giant slalom at Killington, edged into third place by an Italian 1-2 led by Marta Bassino on Saturday.

Bassino sealed a first career World Cup win by retaining her first-run lead to beat Federica Brignone by 0.26 seconds. Full results are here.

“Celebrating together with Federica fills me with even more pride,” said Bassino, whose teammate was first to greet her and hug her in the finish area. Brignone won this race last year.

Shiffrin was a further 0.03 back in third for a fourth straight top-five finish in GS at the Vermont venue without taking the win.

Still, the three-time defending overall World Cup champion extended her standings lead with a third podium finish to start the season. She also leads the giant slalom standings after two races.

“I felt pretty good with my skiing in both runs so, yeah, I’m pretty happy with the day,” Shiffrin said.

Shiffrin is favored to win a fourth straight Killington slalom on Sunday. NBC Sports’ full weekend broadcast schedule of World Cup Alpine skiing is here.

Brignone dedicated her podium finish to a friend, named Edoardo, who died “just hours ago” before the race in an avalanche on Mont Blanc on the border of France and Italy.

“My thoughts are with him,” said Brignone, who put down the fastest second run to rise from seventh.

Bassino is a former junior world champion in giant slalom, who had four previous third-place finishes on the World Cup circuit. She also placed fifth at the PyeongChang Olympics, where Shiffrin won and Brignone took bronze.

“I finally put together two runs,” Bassino said. “I tried to focus just on myself and to ski like I know how. Then I saw the green light and I thought, ‘Wow.’

“I hope this can be a turning point for my career. I knew I had a result like this in me, I just needed a spark to transform what I do every day into gold.”

Bassino clocked under 50 seconds in bright sunshine for each run which was shortened due to gusting winds at the scheduled start higher up the mountain.

Alice Robinson of New Zealand, who won the season-opening giant slalom last month at Soelden, Austria, failed to finish the first run, racing the day before she turns 18.

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2020 French Open women’s singles draw, results

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If Serena Williams is to win a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title at the French Open, she may have to go through her older sister in the fourth round.

Williams, the sixth seed, could play Venus Williams in the round of 16 at Roland Garros, which begins Sunday.

Serena opens against countrywoman Kristie Ahn, whom she beat in the first round at the U.S. Open. Serena could then get her U.S. Open quarterfinal opponent, fellow mom Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria, in the second round.

If Venus is to reach the fourth round, she must potentially get past U.S. Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka in the second round. Azarenka beat Serena in the U.S. Open semifinals, ending the American’s latest bid to tie Margaret Court‘s major titles record.

Venus lost in the French Open first round the last two years.

The French Open top seed is 2018 champion Simona Halep, who could play 2019 semifinalist Amanda Anisimova in the third round.

Coco Gauff, the rising 16-year-old American, gets 2019 semifinalist Jo Konta of Great Britain in the first round in the same quarter of the draw as Halep.

The field 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.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule

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2020 French Open men’s singles draw, results

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Rafael Nadal was put into the same half of the French Open draw as fellow 2018 and 2019 finalist Dominic Thiem of Austria, with top-ranked Novak Djokovic catching a break.

Nadal, trying to tie Roger Federer‘s male record 20 Grand Slam singles titles, could play sixth-seeded German Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals before a potential clash with Thiem, who just won the U.S. Open.

Djokovic, who is undefeated in 2020 save being defaulted out of the U.S. Open, could play No. 7 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy in the quarterfinals before a possible semifinal with Russian Daniil Medvedev.

Medvedev is the fourth seed but is 0-3 at the French Open. Another possible Djokovic semifinal opponent is fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, who reached the fourth round last year.

The most anticipated first-round matchup is between three-time major champion Andy Murray and 2015 French Open champion Stan Wawrinka. In Murray’s most recent French Open match, he lost in five sets to Wawrinka in the 2017 semifinals.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule

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