French Open final classics to air on NBC

Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer
Getty Images

Rafael NadalRoger Federer and Serena Williams highlight classic French Open finals that will air on NBC Sports the next two weekends, when the clay-court Grand Slam was due to be held before it was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Coverage starts at 1 p.m. ET on NBC on the next two Saturdays and Sundays. The broadcasts also stream on and the NBC Sports app.

First up: The 2012 men’s final between Nadal and Novak Djokovic (Saturday, 1 p.m. ET). Nadal prevailed in four sets for his seventh French Open title, breaking his tie with Bjorn Borg for the men’s record. Nadal tied Chris Evert‘s overall record, which he would break the following year.

The 2009 men’s final airs Sunday at 1 p.m. That’s when Roger Federer swept Robin Soderling to complete his career Grand Slam. Federer, who had lost the three previous French Open finals to Nadal, benefited from Soderling stunning the Spaniard in the fourth round.

The following weekend, the first French Open final between Federer and Nadal, from 2006, airs on June 6 at 1 p.m. Nadal came back from a set down to prevail in four, handing Federer his first defeat in a Grand Slam final.

The 2013 women’s final airs June 7 at 1 p.m. That featured Serena Williams facing Maria Sharapova in a Grand Slam final for the third of four times in their careers. Williams won in a sweep, extending her dominance over Sharapova (13th straight victory in their head-to-head, which ended up 20-2 by Sharapova’s retirement). Williams was arguably at her peak in 2012-13. With her second Roland Garros title, she ran her match win streak to 31.

The 2020 French Open was rescheduled to Sept. 20-Oct. 4, starting one week after the end of the U.S. Open.

MORE: Novak Djokovic’s career regret — the Olympics

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French Open Classics Schedule

Sat., May 30 2012 French Open Men’s Final 1-4 p.m. NBC | STREAM LINK
Sun., May 31 2009 French Open Men’s Final 1-4 p.m. NBC | STREAM LINK
Sat., June 6 2006 French Open Men’s Final 1-4 p.m. NBC | STREAM LINK
Sun., June 7 2013 French Open Women’s Final 1-3 p.m. NBC | STREAM LINK

Olympic flame to travel by sea for Paris 2024, welcomed by armada

Paris 2024 Olympic Torch Relay Marseille
Paris 2024

The Olympic flame will travel from Athens to Marseille by ship in spring 2024 to begin the France portion of the torch relay that ends in Paris on July 26, 2024.

The torch relay always begins in the ancient Olympic site of Olympia, Greece, where the sun’s rays light the flame. It will be passed by torch until it reaches Athens.

It will then cross the Mediterranean Sea aboard the Belem, a three-masted ship, “reminiscent of a true Homeric epic,” according to Paris 2024. It will arrive at the Old Port of Marseille, welcomed by an armada of boats.

Marseille is a former Greek colony and the oldest city in France. It will host sailing and some soccer matches during the Paris Olympics.

The full 2024 Olympic torch relay route will be unveiled in May.

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Paris 2024 Olympic Torch Relay Marseille
Paris 2024

Mikaela Shiffrin heads to world championships with medal records in sight


Before Mikaela Shiffrin can hold the World Cup wins record, she can become the most decorated Alpine skier in modern world championships history.

Shiffrin takes a respite from World Cup pursuits for the biennial world championships in France. She is expected to race at least four times, beginning with Monday’s combined.

Shiffrin has a tour-leading 11 World Cup victories in 23 starts this season, her best since her record 17-win 2018-19 campaign, but world championships do not count toward the World Cup.

Shiffrin remains one career victory behind Swede Ingemar Stenmark‘s record 86 World Cup wins until at least her next World Cup start in March.

Shiffrin has been more successful at worlds than at the Olympics and even on the World Cup. She has 11 medals in 13 world championships races dating to her 2013 debut, including making the podium in each of her last 10 events.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

She enters worlds one shy of the modern, post-World War II individual records for total medals (Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt won 12) and gold medals (Austrian Toni Sailer, Frenchwoman Marielle Goitschel and Swede Anja Pärson won seven).

Worlds take place exactly one year after Shiffrin missed the medals in all of her Olympic races, but that’s not motivating her.

“If I learned anything last year, it’s that these big events, they can go amazing, and they can go terrible, and you’re going to survive no matter what,” she said after her most recent World Cup last Sunday. “So I kind of don’t care.”

Shiffrin ranks No. 1 in the world this season in the giant slalom (Feb. 16 at worlds) and slalom (Feb. 18).

This year’s combined is one run of super-G coupled with one run of slalom (rather than one downhill and one slalom), which also plays to her strengths. She won that event, with that format, at the last worlds in 2021. The combined isn’t contested on the World Cup, so it’s harder to project favorites.

Shiffrin is also a medal contender in the super-G (Feb. 8), despite starting just two of five World Cup super-Gs this season (winning one of them).

She is not planning to race the downhill (Feb. 11), which she often skips on the World Cup and has never contested at a worlds. Nor is she expected for the individual parallel (Feb. 15), a discipline she hasn’t raced in three years in part due to the strain it puts on her back with the format being several runs for the medalists.

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