Serena Williams
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Serena Williams breaks U.S. Open record on daughter’s birthday

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Serena Williams broke Chris Evert‘s U.S. Open match wins record with her 102nd career victory at the Grand Slam, beating countrywoman Kristie Ahn in the first round on Tuesday.

Williams, bidding for a 24th Grand Slam singles title, defeated Ahn 7-5, 6-3 in front of no ticketed fans due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“In a weird way I feel like every time I come here I’m being told I broke another record,” Williams said. “I don’t think I appreciate it enough, which is unfortunate. But I’m in the middle of a Grand Slam, so it’s not the time to be focused for me on records when I’m thinking about winning a tournament.”

Winning this tournament would bring more record talk — tying Margaret Court‘s mark of 24 major singles titles. Williams has been oh-so close, losing the last two finals at both the U.S. Open and at Wimbledon since returning from childbirth.

Daughter Olympia turned 3 on Tuesday.

US OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women

Williams was up and down in tennis’ return in August, going 3-2 in all five-set matches. On Tuesday, she rallied after dropping her opening service game in each set for her first straight-set win since January’s Australian Open, where she lost in the third round.

“Gotta get my Serena focus back,” she said. “It’s been years, since the ’90s since I won a match in straight sets.

“Just be Serena and close it out.”

She next gets 117th-ranked Russian Margarita Gasparyan and could face 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens in the third round.

Later Tuesday, older sister Venus Williams lost a U.S. Open first-round match for the first time in her record 22nd appearance. No. 20 seed Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic prevailed 6-3, 7-5.

Earlier, 2012 U.S. Open champion Andy Murray won a Grand Slam singles match for the first time in two years and since potentially career-ending hip surgery.

Murray, who was essentially given a retirement ceremony at the 2019 Australian Open, rallied past Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka 4-6, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4), 6-4, saving a match point in the fourth. The match lasted 4 hours, 39 minutes at Arthur Ashe Stadium, where fellow players watched from box suites that would normally be filled with VIPs.

Murray said afterward he knew of one ice bath on the grounds, for emergencies. This victory called for it.

Murray plays Canadian 20-year-old Felix Auger Aliassime in the second round.

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

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Mikaela Shiffrin returns with mantra, stuck to her helmet, to carry forever

Mikaela Shiffrin
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Look close at Mikaela Shiffrin as she steps into a race start gate for the first time in eight months on Oct. 17.

Shiffrin, the two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Cup overall champion, plans to wear a helmet with two special stickers on the back.

She’s donned the first decal for years — the initials ABFTTB, which stand for “Always Be Faster Than The Boys,” a personalized autograph motto from retired Olympic Alpine skier Heidi Voelker.

The new sticker reads, Be nice. Think first. Have fun.

Those lines came from Shiffrin’s father, Jeff — the mantra instilled in her and older brother Taylor, also a young ski racer at the time.

After Jeff died on Feb. 2, Shiffrin regularly remembered the question that Jeff posed years ago: “What are the golden rules?”

Be nice. Think first.

When the Shiffrin siblings were old enough, Jeff added the third rule.

“He felt like we could understand that having fun wasn’t just about going and doing whatever you want because it’s instantly gratifying,” Shiffrin told NBC Sports’ Alex Azzi in an On Her Turf interview. “Fun is doing something well and the satisfaction you get from sticking to something.”

She plans to race all season with the golden rules sticker on her helmet, right next to ABFTTB.

Shiffrin detailed more about her prep for a very different World Cup campaign, in conjunction with a new fund in honor of her late father, in this On Her Turf report.

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2020 Tour de France results

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2020 Tour de France results for the yellow jersey, green jersey, white jersey and polka-dot jersey …

Overall (Yellow Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 87:20:05
2. Primoz Roglic (SLO) — +:59
3. Richie Porte (AUS) — +3:30
4. Mikel Landa (ESP) — +5:58
5. Enric Mas (ESP) — +6:07
6. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL) — +6:47
7. Tom Dumoulin (NED) — +7:48
8. Rigberto Uran (COL) — +8:02
9. Adam Yates (GBR) — +9:25
10. Damiano Caruso (ITA) — +14:03
13. Richard Carapaz (ECU) — +25:53
15. Sepp Kuss (USA) — +42:20
17. Nairo Quintana (COL) — +1:03:07
29. Thibaut Pinot (FRA) — +1:59:54
36. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) — +2:19:11
DNF. Egan Bernal (COL)

Sprinters (Green Jersey)
1. Sam Bennett (IRL) — 380 points
2. Peter Sagan (SVK) — 284
3. Matteo Trentin (ITA) — 260
4. Bryan Coquard (FRA) — 181
5. Wout van Aert (BEL) — 174

Climbers (Polka-Dot Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 82 points
2. Richard Carapaz (ECU) — 74
3. Primoz Roglic (SLO) — 67
4. Marc Hirschi (SUI) — 62
5. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL) — 51

Young Rider (White Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 87:20:13
2. Enric Mas (ESP) — +6:07
3. Valentin Madouas (FRA) — +1:42:43
4. Dani Martinez (COL) — +1:55:12
5. Lennard Kamna (GER) — +2:15:39

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