Sofia Kenin wins all-American French Open quarterfinal, gets Petra Kvitova in semis

Sofia Kenin
Getty Images
0 Comments

Sofia Kenin won an all-American French Open quarterfinal, setting up a semifinal clash between the only women left who own major titles.

Kenin, the fourth seed and Australian Open champion, dispatched 57th-ranked Danielle Collins 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 on Wednesday to reach the final four.

She plays seventh-seeded Czech Petra Kvitova in Thursday’s semifinals. The other semifinal pits Pole Iga Swiatek (rank: 54) against Argentina Nadia Podoroska (rank: 131).

Earlier Tuesday, Kvitova swept 66th-ranked German Laura Siegemund 6-3, 6-3 to reach her first French Open semifinal in eight years.

Kvitova is 2-0 against Kenin, but both matches came before the 21-year-old American broke through in Melbourne last winter.

“I definitely feel like I have improved since Australia,” said Kenin, whose most notable result in 2019 was beating Serena Williams in the French Open third round (before losing the next match to eventual champion Ash Barty in three sets). “I love playing on the clay. I feel like I’m having a lot of confidence.”

In the men’s draw, Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas swept No. 13 Andrey Rublev of Russia 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 to make his second Slam semifinal. Tsitsipas gets top seed Novak Djokovic or No. 17 Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain on Friday.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule

Kenin said nerves will be the biggest factor against the 6-foot Kvitova, the 2011 and 2014 Wimbledon champion.

“Obviously I’m not going to overpower her,” said Kenin, who is five inches shorter. “But I’ve got different things I can throw in to mix things up.”

It’s been emotional for Kvitova, who won her last two matches on Court Philippe Chatrier, where she returned to match play three years ago following a knife-wielding robber attack in her home.

Kvitova underwent nearly four hours of surgery on her primary left hand, which suffered nerve and tendon damage in the December 2016 attack.

“My memories, happy memories, when I made my comeback here 2017, when I step on the Philippe Chatrier, I couldn’t really imagine me to be in the quarterfinal of this Slam,” Kvitova said after shedding tears following her fourth-round victory Monday. “Everything just came back to me.”

Kvitova is best known for her grass-court success. Since her comeback, her best Slam result came on a hard court, reaching the 2019 Australian Open final.

“It’s been a miracle for me to make the semifinal here in Roland Garros,” she said of her 2012 run. “I wasn’t really the player who always ever succeed on the clay.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Paris 2024 Olympic marathon route unveiled

Paris 2024 Olympic Marathon
Paris 2024
0 Comments

The 2024 Olympic marathon route will take runners from Paris to Versailles and back.

The route announcement was made on the 233rd anniversary of one of the early, significant events of the French Revolution: the Women’s March on Versailles — “to pay tribute to the thousands of women who started their march at city hall to Versailles to take up their grievances to the king and ask for bread,” Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet said.

Last December, organizers announced the marathons will start at Hôtel de Ville (city hall, opposite Notre-Dame off the Seine River) and end at Les Invalides, a complex of museums and monuments one mile southeast of the Eiffel Tower.

On Wednesday, the rest of the route was unveiled — traversing the banks of the Seine west to the Palace of Versailles and then back east, passing the Eiffel Tower before the finish.

The men’s and women’s marathons will be on the last two days of the Games at 8 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET). It will be the first time that the women’s marathon is held on the last day of the Games after the men’s marathon traditionally occupied that slot.

A mass public marathon will also be held on the Olympic marathon route. The date has not been announced.

The full list of highlights among the marathon course:

• Hôtel de ville de Paris (start)
• Bourse de commerce
• Palais Brongniart
• Opéra Garnier
• Place Vendôme
• Jardin des Tuileries
• The Louvre
• Place de la Concorde
• The bridges of Paris
(Pont de l’Alma; Alexandre III;
Iéna; and more)
• Grand Palais
• Palais de Tokyo
• Jardins du Trocadéro
• Maison de la Radio
• Manufacture et Musées
nationaux de Sèvres
• Forêt domaniale
des Fausses-Reposes
• Monuments Pershing –
Lafayette
• Château de Versailles
• Forêt domaniale de Meudon
• Parc André Citroën
• Eiffel Tower
• Musée Rodin
• Esplanade des Invalides (finish)

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

International Boxing Association lifts ban on Russia, Belarus

Boxing gloves
Getty
0 Comments

The International Boxing Association (IBA) lifted its ban on amateur boxers from Russia and Belarus over the war in Ukraine that had been in place since early March.

“The IBA strongly believes that politics shouldn’t have any influence on sports,” the federation said in a press release. “Hence, all athletes should be given equal conditions.”

Most international sports federations banned athletes from Russia and Belarus indefinitely seven months ago, acting after an IOC recommendation. It is believed that the IBA is the first international federation in an Olympic sport to lift its ban.

The IOC has not officially changed its recommendation from last winter to exclude Russia and Belarus athletes “to protect the integrity of the events and the safety of the other participants.”

Last week, IOC President Thomas Bach said in an interview with an Italian newspaper that Russian athletes who do not endorse their country’s war in Ukraine could at some point be accepted back into international sports, competing under a neutral flag.

IBA, in lifting its ban, will also allow Russia and Belarus flags and national anthems.

“The time has now come to allow all the rest of the athletes of Russia and Belarus to participate in all the official competitions of their sports representing their countries,” IBA President Umar Kremlev, a Russian, said in a press release last week. “Both the IOC and the International Federations must protect all athletes, and there should be no discrimination based on nationality. It is the duty of all of us to keep sports and athletes away from politics.”

In 2019, the IOC stripped the IBA — then known as AIBA — of its Olympic recognition following an inquiry committee report into finance, governance, refereeing and judging. The IOC ran the Tokyo Olympic boxing competition.

The IBA will not run qualifying events for the 2024 Paris Games, but it does still hold world championships, the next being a men’s event in Uzbekistan next year.

Boxing, introduced on the Olympic program in 1904, was not included on the initial program for the 2028 Los Angeles Games but can still be added. The IBA must address concerns “around its governance, its financial transparency and sustainability and the integrity of its refereeing and judging processes,” Bach said last December.

On Sept. 23, the IBA suspended Ukraine’s boxing federation, citing “government interference.” Ukraine boxers are still allowed to compete with their flag and anthem.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!