WATCH LIVE: French Open men’s final: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic
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Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal extend the most prolific rivalry in men’s tennis in Sunday’s French Open final, live on NBC Sports, with more history at stake than ever.

Djokovic, the top seed, is 37-1 in 2020, the outlier when he was defaulted from the U.S. Open for striking a ball in anger after a losing point that inadvertently hit a linesperson in the throat.

The 33-year-old Serb is at 17 Grand Slam singles titles, three shy of Roger Federer‘s male record and two behind Nadal.

Nadal, 34, goes for a record-extending 13th French Open title and to tie Federer in Slams for the first time since each had zero titles.

WATCH LIVE: French Open men’s final, 9 a.m. ET — STREAM LINK

Djokovic and Nadal play for the 56th time (more meetings than Super Bowls), already the most matchups between two male players in the Open Era. Djokovic leads the series 29-26.

It’s their ninth time playing in a Grand Slam final, having evenly split the previous eight. Djokovic won three of their last four matches overall, but Nadal took the last three on clay dating to 2017.

At Roland Garros this year, Nadal hasn’t dropped a set. And while Djokovic appeared to have a shoulder or neck injury in the quarterfinals, then was pushed to five sets in the semifinals, Nadal believed that his level from the first six rounds won’t be enough on Sunday.

“I know I have to make a step forward,” Nadal said after sweeping Argentine Diego Schwartzman in the semifinals on Friday. “I think I did one today. But for Sunday is not enough. I need to make another one.”

MORE: Poland Garros! Swiatek’s bonkers run to French Open title

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Brigid Kosgei, world record holder, to miss London Marathon

Brigid Kosgei

World record holder Brigid Kosgei withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon due to a right hamstring injury that has bothered her for the last month.

“My training has been up and down and not the way I would like to prepare to be in top condition,” was posted on Kosgei’s social media. “We’ve decided it’s best I withdraw from this year’s race and get further treatment on my injuries in order to enter 2023 stronger than ever.”

Kosgei, a 28-year-old Kenyan mother of twins, shattered the world record by 81 seconds at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. She clocked 2:14:04 to smash Brit Paula Radcliffe‘s record from 2003.

Since, Kosgei won the 2020 London Marathon, took silver at the Tokyo Olympics, placed fourth at the 2021 London Marathon and won this past March’s Tokyo Marathon in what was then the third-fastest time in history (2:16:02).

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa moved into the top three by winning the Berlin Marathon last Sunday in 2:15:37.

The London Marathon women’s field includes Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei, a winner in New York City (2019) and London (2021), and Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who was the Ethiopian record holder until Assefa won in Berlin.

The men’s field is headlined by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest male marathoner in history, and Brit Mo Farah, a four-time Olympic champion on the track.

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Dmitriy Balandin, surprise Olympic swimming champion, retires

Dmitriy Balandin

Dmitriy Balandin, the Kazakh swimmer who pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the 2016 Rio Olympics, retired at age 27.

“Today I would like to announce the end of my sports career,” Balandin said last week, according to Kazakhstan’s Olympic Committee. “I am still inspired. A new phase of my life begins. I have a lot of cool projects in my head that will soon be implemented.”

Balandin reportedly has coaching aspirations.

In 2016, he won the Olympic men’s 200m breaststroke out of lane eight as the last qualifier into the final. He edged American Josh Prenot by seven hundredths of a second and became Kazakhstan’s first Olympic swimming medalist.

He followed that up with 11th- and 17th-place finishes in the breaststrokes in Tokyo last year.

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