Henrik Kristoffersen rallies for one of most emotional wins of his career

Henrik Kristoffersen
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MADONNA DI CAMPIGLIO, Italy (AP) — An explosive second run earned Henrik Kristoffersen “one of the most emotional wins” of his career Tuesday, leading Sebastian Foss-Solevaag for a Norwegian 1-2 finish at a men’s World Cup night slalom on Tuesday.

In the traditional last race before Christmas on the floodlit Canalone Miramonti course, Kristoffersen was 1.25 seconds behind in 12th after the first run but charged ahead in the second to beat first-run leader Foss-Solevaag by 0.33.

Alex Vinatzer of Italy was 0.34 behind in third, edging Austria’s Manuel Feller by one-hundredth.

His frenetic run kickstarted the season for Kristoffersen, who won the World Cup titles in slalom and GS last year but struggled in his key disciplines in the new campaign.

“The last three weeks have been tough, for sure. I think I have never been this emotional after a win before,” Kristoffersen said. “This is one of the most emotional wins in my career.”

He finished fifth in the season-opening GS in Soelden in October and was runner-up in a parallel event in Lech a few weeks later, but “since then it has been terrible.”

“And skiing is my life. I have a family and skiing — and that’s my life. I don’t have anything else,” Kristoffersen said. “When that goes tough, it’s challenging, especially when you won so many races before and everyone starts thinking: Is he finished now? What’s wrong? It’s really emotional, even with one good run, to win a race.”

Without changes to the setup of his equipment, Kristoffersen looked a different racer in the final run.

“It’s all in my head,” he said. “In the first run, I skied technically good, but too round and too calm. It was just slow. In the second run I could only attack.”

Kristoffersen was also helped by many racers who were faster in the opening run before struggling on the relatively soft snow surface due to the mild temperatures in the Italian Alps.

Kristoffersen’s first triumph of the season marked his 18th World Cup slalom win and 22nd overall.

The World Cup slalom champion is now in outright third place on the Norwegian winners’ list, overtaking Kjetil André Aamodt and trailing only Aksel Lund Svindal, who had 36 wins before retiring in 2019, and Kjetil Jansrud, with 23.

The result meant that Norway has won three of the five races held in the Italian Alps over the past five days, after Aleksander Aamodt Kilde triumphed in two speed races in Val Gardena on Friday and Saturday.

Chasing his first career win, Foss-Solevaag took a big lead of four-tenths in the opening run, with a flawless run in the steep middle section, before carrying his speed through the finish.

Despite losing his lead, he said that “all in all, I’m happy with my performance today.”

It was his third career podium, and first since March 2016.

Foss-Solevaag is among the most consistent performers in the slalom discipline. He finished in the top 10 in eight of the nine slaloms last seasons, more than any other competitor.

Alexis Pinturault extended his lead in the overall standings to 65 points over Kilde, who doesn’t compete in slaloms.

Pinturault was part of a three-way tie for sixth place, with Germany’s Linus Strasser and his French teammate, two-time world champion Jean-Baptiste Grange.

Ramon Zenhaeusern, who won a slalom in Alta Badia on Monday, finished eight-tenths off the lead in 13th.

Kristoffer Jakobsen of Sweden posted the fastest second-run time for a second straight day, and finished 10th.

The men’s World Cup continues with the classic downhill in Bormio next Monday.

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Rafael Nadal expected to miss rest of 2023 season after surgery

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal is expected to need five months to recover from arthroscopic surgery for a left hip flexor injury that kept him out of the French Open, effectively ruling him out for the rest of 2023 ATP tournament season.

Nadal underwent the surgery Friday night in Barcelona on the eve of his 37th birthday. He posted that, if all goes well, the recovery time is five months.

The timetable leaves open the possibility that Nadal could return for the Nov. 21-26 Davis Cup Finals team event in Malaga, Spain, which take place after the ATP Tour tournament season ends.

Nadal announced on May 18 that he had to withdraw from the French Open, a tournament he won a record 14 times, due to the injury that’s sidelined him since January’s Australian Open.

Nadal also said he will likely retire from professional tennis in the second half of 2024 after a farewell season that he hopes includes playing at Roland Garros twice — for the French Open and then the Paris Olympics.

When Nadal returns to competition, he will be older than any previous Grand Slam singles champion in the Open Era.

Nadal is tied with Novak Djokovic for the men’s record 23 Grand Slam singles titles.

While Nadal needs to be one of the four-highest ranked Spanish men after next year’s French Open for direct Olympic qualification in singles, he can, essentially, temporarily freeze his ranking in the top 20 under injury protection rules.

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2023 French Open TV, live stream schedule


The French Open airs live on NBC Sports, Peacock and Tennis Channel through championship points at Roland Garros in Paris.

Tennis Channel has live daily coverage with NBC and Peacock coming back for the middle weekend, plus the men’s and women’s singles semifinals and finals.

All NBC TV coverage also streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app.

It’s the first French Open since 2004 without Rafael Nadal, the record 14-time champion who is out with a hip injury and hopes to return next year for a likely final time.

In his place, the favorites are top-ranked Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic, who is tied with Nadal for the men’s record 22 Grand Slam singles titles.


No. 1 Iga Swiatek of Poland is favored to claim a third French Open title, a year after beating American Coco Gauff in the final. She bids to join Serena Williams and Justine Henin as the lone women to win the French Open three or more times since 2000.

Two Americans are ranked in the top six in the world — No. 3 Jessica Pegula and Gauff.

The last American to win a major singles title was Sofia Kenin at the 2020 Australian Open. The 11-major drought matches the longest in history (since 1877) for American men and women combined.

MORE: All you need to know for 2023 French Open

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2023 French Open Broadcast Schedule

Date Time (ET) Platform Round
Sunday, May 28 5 a.m.-4 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
12-3 p.m. Peacock (STREAM LINK)
Monday, May 29 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
11 a.m.-3 p.m. NBC (STREAM) | Peacock (STREAM)
3-5:30 p.m. Peacock (STREAM LINK)
Tuesday, May 30 5 a.m.-5 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
Wednesday, May 31 5 a.m.-5 p.m. Tennis Channel Second Round
Thursday, June 1 5 a.m.-5 p.m. Tennis Channel Second Round
Friday, June 2 5 a.m.-5 p.m. Tennis Channel Third Round
Saturday, June 3 5 a.m.-1 p.m. Tennis Channel Third Round
12-3 p.m. NBC (STREAM) | Peacock (STREAM)
3-5:30 p.m. Peacock (STREAM LINK)
Sunday, June 4 5 a.m.-1 p.m. Tennis Channel Fourth Round
12-3 p.m. NBC (STREAM) | Peacock (STREAM)
3-5:30 p.m. Peacock (STREAM LINK)
Monday, June 5 5 a.m.-5 p.m. Tennis Channel Fourth Round
Tuesday, June 6 5 a.m.-12 p.m. Tennis Channel Quarterfinals
2-5 p.m. Tennis Channel
Wednesday, June 7 5 a.m.-12 p.m. Tennis Channel Quarterfinals
2-5 p.m. Tennis Channel
Thursday, June 8 6 a.m.-2 p.m. Tennis Channel Women’s Semifinals
11 a.m.-2 p.m. NBC (STREAM) | Peacock (STREAM)
Friday, June 9 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Tennis Channel Men’s Semifinals
11 a.m.-3 p.m. NBC (STREAM) | Peacock (STREAM)
Saturday, June 10 9 a.m.-2 p.m. NBC (STREAM) | Peacock (STREAM) Women’s Final
Sunday, June 11 9 a.m.-2 p.m. NBC (STREAM) | Peacock (STREAM) Men’s Final