Last Grand Prix Final spots at stake at Rostelecom Cup; TV, live stream schedule

Kamila Valieva
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It has been a grab bag season in figure skating’s Grand Prix Series going into this week’s Rostelecom Cup, which streams live on Peacock on Friday and Saturday.

Take your pick of how Olympic favorites are emerging.

Yuzuru Hanyu, the biggest name in all of skating, has not competed at all this autumn and might not until the Olympics. Nathan Chen suffered his first loss since the 2018 Olympics, then posted the world’s highest score this season the following week.

Russia’s conveyor belt of female stars produced 15-year-old Kamila Valiyeva. She quickly surpassed all three 2021 World Championships medalists from her nation to become the woman to beat heading into the most competitive event of the season — not the Olympics, but the Russian Championships in one month.

Pairs has been the tightest discipline. The top three in the world this season are separated by less than five points. It will squeeze even more if the third-ranked team of Sui Wenjing and Han Cong from China benefit from home ice at the Winter Games.

In ice dance, four-time world champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France went 20 months between competitions since suffering their only defeat of this Olympic cycle at the January 2020 European Championships. They returned this autumn to post the world’s top three scores this season, re-establishing themselves as Olympic favorites.

The Grand Prix Final, which takes the top six per discipline from the six-event Grand Prix Series, will be an Olympic preview in pairs and dance (but hopefully not for the men, since Hanyu is out, and maybe not for the women without injured Russian Aleksandra Trusova). The Final’s fields will be complete after Rostelecom Cup.

Rostelecom Cup Broadcast Schedule

Day Time (ET) Event Platform
Friday 5:30 a.m. Men’s Short Peacock | STREAM LINK
7:30 a.m. Rhythm Dance Peacock | STREAM LINK
10 a.m. Pairs’ Short Peacock | STREAM LINK
11:25 a.m. Women’s Short Peacock | STREAM LINK
Saturday 5:30 a.m. Men’s Free Peacock | STREAM LINK
7:40 a.m. Free Dance Peacock | STREAM LINK
9:30 a.m. Pairs’ Free Peacock | STREAM LINK
11:10 a.m. Women’s Free Peacock | STREAM LINK
Sunday 3 p.m. Highlights NBC | STREAM LINK

How each discipline’s Grand Prix Final field is shaping up going into this week …

Yuma Kagiyama
(JPN) — 30 points (QUALIFIED)
Shoma Uno (JPN) — 28 (QUALIFIED)
Vincent Zhou (USA) — 28 (QUALIFIED)
Nathan Chen (USA) — 26 (QUALIFIED)
Jason Brown (USA) — 24 (not competing this week)
Shun Sato (JPN) — 22 (not competing this week)

Mikhail Kolyada (RUS) — 13
Yevgeny Semenenko (RUS) — 11
Matteo Rizzo (ITA) — 7

Brown’s chances of qualifying for the Final for the first time since 2017 were trimmed by Hanyu’s withdrawal from Rostelecom Cup (ankle), but they’re still pretty good. Brown’s simplest path is if Kolyada wins this week, and Semenenko either finishes third or lower or places second but with fewer than 267.74 points. Semenenko’s personal best is 258.45. The U.S. also put three men in the Final in 2017 with Chen, Brown and Adam Rippon.

Hanyu also missed the 2017 Grand Prix Final with an ankle injury, then won the PyeongChang Olympics two months later. Chen, though he was third at Skate America, will go into the Final as the favorite given he won Skate Canada with a score 11.62 points higher than any other man this season.

Anna Shcherbakova (RUS) — 30 (QUALIFIED)
Kaori Sakamoto (JPN) — 24 (QUALIFIED)
Aliona Kostonaya (RUS) — 24 (not competing this week)
You Young (KOR) — 22 (not competing this week)
Mai Mihara (JPN) — 18 (not competing this week)

Kamila Valiyeva (RUS) — 15
Yelizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) — 13
Maliya Khromykh (RUS) — 13
Loena Hendrickx (BEL) — 11

Coming into the season, it looked like Russia had a shot at taking all six women’s spots at the Final. But world bronze medalist Trusova missed NHK Trophy due to injury, and Sakamoto swooped in to win the event. If this week Valiyeva (15 years old), Tuktamysheva (24) and Khromykh (15) make up the top three in any order, they will all qualify for the Final.

Valiyeva is bidding to repeat the feat of Alina Zagitova, who four years ago entered the Olympic season as the reigning world junior champion and won all of her events through the Winter Games. Valiyeva, part of coach Eteri Tutberidze‘s school of stars, has competed twice internationally this season and posted the world’s two best scores, distancing the second-ranked skater (Shcherbakova) by 28.3 points. The most competitive figure skating event in the world this year will be the Russian Championships in late December, after which the three-woman Olympic team will be named.

Russia has the world’s top six women right now. The highest-ranked American is Alysa Liu at No. 9. A U.S. woman made at least one podium in the Grand Prix Series every year since its inception in 1995, but none have this season, and it would be a surprise to see it happen this week. However, if you take out all the Russians from the rankings who won’t be at the Olympics, then Liu ranks fifth in the world.

Sui Wenjing/Han Cong (CHN) — 30 (QUALIFIED)
Yevgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (RUS) — 28 (QUALIFIED)
Aleksandra Boikova/Dmitriy Kozlovskiy (RUS) — 26 (QUALIFIED)
Riku Miura/Ryuichi Kihara (JPN) — 24 (not competing this week)
Yuliya Artemeva/Mikhail Nazarychev (RUS) — 24 (not competing this week)

Anastasia Mishina/Aleksandr Galliamov (RUS) — 15
Daria Pavliuchenko/Denis Khodykin (RUS) — 13
Nicole Della Monica/Matteo Guarise (ITA) — 9

Sui and Han, the 2018 Olympic silver medalists and China’s best figure skating medal hope overall, won both of their Grand Prix starts. But Tarasova and Morozov have the best score in the world this season, and Mishina and Galliamov, the reigning world champions, have the best Grand Prix score. Miura and Kihara will likely become the first pair from Japan to qualify for a Grand Prix Final since 2011, boosting the nation’s hopes of grabbing a medal in the Olympic team event. The last time a U.S. pair made the Final was 2015.

Ice Dance
Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) — 30 (QUALIFIED)
Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) — 28 (QUALIFIED)
Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (CAN) — 28 (QUALIFIED)
Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) — 26 (not competing this week)
Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (RUS) — 22 (not competing this week)

Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov (RUS) — 15
Charlene Guignard/Marco Fabbri (ITA) — 13
Laurence Fournier Beaudry/Nikolaj Sorensen (CAN) — 11
Sara Hurtado/Kirill Khaliavin (ESP) — 9

Papadakis and Cizeron, 2018 Olympic silver medalists, lost their last head-to-head with Sinitsina and Katsalapov way back at the January 2020 European Championships. But this season, the French have competed three times and posted the world’s top three scores. Gilles and Poirier and the two American couples are within 1.43 points of each other on best scores this season, likely forging a tight battle for the third podium spot in Beijing. Barring a bonkers Rostelecom Cup result, this will be the seventh consecutive Final with multiple U.S. dance couples.

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2023 French Open men’s singles draw, scores

French Open Men's Draw
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The French Open men’s singles draw is missing injured 14-time champion Rafael Nadal for the first time since 2004, leaving the Coupe des Mousquetaires ripe for the taking.

The tournament airs live on NBC Sports, Peacock and Tennis Channel through championship points in Paris.

Novak Djokovic is not only bidding for a third crown at Roland Garros, but also to lift a 23rd Grand Slam singles trophy to break his tie with Nadal for the most in men’s history.

FRENCH OPEN: Broadcast Schedule | Women’s Draw

But the No. 1 seed is Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, who won last year’s U.S. Open to become, at 19, the youngest man to win a major since Nadal’s first French Open title in 2005.

Now Alcaraz looks to become the second-youngest man to win at Roland Garros since 1989, after Nadal of course.

Alcaraz missed the Australian Open in January due to a right leg injury, but since went 30-3 with four titles. Notably, he has not faced Djokovic this year. They could meet in the semifinals.

Russian Daniil Medvedev, the No. 2 seed, was upset in the first round by 172nd-ranked Brazilian qualifier Thiago Seyboth Wild. It marked the first time a men’s top-two seed lost in the first round of any major since 2003 Wimbledon (Ivo Karlovic d. Lleyton Hewitt).

All of the American men lost before the fourth round. The last U.S. man to make the French Open quarterfinals was Andre Agassi in 2003.

MORE: All you need to know for 2023 French Open

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2023 French Open Men’s Singles Draw

French Open Men's Singles Draw French Open Men's Singles Draw French Open Men's Singles Draw French Open Men's Singles Draw

Coco Gauff, Iga Swiatek set French Open rematch

Coco Gauff French Open

Coco Gauff swept into the French Open quarterfinals, where she plays Iga Swiatek in a rematch of last year’s final.

Gauff, the sixth seed, beat 100th-ranked Slovakian Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 7-5, 6-2 in the fourth round. She next plays the top seed Swiatek, who later Monday advanced after 66th-ranked Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko retired down 5-1 after taking a medical timeout due to illness.

Gauff earned a 37th consecutive win over a player ranked outside the top 50, dating to February 2022. She hasn’t faced a player in the world top 60 in four matches at Roland Garros, but the degree of difficulty ratchets up in Wednesday’s quarterfinals.

Swiatek won all 12 sets she’s played against Gauff, who at 19 is the only teenager in the top 49 in the world. Gauff said last week that there’s no point in revisiting last year’s final — a 6-1, 6-3 affair — but said Monday that she should rewatch that match because they haven’t met on clay since.

“I don’t want to make the final my biggest accomplishment,” she said. “Since last year I have been wanting to play her, especially at this tournament. I figured that it was going to happen, because I figured I was going to do well, and she was going to do well.

“The way my career has gone so far, if I see a level, and if I’m not quite there at that level, I know I have to improve, and I feel like you don’t really know what you have to improve on until you see that level.”

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Women | Men | Broadcast Schedule

Also Monday, No. 7 seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia dispatched 36th-ranked American Bernarda Pera 6-3, 6-1, breaking all eight of Pera’s service games.

Jabeur, runner-up at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open last year, has now reached the quarterfinals of all four majors.

Jabeur next faces 14th-seeded Beatriz Haddad Maia, who won 6-7 (3), 6-3, 7-5 over Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo, who played on a protected ranking of 68. Haddad Maia became the second Brazilian woman to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal in the Open Era (since 1968) after Maria Bueno, who won seven majors from 1959-1966.

Pera, a 28 year-old born in Croatia, was the oldest U.S. singles player to make the fourth round of a major for the first time since Jill Craybas at 2005 Wimbledon. Her defeat left Gauff as the lone American singles player remaining out of the 35 entered in the main draws.

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.

In the men’s draw, 2022 French Open runner-up Casper Ruud reached the quarterfinals by beating 35th-ranked Chilean Nicolas Jarry 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-5. He’ll next play sixth seed Holger Rune of Denmark, a 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (7) winner over 23rd seed Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina.

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