Coco Gauff’s run at U.S. Open ends in quarterfinals

Coco Gauff
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Coco Gauff was eliminated in the U.S. Open quarterfinals by on-fire Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia.

Garcia earned her 13th consecutive match win, sweeping the 18-year-old American 6-3, 6-4 to set a Thursday semifinal with Wimbledon runner-up Ons Jabeur of Tunisia.

U.S. OPEN DRAWS: Women | Men

Gauff completed her 2022 Grand Slam schedule by earning a place in the top 10 of the world rankings for the first time. The year’s highlight — other than graduating virtual high school — was her French Open runner-up. She became the youngest major finalist since Maria Sharapova won 2004 Wimbledon and remains the youngest player in the top 100.

She was bidding Tuesday to become the youngest American to reach a U.S. Open semifinal since a 17-year-old Serena Williams lifted the trophy in 1999.

“I didn’t tell anyone, but I didn’t think it was going to be that good of a tournament for me,” said Gauff, who retired from her last match with an injury before the U.S. Open.

Her next big target is the WTA Finals the first week of November in Fort Worth, Texas.

“After this I’ll have some time to reflect,” she said. “I don’t have any tournaments for a while, so I’ll try to reflect on the season as a whole.”

Garcia is the first Frenchwoman to make a semifinal at any major since Marion Bartoli‘s stunning run to the 2013 Wimbledon title. This run comes five years after Garcia’s previous major quarterfinal appearance.

Since, Garcia rose to No. 4 in the world in 2018, then plummeted as low as No. 79 three months ago. She was one of two women to reach the top four of the world rankings and never make a major semifinal (Magdalena Maleeva).

Garcia, at age 17 touted by Andy Murray as a future No. 1, had a losing record for 2022 going into the first tournament of the summer.

She has since won titles on three surfaces and defeated six consecutive top-20 opponents. She gets another one Thursday in the fifth seed Jabeur, who swept Serena Williams vanquisher Ajla Tomljanovic 6-4, 7-6 (4) earlier Tuesday. Garcia could join Gauff in the top 10 next week.

“The path is very clear right now, which direction I have to go, under stress, under pressure,” she said. “I’m just trying to follow this path.”

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Oleksandr Abramenko, Ukraine’s top Winter Olympian, tears knee, career in question

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Aerials skier Oleksandr Abramenko, who won both of Ukraine’s medals over the last two Winter Olympics, is out for the season after a knee ligament tear and said he might not return to competition at all, according to Ukrainian media.

Abramenko, 34, won gold at the 2018 Olympics — Ukraine’s second-ever individual Winter Olympic title after figure skater Oksana Baiul in 1994 — and silver last year.

He competed once this season, placing 10th at a World Cup in Finland on Dec. 4, and then flew with the Ukrainian national team to stay in Utah ahead of World Cups in Canada in January and at the 2002 Olympic venue in Park City this weekend. The area also hosted many Ukraine winter sports athletes this past summer.

Abramenko missed the competition in Canada two weeks ago due to injury and then wasn’t on the start list for today’s aerials event in Park City. He is set to miss the world championships later this month in Georgia (the country, not the state).

Abramenko said he needs surgery, followed by a nine-month rehabilitation process, similar to an operation on his other knee six years ago, according to Ukraine’s public broadcaster. He said he will see how the recovery goes and determine whether to return to the sport at age 35, according to the report.

Abramenko is already the oldest Olympic men’s aerials medalist and come the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games will be older than all but one male aerialist in Olympic history, according to Olympedia.org.

At last year’s Olympics, Abramenko, Ukraine’s flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony, was hugged after the aerials final by Russian Ilya Burov, who finished one spot behind Abramenko for a bronze medal. A week later, Russia invaded Ukraine.

A week after that, Abramenko posed for a photo sitting on a mattress in a Kyiv parking garage with his wife and 2-year-old son published by The New York Times.

“We spend the night in the underground parking in the car, because the air attack siren is constantly on,” Abramenko texted, according to the newspaper. “It’s scary to sleep in the apartment, I myself saw from the window how the air defense systems worked on enemy missiles, and strong explosions were heard.”

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Freestyle skiers in World Cup action on NBC Sports, Peacock

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Olympic gold medalists David Wise and Alex Hall headline World Cup freestyle skiing and snowboarding stops in the U.S. this weekend, airing on NBC Sports and Peacock.

Wise, who last Sunday won his fifth X Games Aspen ski halfpipe title, led the qualifiers into the final at the Mammoth Mountain Grand Prix in California.

He’s joined in the 10-man final by U.S. Olympic teammates Aaron Blunck and Birk Irving. The women’s ski halfpipe final includes the top three from last week’s X Games — Brit Zoe Atkin, Canadian Rachael Karker and American Svea Irving. Olympic champion Eileen Gu of China is out after suffering a knee injury in an X Games training crash.

The ski slopestyle finals include the reigning men’s and women’s Olympic gold medalists — Hall, plus Mathilde Gremaud of Switzerland.

The marquee snowboarders in Mammoth finals are Olympic big air silver medalist Julia Marino (slopestyle) and X Games silver medalist Maddie Mastro (halfpipe). Two-time Olympic champion Chloe Kim is taking the season off, and another double Olympic champion, Jamie Anderson, is pregnant.

Aerials and moguls skiers are competing in their lone U.S. World Cup stop in Park City, Utah.

The moguls fields including Olympic gold medalists Walter Wallberg of Sweden, Mikael Kingsbury of the U.S., Perrine Laffont of France and Jakara Anthony of Australia. Olympic silver medalist Jaelin Kauf is the standout American.

The aerials include every member of the U.S. team that took gold at last year’s Olympics — Ashley Caldwell, Chris Lillis and Justin Schoenefeld.

Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding World Cup Broadcast Schedule

Day Event Time (ET) Platform
Saturday Moguls 11 a.m. CNBC, Peacock
Ski Halfpipe 3 p.m. NBC, Peacock
Sunday Ski Slopestyle 12 p.m. CNBC, Peacock
Sun., Feb. 12 Aerials, Dual Moguls 2 p.m. NBC, Peacock
Snowboard Halfpipe 2 p.m. CNBC, Peacock

All NBC and CNBC coverage also streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for subscribers.

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