While many Americans celebrated the Fourth of July holiday this week, U.S. athletes were busy representing America around the world in a variety of sports. Twin brothers Mike and Bob Bryan, the doubles tennis gold medalists from the London 2012 Olympic Games, are on the verge of making tennis history at Wimbledon, Olympic hurdles champion Aries Merritt will be in Paris as he faces tough competition in an IAAF Diamond League event, and athletes from 170 countries will gather in Kazan, Russia, to compete in the 27th Summer World University Games. Read about all the action in this week’s edition of the Team USA Weekend Preview.
Wimbledon, June 24-July 7, Wimbledon, England
Olympic champions Bob and Mike Bryan, the No. 1 seeds in men’s doubles at Wimbledon, will play Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo for the championship Saturday. If the Bryans win, they would hold be the first doubles team to hold all four Grand Slam titles plus the Olympic title. No other American made it to the Wimbledon finals.
The Bryan brothers lost at Wimbledon last year in the semi-final by the eventual champions, Britain's Jonny Marray and Freddie Nielsen of Denmark. But Wimbledon also marked the court where they won the Olympic gold medal later in the summer of 2012.
For all of the Bryan brothers’ achievements, winning Wimbledon this year could be the pinnacle of their illustrious career.
“It would probably be the highest achievement,” Mike Bryan said told reporters after beating India's Rohan Bopanna and France’s Edouard Roger-Vasselin, 6-7, 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3. “It doesn't happen every day. It would be really cool. We've had a couple of records. To add this on top would just be really sweet. I don't think we're ever going to have a shot to do it again. Last time I checked, we're 35, so this could be our one opportunity to do it.”
When asked about the name of such an achievement, Mike Bryan wasn’t sure.
“I‘ve been hearing the Bryan Slam,” Mike Bryan said. “Now you call it the Golden Slam. It’s pretty cool. We’re playing kind of a fairy-tale team, Melo and Dodig, in their first Grand Slam final. Yeah, we’ll be tough to beat if we play well.”
TV: 8 a.m.-3 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday, ESPN; 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, ABC
TRACK AND FIELD
Meeting Areva, IAAF Diamond League, July 6, Paris
The second IAAF Diamond League meet in three days will take place Saturday, when 2012 Olympic champion Aries Merritt, 2008 Olympic bronze medalist David Oliver and two-time Olympic gold medalist LaShawn Merritt are among the U.S. athletes competing in Meeting Areva in Paris. Oliver had a world-leading time of 13.03 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles Thursday at a Diamond League meet in Lausanne, Switzerland. He will battle Merritt and 2012 Olympic silver medalist Jason Richardson in the men’s 110-meter hurdles.
The women’s high jump will include 2012 Olympic silver medalist Brigetta Barrett of the United States and 2012 Olympic champion Anna Chicherova of Russia.
Maurice Mitchell is the lone American entered in the men’s 200 and will face a field with four Jamaicans, including two-time Olympic gold medalist in the 200, Usain Bolt.
The United States had four winners in Lausanne: Tyson Gay, men’s 100; Ryan Whiting, men’s shot put; Dawn Harper-Nelson, women’s 100 hurdles; Francena McCorory, women’s 400. Gay has the two quickest 100-meter times this year, 9.75 and 9.79 seconds.
TV: 2 p.m.-4 p.m. ET Saturday, Universal Sports
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, July 2-7, Stare Jablonki, Poland
The third-seeded men’s team of Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal and the No. 3 women’s team of April Ross and Whitney Pavlik are among five U.S. teams contending for medals at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Poland. Dalhausser and Rosenthal, both 2012 Olympians, will face American teammates Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson in Friday’s first round of single-elimination. Dalhausser and Rosenthal finished off pool play Thursday with a 22-20, 21-14 win against Austria’s Alexander Huber and Robin Seidl.
Ross and Pavlik, and No. 22 Lauren Fendrick and Brittany Hochevar advanced to the round of 16 in the women’s tournament with victories Thursday. Fendrick and Hochevar eliminated U.S. teammates Jennifer Fopma and Brooke Sweat, 19-21, 21-13, 15-12. Ross and Pavlik defeated No. 24 Isabelle Forrer and Anouk Verge-Depre of Switzerland in just 37 minutes, and will face No. 10 Liliana Fernandez Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo McMillan of Spain on Friday. The women’s medal round will be played Saturday.
Ross, an Olympic silver medalist in London last summer with Jen Kessy, made big news earlier this week when she confirmed she will team up with three-time Olympic champion Kerri Walsh Jennings in hopes of being partners for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games. Kessy has been absent from the tour with hip and Achilles injuries, according to FIVB.
No. 17 Todd Rogers and Ryan Doherty will face second-seeded Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego of Brazil in the men’s tournament. The men’s final is Sunday.
TV: 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. ET Saturday, Universal Sports; 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. ET Sunday, NBC
Webcast: 6 a.m. ET Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday, universalsports.com
FIVB World League, U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team vs. Poland, July 5 and 7, Katowice and Wrocla, Poland
The FIVB World League schedule takes the U.S. Men’s Volleyball Team to Europe for the first time this year. The United States, winner in four of its first six World League matches, will face Poland on Friday in Katowice, Poland, and again Sunday in Wroclaw, Poland.
A sellout crowd of 10,000 awaits Friday night’s match at Spodek Arena in Katowice. “I’m excited for this,” said U.S. team captain Matt Anderson, an outside hitter who leads the team in scoring with 99 points. “It’s sold out so there’s going to be a lot of energy. It’s always a great competition between us and Poland; friendly, but also fierce and fun.”
The United States is in third place in the World League standings after three weekends of matches stateside. Poland is in fifth place with a 2-4 record.
TV: 8 p.m.-10 p.m. ET July 10 and 11, Universal Sports
Also in volleyball:
FIVB Volleyball Boys’ U19 World Championship, June 27-July 7, Tijuana and Mexicali, Mexico
U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Guatemala, July 5, San Diego
The U.S. Men’s National Team faces Guatemala in an international friendly Friday night. The game will take place at Qualcomm Stadium. The national team is 0-5-2 in San Diego, but hasn’t played there since 2006.
The game is a final preparation for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which begins Tuesday for the United States against Belize in Portland, Ore. The winner of the Gold Cup will advance to a playoff against the 2015 Gold Cup winner in a qualifier for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. Landon Donovan, who has scored a U.S.-record 13 goals in Gold Cup play, is back with the team for the first time since August 2012.
TV: 11 p.m. ET Friday, NBC Sports Network, UniMas
ITU World Triathlon Series, July 6, Kitzbuehel, Austria
Gwen Jorgensen, the top-ranked women’s triathlete in the world, will chase after a podium finish on a challenging course Saturday in Kitzbuehel, Austria. The event is a part of the ITU World Triathlon Series, in which Jorgensen has already won gold twice this year.
The elite men’s and women’s races consist of a 750-meter swim, 11.55-kilometer bike race and 2.55-kilometer run with an altitude climb of 1,003 meters.
In addition to Jorgensen, Sarah Groff, Rebeccah Wassner and Florence Chretien will compete for the United States. Matt Chrabot, Jarrod Shoemaker, Ben Kanute and Luke Farkas will compete in the men’s event.
TV: Noon-2 p.m. and 4 p.m.-6 p.m. ET Saturday, Universal Sports
Webcast: 7 a.m. ET Saturday, triathlonlive.tv
Also in triathlon:
Grand Haven Duathlon, July 7, Grand Haven, Mich.
FIBA U19 World Championship for Men, June 27-July 7, Prague, Czech Republic
Six consecutive wins carried the USA Basketball U19 Men’s National Team to the No. 1 seed entering Friday’s quarterfinal round of the FIBA U19 World Championship for Men. The United States faces Canada (3-3) in the quarterfinals in Prague, Czech Republic. A victory Friday would send Team USA to the semifinals Saturday. The championship game will be held Sunday.
Jahlil Okafor of Whitney Young High School in Chicago led Team USA with 16 points in its 71-62 win Wednesday over previously unbeaten Serbia. Rasheed Sulaimon, a rising sophomore at Duke University, had 15 points and five rebounds.
Webcast: 2:15 p.m. ET Friday, ESPN3
ISSF World Cup, July 5-10, Granada, Spain
Two-time Olympian Corey Cogdell will be among 16 U.S. Olympians competing in the ISSF Granada World Cup, beginning Friday in Spain. Cogdell, a bronze medalist at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, will compete alongside eight teammates in the trap qualifying Friday. Among the men’s shooters is John Mullins, who was one target away from making the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team.
Overall, 25 members of the U.S. rifle and pistol team will compete in the World Cup, along with 23 members of the shotgun team. The trap competition will take place Friday and Saturday, followed by the start of the double trap Monday. The rifle and pistol competition begins Saturday with men’s 10-meter air rifle, women’s 25-meter sport pistol and men’s 50-meter free pistol qualifying.
The U.S. lineup in men’s free pistol includes four-time Olympian Daryl Szarenski, three-time Olympian Jason Turner and 2008 Olympian Brian Beaman.
U.S. Trampoline and Tumbling Championships, July 3-10, Kansas City, Mo.
Steven Gluckstein and Savannah Vinsant, both London 2012 Olympians, will seek to defend their national championships when they compete Friday in the preliminary round of the U.S. Trampoline and Tumbling Championships in Kansas City, Mo. Competition in the elite division for trampoline, tumbling and double mini-trampoline begins Friday. The elite finals will be held Saturday night at Municipal Auditorium.
The event is a selection event for the World Championships and World Age-Group Competition teams. Elite gymnasts can also earn points toward making the senior and junior national teams. The elite competition concludes Saturday. The Junior Olympic portion of the championships continues through July 10.
Charlotte Drury and Shaylee Dunavin won gold Wednesday in women’s synchronized trampoline, and Logan Dooley and Neil Gulati won in men’s synchronized trampoline.
American Classic, July 6, Huntsville, Texas
Grace McLaughlin, a team gold medalist at the 2011 Pan American Games, is among the top senior-level gymnasts selected to compete in the American Classic Friday at the USA Gymnastics National Training Center. The event is a qualifier for the 2013 P&G Gymnastics Championships, which are scheduled for Aug. 15-18 in Hartford, Conn.
Other senior gymnasts in the American Classic include Lacy Dagen, Ariana Guerra, Madison Kocian and Erin Macadaeg. The final women’s qualifier for the P&G Gymnastics Championships will be the Secret U.S. Classic on July 27 in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
ICF Slalom World Cup, July 5-7, La Seu D’Urgell, Spain
Two-time Olympian Casey Eichfeld and two-time Olympic medalist Fabien Lefevre will be among the U.S. paddlers seeking podium finishes in the third ICF Slalom World Cup event of the season in Spain.
Lefevre, an Olympic medalist for France who is now competing for the United States, won bronze in kayak at the first World Cup. He is also competing in canoe, finishing as high as 14th place. Eichfeld is hoping to qualify for the finals after a pair of top 20 finishes in the first two World Cups. U.S. women paddlers include Dana Mann, who finished 14th in kayak last week; Ashlee Nee in kayak; and Micki Reeves and Colleen Hickey in canoe.
Junior World Championship and Para-Rowing World Championship Trials, July 8-9, West Windsor, N.J.
Roster spots on U.S. world teams will be determined Monday and Tuesday at the Junior World Championship Trials and Para-Rowing World Championship Trials. Practice runs begin Sunday on Mercer Lake at the Princeton National Rowing Center. Among those attempting to secure spots on the Para-Rowing team are 2012 Paralympic bronze medalists Rob Jones and Oksana Masters.
Webcast: Finals, usrowing.org
Also in rowing:
CanAmMex Regatta, July 7-14, Oklahoma City, Okla.
USA Baseball Collegiate National Team vs. Japan, July 6, Matsuyama, Japan
The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team begins the 39th USA-Japan series Saturday in Matsuyama, Japan. Team USA will play six games in six days in three Japanese cities, including an exhibition game Friday against the Matsuyama Industrial League team. Team USA won all 10 games of a tour through North Carolina, finishing it off with a 14-0 win over the Carolina-Virginia CBL Select team Tuesday.
Also in baseball:
USA Baseball 16U Cup, July 5-7, Cary, N.C.
ISF X Junior Women’s World Championship, July 1-7, Brampton, Ont., Canada
Shutout wins of 10-0 against South Korea and 7-0 against New Zealand helped earn the No. 1 playoff seed for the U.S. Junior National Team at the ISF X Junior Women’s World Championship in Brampton, Ont. The United States won all six of its pool-play games by shutout. Paige McDuffee pitched a one-hitter in the win over New Zealand. Team USA will meet Australia in the playoff round Friday. The medal round is scheduled for Sunday.
Team USA is seeking its third consecutive junior world championship.
USA Taekwondo National Championships, July 3-8, Chicago
The national championships for USA Taekwondo will continue through Monday at McCormick Place in Chicago. National titles will be awarded in all age groups, but for senior- and junior-level athletes it is also a qualifier for the national team trials. The top four finishers in each weight class in the black belt division are likely to qualify for the 2014 national team trials. World Class Cadet sparring in the black belt division is among the events scheduled for Friday.
USA Fencing National Championships, June 28-July 7, Columbus, Ohio
The final three days of the USA Fencing National Championships will include action in several junior-level and cadet disciplines.
Those winning national titles earlier this week included three-time Olympian Ann Marsh-Senic, who captured her fifth consecutive gold medal in veteran women’s 40-49 foil, and 2013 World University Games team member Courtney Dumas, who won in Division I women’s epée.
USA Cycling Amateur & Para-Cycling Road National Championships, July 3-7, Madison, Wis.
Alexis Ryan, the reigning 17-18 national champion; Kaitlin Antonneau, winner of the Division 1 omnium at the 2013 USA Cycling Collegiate Road Nationals; Jessica Prinner, runner-up to Antonneau in the 2012 U23 time trial national championship; and Jennifer Valente are among the top contenders in Friday’s U23 women’s race at the USA Cycling Amateur & Para-Cycling Road National Championships in Madison, Wis. The five-day event includes nearly 1,000 of the nation’s top amateur and para-cyclists.
Para-cycling road races will be held Saturday in Waterloo, located just outside of Madison. Sunday’s final day of competition will feature criteriums in downtown Madison.
Also in cycling:
Tour de France, June 29-July 21, France
TV: 8 a.m.-11 a.m. ET Saturday, NBC; 6:30 a.m.-11 a.m. Sunday, NBC Sports Network
USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships, July 6, Sun Valley, Idaho
Iron Hill Twilight Criterium, USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar (NCC), July 6, West Chester, Pa.
Chevron Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, USA Cycling NCC, July 7, Manhattan Beach, Calif.
US Open Table Tennis Championships, July 2-6, Las Vegas
Matches will continue through the medal rounds Saturday at the US Open Table Tennis Championships in Las Vegas. Among Thursday’s matches: Wang Qingliang defeated Liang Jishan in an all-American match in the second round. Lily Zhang, the 16th seed in the women’s singles tournament, and Ariel Hsing, the 24th seed, both won their opening-round matches.
U.S. Men’s National Team, Australian tour, July 6-14, Australia
The U.S. Men’s National Team will face the Victoria Institute of Sport on Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday to begin a six-match Australian Tour. The U.S. roster includes the internationally experienced Kevin Barber, Jon Ginolfi, Patrick Harris and Sean Harris. The team is preparing for the Pan American Cup, a World Cup-qualifying tournament that will be held in August in Canada.
FIRS Inline World Hockey Championships, July 8-13, Anaheim and Huntington Beach, Calif.
Play begins Monday for the USA Roller Sports Junior Men and Junior Women’s teams in the FIRS Inline World Hockey Championships. The tournaments will be held in Anaheim and Huntington Beach, Calif.
Team USA Summer Trials, July 5-7, Arlington, Texas
Two men’s and two women’s roster spots on the national team will be determined at this weekend’s Team USA Summer Trials at the International Training and Research Center. The final roster will have 12 men and 12 women. The Summer Trials are in addition to the usual trials conducted in January by the United States Bowling Congress.
WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES
July 6-17, Kazan, Russia
Athletes from 170 countries will gather in Kazan, Russia, for the 27th Summer World University Games. The athletes will vie for 351 sets of medals in 27 sports, ranging from track and field to basketball to judo. The international competition features student athletes aged 17-28 and is second only to the Olympic Games in terms of number of participating athletes and countries represented. FISU (International Federation of University Sport) is the international governing body of the Universiades.
ESPNU and ESPN3 will broadcast 115 hours of coverage. Click here for TV information.
Here’s a look at some of the athletes and sports to watch:
Nine women and seven men will represent the United States in track and field at the World University Games. The roster includes Vashti Mary Thomas of the Academy of Art University, who will run in the women’s 100-meter hurdles and 4x100 relay, and compete in the long jump; Nicole Schappert, a graduate student at Rutgers University who was America’s fastest indoor miler in 2012; and Justin Austin, a five-time Big Ten champion sprinter at the University of Iowa.
The U.S. men’s basketball team will open play in the World University Games Sunday, when it faces the United Arab Emirates. Following that game, the U.S. men will play Czech Republic Monday, Sweden Wednesday, Australia Thursday and Canada July 12. The quarterfinal round will be held July 14, the semifinals July 15 and the medal round July 16. Luke Hancock of the University of Louisville, who will be the flag bearer Saturday at Opening Ceremony, led the United States with 14 points in a 96-60 exhibition win Thursday over UNICS, a Russian professional team. The U.S. women’s basketball team opens play Monday against Mali.
Christopher Leonard of Marist College, Kasey Charles Colander of George Washington University, Jeffrey Latham of UCLA, Luke Wilhelm of California-Santa Barbara, James Letten of Wisconsin, Luke Yehlen of Minnesota, Keane Johnson of Boston College, Ian Luetzow of Drexel University and Zachary Petronic of the University of Pittsburgh will represent the United States at the World University Games in rowing.
Twelve divers will represent the United States at the World University Games. Sam Dorman of the University of Miami will compete in three events: men’s 1-meter, 3-meter and 3-meter synchro with Zac Nees of Miami.
The men’s water polo team from UCLA and the women’s team from the University of California-Berkeley will represent the United States at the World University Games. Preliminary round games in water polo begin Friday when the U.S. men play Brazil. The medal rounds will be held July 16-17.
London 2012 Olympians Mariya Koroleva and Mary Killman are among 11 U.S. athletes competing in synchronized swimming at the World University Games. Killman, of Lindenwood (Mo.) University, will compete in the technical and free solo events. Koroleva is one of eight Stanford University swimmers on the team. In addition to individual events, the United States will compete Saturday in the team technical and Monday in the team free.
Nine athletes will represent the United States in weightlifting at the World University Games. The competition begins Sunday in the women’s 48 and 53 kilogram weight classes, and men’s 56kg.
Michael Bausan, Danae Long, Randy Ma and Sharon Ng will compete in badminton at the World University Games. The badminton competition begins Friday. All four will compete in individual and team events.