|Serena Williams plays a forehand during her women's singles quarterfinal match against Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia at the French Open at Roland Garros on June 4, 2013 in Paris, France.
French Open, May 27-June 9, Paris
Four-time Olympic gold medalist Serena Williams cruised past Sara Errani of Italy in straight sets Thursday and advanced to the French Open women’s finals. Williams will face defending champion Maria Sharapova of Russia in the final Saturday.
“Oh, it will really feel special,” said Williams, who has won 30 consecutive matches but hasn’t won the French Open title since 2002 when she defeated sister, Venus, in the final. “It will be a great match, I think, for both of us. We both are doing so well and we both just really want to win.”
Also in the finals are U.S. Olympic gold medalists Bob and Mike Bryan, who defeated Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares in Thursday’s men’s doubles semifinals. The Bryan brothers will face Michael Llodra and Nicolas Mahut of France in the final Saturday. Should the Bryan brothers win, they would become the first men’s doubles team to win the first two Grand Slam tournaments since 1967. The Bryan brothers won the Australian Open in January. The last time the Bryan brothers won the French Open title was in 2006.
TV: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. ET Saturday and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, NBC
U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Jamaica, FIFA World Cup Qualifier, June 7, Kingston, Jamaica
Coming off a U.S. Soccer Centennial Celebration win over second-ranked Germany, the U.S. Men’s National Team heads back into FIFA World Cup Qualifying on Friday night against Jamaica at National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica.
“It gives you confidence,” U.S. captain Clint Dempsey said of the win over Germany. “Any time you have confidence from a win, it puts more wind in your sails.”
The United States is tied for third place in the CONCACAF Final Round standings after three games with a 1-1-1 record. Jamaica is 0-2-2. The United States is unbeaten in its last two qualifying games, including a 0-0 draw with Mexico on March 26.
Dempsey has scored seven goals in the World Cup Qualifying cycle and his 35 overall career goals rank No. 2 in U.S. men’s history. Other top Americans include forward Jozy Altidore, goalkeeper Tim Howard, midfielder Michael Bradley and defender DeMarcus Beasley, who had his 100th international cap in a 4-2 loss to Belgium on May 29.
The United States will return stateside to face Panama in another World Cup Qualifier on Tuesday in Seattle.
FIVB World League, June 7-8, Wichita, Kan.
The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team will begin play in the FIVB World League on Friday when it begins two days of opening-round matches against Argentina in Wichita, Kan.
Among the 12 on the U.S. roster for this weekend is middle blocker David Lee, a two-time Olympian who was on the gold medal-winning team at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Lee, outside hitter Matt Anderson, outside hitter Paul Lotman, middle blocker David Smith and setter Brian Thornton all were on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team, but the rest of the squad picked by first-year coach John Speraw consists of younger talent in the national program.
“I think it’s about turnover and who the young guys are and how much experience we can get them early,” Speraw said. “I think we’re going to have to get some new blood in here and take a look at some new young players and see what they can do, particularly early in the (Olympics quadrennial). I think the coach needs to be empowered to take some risks even if it means there are some early failures because I think it’s going to mean success in the long run.”
Also in volleyball:
Pan American Cup, U.S. Women’s National Team, June 8-17, Lima, Peru
FIVB U23 World Championships, June 5-9, Myslowice, Poland
Tara Roenicke and Kirby Burnham, seeded No. 3 in the women’s bracket at the FIVB Beach Volleyball U23 World Championships, were atop their pool after the first day of pool play Thursday. They defeated No. 19 Cristina Monterrey and Catalina Zuniga of Costa Rica, 21-5, 21-9. Meg Norton and Brittany Tiegs of the United States, seeded No. 23, lost both of their matches Thursday.
Alex Jones and Kyle Stevenson, seeded No. 2 in the men’s tournament, were to face No. 18 Ruben Alejandro Mora Romero and Miguel Angel Lopez of Nicaragua on Friday after losing their opening pool play match Thursday. Devon Hatcher and Parker Kalmbach, the other U.S. men’s team, also lost Thursday.
Also in beach volleyball:
NORCECA Beach Volleyball Circuit, June 6-10, Toluca, Mexico
USA Volleyball Junior Beach Tour, Mid-South Grand Slam, June 8-9, Dallas
TRACK AND FIELD
Chicagoland Summer Throws Series, June 8, Lisle, Ill.
Four-time Olympian Aretha Thurmond will compete in the women’s discus and 2012 Olympian A.G. Kruger will compete in the hammer throw at Saturday’s Chicagoland Summer Throws Series at Benedictine University in suburban Chicago, Ill. The meet’s field also includes 2012 Olympics Trials runner-up Chris Cralle in the hammer throw.
Also in track and field:
NCAA Div. I Track and Field Championships, June 6-8, University of Oregon, Eugene, Ore.
USA Shooting National Championships, June 3-9, Ft. Benning, Ga.
Four-time Olympian Emil Milev leads the men’s rapid fire pistol competition at the USA Shooting National Championships after posting a score of 594 Thursday. The final round will take place Friday.
The final three days of the national championships will also include men’s air rifle, women’s three-position rifle, men’s 50-meter free pistol and Paralympic air prone rifle. The men’s air rifle, which begins Friday, includes a field of 2012 Olympian Jonathan Hall, 2012 national champion Bryant Wallizer and World Cup silver medalist Dempster Christenson.
Among the winners Thursday was Justin Tracy, once a part-time member of the New York Air Guard who defeated a field of Olympians and World Cup medalists in the men’s prone rifle. He earned a spot on the USA Shooting National Team with the victory. Sandra Uptagrafft, a 2012 Olympian, won the women’s air pistol and Sarah Beard won women’s prone rifle.
Also in shooting:
ISSF Shotgun World Cup, June 8-17, Nicosia, Cyprus
Fran Crippen Memorial Swim Meet of Champions, June 6-9, Mission Viejo, Calif.
Nearly 800 swimmers are competing in the Fran Crippen Memorial Swim Meet of Champions in Mission Viejo, Calif. The field includes 2012 Olympians Haley Anderson and Chloe Sutton, and NCAA champions Elizabeth Pelton and Tom Shields of California-Berkley.
The meet is named in memory of Fran Crippen, a former pool and open-water swimmer who died at the age of 26 during an open water swimming race in the United Arab Emirates in 2010.
U.S. Rhythmic Championships, June 4-9, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Jazzy Kerber was the leader in the senior all-around competition after two events at the U.S. Rhythmic Championships in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Kerber won the hoop event final Thursday and defending all-around national champion Rebecca Sereda won the ball final. Laura Zeng and Serena Lu won the hoop and ball junior titles.
Event finals for senior elite and junior elite gymnasts in club and ribbon will be held Friday night. The all-around finals are scheduled for Saturday. The competition, which is being held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Walt Disney World, features the top rhythmic gymnasts in the nation and will determine the members of the 2013 national team. The world championships are set for August in Kiev, Ukraine.
USA Rugby Men’s Eagles vs. Ireland, June 8, Houston
Veteran player Todd Clever will be the captain of the USA Rugby Men’s Eagles squad for its highly anticipated international friendly against Ireland on Saturday night at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston. The 23-man U.S. roster also includes international pros Takudzwa Ngwenya, Samu Manoa and Chris Wyles. Manoa and Ngwenya were recently selected to play for the Barbarian Football Club in its tour to England.
“It’s an honor to play with the guys from the Barbos, but I’m back home,” Ngwenya said. “I get to play in Texas, I get to play with the boys again. This is where it all started. I’m just happy to be back with the family.”
Ireland is ranked No. 9 in the world and defeated the United States in the pool stage of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET Saturday, Universal Sports
USA Rugby Women’s Eagles vs. France, June 7, Oxnard, Calif.
The USA Rugby Women’s Eagles will begin a three-game friendly series against France on Friday at Oxnard (Calif.) College. Sarah Chobot, Kittery Wagner and Jamie Burke will be among those playing on the front row. The United States and France also will play June 11 and June 14 in California.
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, June 8-9, Fort William, Scotland
Kate Courtney earned a bronze medal in the junior women’s division of the season-opening UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in May in Germany. The second World Cup event begins Saturday in Fort William, Scotland, United Kingdom.
Also in cycling:
Chile Challenge, Pro Mountain Bike Gravity Tour, June 7-9, Angel Fire, N.M.
Saint Francis Tulsa Tough, USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar (NCC), June 7-9, Tulsa, Okla.
Air Force Cycling Classic, USA Cycling NCC, June 8-9, Arlington, Va.
Fixed Gear Classic, June 6-8, National Sports Center Velodrome, Blaine, Minn.
IIHF InLine World Championship, June 2-8, Dresden, Germany
Travis Noe scored one goal and had three assists, leading the U.S. National Inline Team to a 7-4 victory Thursday over host Germany and into Friday’s semifinals at the IIHF InLine World Championship. Tied 3-3, the United States scored twice within 35 seconds in the third period. Noe assisted on both of the goals, scored by Cody Kettler and Rob Alexander.
A win Friday would send the United States to Saturday’s gold medal game. The United States has won gold five times since 1996.
Pan American Championships, June 1-8, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
The USA Team Handball Women’s National Team finished up pool play in the Pan American Championships on Thursday with a 30-23 loss to Mexico. The week included a strong 30-13 win over Costa Rica on Monday as Stephanie Hesser scored nine goals. The tournament concludes Saturday with the medal rounds.
U.S. National Field Championships and World Games Trials, June 6-8, Eagle Lake, Texas
The U.S. National Field Championships began Thursday at the Blaschke Exotic Deer Branch outside of Eagle Lake, Texas. The event will conclude Saturday with the U.S. World Games Trials for recurve and barebow archers.
Achleiten CDI3*, June 6-9, Achleiten, Austria
Tina Konyot, a 2012 Olympian, will ride Calecto V, a 15-year-old Danish Warmblood, in Grand Prix dressage competition at the Achleiten CDI3* event in Austria.
Also in equestrian:
Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Eastern Selection Trials, VADA/NOVA Summer June Dressage Show, June 8-9, Leesburg, Va.
Top-scoring rider-horse combinations will earn spots on the U.S. short list for the FEI World Breeding Championships for Dressage Young Horses in August in Germany.
USRowing Youth National Championships, June 7-9, Oak Ridge, Tenn.
More than 360 crews from 153 clubs in 30 states will compete in the USRowing Youth National Championships beginning Friday at Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The event has drawn a record number of entries, approximately 1,300 athletes.
Story courtesy Red Line Editorial, Inc. Paul D. Bowker is a freelance contributor for TeamUSA.org. Material from various news services and press releases from National Governing Bodies was used to compile this report. This story was not subject to the approval of any National Governing Bodies.