Serena Williams returns a shot to Vera Zvonareva of Russia during the third round of women's singles tennis at the London 2012 Olympic Games at Wimbledon on Aug. 1, 2012 in London.
Serena Williams looks to add a fifth U.S. Open title this weekend in New York while track & field athletes will race for the final Diamond League titles in Belgium. Meanwhile, the U.S. men’s soccer team is in Costa Rica for FIFA World Cup qualifying. It’s another busy weekend in Olympic sports. The Team USA Weekend Preview has all the details.
U.S. Open, Aug. 26-Sept. 9, New York
Four-time Olympic gold medalist Serena Williams needs just two more wins to capture her fifth U.S. Open title. She will face fifth-seeded Li Na of China in the semifinals Friday. A win in the semis would send Williams to the final Sunday against either second-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus or Flavia Pennetta of Italy.
Williams also looks for a doubles title with sister, Venus. The Williams sisters will face No. 1 seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci of Italy Friday in the quarterfinals.
TV: 8 p.m.-11 p.m. ET Thursday, ESPN; 12:30 p.m.-6 p.m. Friday, noon-6 p.m. Saturday, 4:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Sunday, 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Monday, CBS; 12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Sunday, ESPN2; 6 p.m.-11 a.m. Friday, 7 p.m.-11 a.m. Saturday, Tennis Channel
U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Costa Rica, Sept. 6, San Jose, Costa Rica
The U.S. Men’s National Team will seek its first road win in FIFA World Cup qualifying when it plays Costa Rica Friday night in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Clint Dempsey had the winning goal for the United States in a 1-0 world cup qualifying victory over Costa Rica March 22 in Commerce City, Colo. The game was played in a snowstorm. This time, the weather conditions certainly are expected to be much improved.
The United States is in first place in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying.
“The Costa Rica game in San Jose is the biggest game in 2013 for all of us because we want to win there,” U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. “We want to qualify as soon as possible for the world cup in Brazil. We want to get the first-ever three points in world cup qualifying in Costa Rica. Everyone needs to understand there will be a lot of tension. We need to be very well prepared mentally and physically, and give them a real game.”
Dempsey, the team captain, would earn his 100th international cap in this game. Landon Donovan, the U.S. all-time leader in world cup qualifying appearances with 37, will return to world cup qualifying action for the first time in more than a year.
TRACK & FIELD
IAAF Diamond League, Sept. 6, Brussels, Belgium
Olympic silver medalist Michael Tinsley will face Javier Culson of Puerto Rico in the men’s 400-meter hurdles Friday in Brussels, Belgium, one of many events that will decide IAAF Diamond League championships in the final meet of the season.
LaShawn Merritt (men’s 400), David Oliver (men’s 110 hurdles) and Justin Gatlin (men’s 100) have already clinched Diamond League championships. Gatlin will face six-time Olympic gold medalist and world-record holder Usain Bolt in the 100 in Brussels. Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic champion, is the only sprinter to beat Bolt in the 100 this summer, though Bolt was victorious at the world championships last month in Moscow. Bolt also beat Gatlin last week in Zurich, clocking a 9.90 time compared to Gatlin’s 9.96.
TV: 2 p.m. ET Friday, Universal Sports
AVP Tour, Sept. 6-8, Atlantic City, N.J.
Competition in the Atlantic City AVP Tour event begins Friday in New Jersey. Emily Day and Summer Ross won their first AVP event last week in Cincinnati. Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson won the men’s tournament.
ITU Long Distance Duathlon World Championships, Sept. 8, Zofingen, Switzerland
Ruth Brennan Morrey, competing in her first season as a professional, will chase after a podium finish in the ITU Long Distance Duathlon World Championships Sunday in Switzerland. The event consists of a 10-kilometer run, 150k bike race and 30k run.
Fifteen other U.S. athletes will compete in the age-group races.
USA Cycling Masters Road National Championships, Sept. 4-8, Bend, Ore.
Dotsie Bausch, a silver medalist at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and her husband, Kirk, are among the cyclists competing for Stars-and-Stripes jerseys at the USA Cycling Masters Road National Championships in Bend, Ore. Past national champions Brenna Lopez-Otero, Ivan Dominguez, John Elgart and Michael Olheiser are also entered. Olheiser won the men’s 35 to 39 time trial Thursday.
Road racing will be held Thursday and Friday. The course begins at the Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort. Criterium races are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.
Also in cycling:
USA Cycling Bike Gravity Tour (Pro GRT), Mammoth Kamikaze Bike Games, Sept. 4-8, Mammoth Lakes, Calif.
USA Cycling National Racing Calendar (NRC), Thompson Bucks County Classic, Sept. 7, Doylestown, Pa.
ICF Freestyle World Championships, Sept. 2-8, Bryson City, N.C.
Competition goes through Sunday at the ICF Freestyle World Championships. The event is being held on the Nantahala River near Bryson City, N.C. The championships feature 300 of the world’s best freestylers competing on a custom-built river wave at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. Top U.S. athletes include national champions Dane Jackson in men’s kayak, Emily Jackson in women’s kayak and Seth Chapelle in canoe.
ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating, Sept. 4-7, Mexico City
Polina Edmunds, the 2013 U.S. junior women’s champion, and U.S. junior silver medalist ice dancers Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker are among eight U.S. skaters competing at the ISU Junior Grand Prix event in Mexico City. Mariah Bell also will compete in the women’s event, and Nathan Chen and three-time national champ (novice, intermediate, juvenile) and Tomoki Hiwatashi will compete in men’s. Joining Hawayek and Baker in the ice-dancing competition are Chloe Rose Lewis and Logan Bye.
IBAF AAA/18U World Cup, Aug. 30-Sept. 8, Taichung, Taiwan
The USA Baseball 18U National Team won the top seed in Pool B in preliminary-round play, and will meet Chinese Taipei Friday and Pool A No. 1 seed Japan Saturday. The teams with the two best records in the second round of play will meet in the gold-medal game Sunday in Taiwan.
AIBA Junior Men’s World Championships, Sept. 5-15, Kiev, Ukraine
Thirteen U.S. athletes will fight for world titles in the AIBA Junior Men’s World Championships, beginning Thursday in Kiev, Ukraine. Members of the U.S. team are: Jordan White, 101 pounds; Daniel Gonzalez, 106; Joseph Cuellar, 110; Shakur Stevenson, 114; Devin Haney, 119; Michael Nelson, 125; Keoni Adric Jr., 132; Brandon Trejo, 138; Javier Estrada, 145; Alexis Rocha, 154; Eric Murguia, 165; Suray Mahmutovic, 176; Pano Tiatia, 176-plus.
U.S. Multihull Championships, Sept. 5-7, San Francisco
Racing begins Thursday in the U.S. Multihull Championships on the San Francisco Bay. The competition will include the top double-handed teams in the United States, plus several international teams, in Hobie 16 catamarans.
Sarah Newberry, a 2016 Olympic hopeful, made history at the event last year by becoming the first woman skipper to win the Hobie Alter Trophy. She will race this week with Emmett Moore.
TV: America’s Cup, 4 p.m.-6 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday, NBC
USBC Queens, Sept. 1-6, Henderson, Nev.
Jennifer Higgins, 1999 USBC Queens winner Leanne Hulsenberg and USBC Hall of Famer Lynda Barnes are among the five stepladder finalists for Thursday’s final round of the Queens tournament in Henderson, Nev.
TV: 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday, ESPN2
Water Ski Racing World Championships, Sept. 5-15, Tenerife, Canary Islands
Todd Haig, Brady Hoggins, Erin De Yager and Amy Threlfall are on the U.S. Formula 1 Water Ski Racing Team, which will seek to win an 11th world championship for the U.S. Elite Water Ski Racing Team. The competition begins Thursday in the Canary Islands. U.S. athletes also will compete in Formula 2 and juniors.
Story courtesy Red Line Editorial, Inc. Paul D. Bowker is a freelance contributor for TeamUSA.org.