By Paul D. Bowker | July 12, 2019, 12:01 a.m. (ET)

As you settle into your weekend, Team USA athletes are getting ready to compete all around the world. Keep track of the biggest events and how to follow them on Team USA This Weekend. 

Serena Williams Heads Into Wimbledon Finals With Chance To Make History
Serena Williams celebrates winning her match at Wimbledon on July 11, 2019 in London.


Another historic day awaits Serena Williams on Saturday.

Williams, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, would tie Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles with a victory over Romania’s Simona Halep in the women’s singles final Saturday at Wimbledon. Williams became the winningest grand slam champion in the Open Era with her 22nd win two years ago.

“I actually didn’t think about it since because it’s not really about 24 or 23 or 25,” Williams said. “It’s really just about going out there and giving my best effort no matter what.”

Williams, the No. 11 seed, cruised into the finals with a 6-1, 6-2 win over the Czech Republic’s Barbora Strycova in the semifinals on Thursday. Since dropping her opening set to Kaja Juvan in a second-round match, Williams has won 10 of 11 sets. Williams needed just 59 minutes to complete Thursday’s victory.

Williams is seeking to win her eighth Wimbledon title. In 10 previous matches against Halep, Williams has won nine times. Saturday’s match is scheduled for a 9 a.m. ET start.

Follow along on social: Wimbledon on Twitter, U.S. Tennis Association on Twitter and Serena Williams on Instagram.


Olympic Qualification Is On The Line For Open Water This Weekend At Swimming Worlds
The U.S women's water polo team talks in a huddle at the FINA World League Super Final on June 9, 2019 in Budapest.

A top 10 finish overall in the men's and women's open water races would secure Olympic qualification for U.S. swimmers at swimming worlds. Expected to make a splash are Olympians Haley Anderson and Jordan Wilimovsky as well as hopefuls Ashley Twichell and David Heron.

They would be the first Team USA athletes to qualify by name for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The women's 10-kilometer race takes place on Sunday, local time, and the men's 10-kilometer on Tuesday.

The chase after a three-peat begins Sunday for the U.S. women’s water polo team. Anchored by nine members of the gold medal-winning squad from the Olympic Games Rio 2016, the U.S., which is ranked No. 1 in the world, Team USA takes on New Zealand on Sunday (8:50 p.m. ET Saturday) in Gwangju, Korea.

Women’s water polo is one of the sports opening up this weekend in the FINA World Championships. Synchronized swimming and 1-meter diving begin the opening day of competition on Friday.

The world championships go through July 28.

Two-time Olympic champion Maggie Steffens is team captain for the women’s water polo squad, which qualified for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 with its win in the FINA World League Super Final last month. The U.S. men’s team also begins play Sunday, facing Kazakhstan.

Michael Hixon, a 2016 Olympian, will be among those competing in the opening weekend of diving competition. Saturday’s events include the men’s 3-meter synchronized competition, in which Hixon won a silver medal in Rio. He’s teaming up with Andrew Capobianco. Hixon is also competing in the 1-meter on Friday and the individual 3-meter next Wednesday, along with four-time Olympic medalist David Boudia.

TV: 7 p.m. ET Friday, 12, 2:30, 6, 7:45 a.m., 9 p.m. Saturday, 2:30, 4, 6, 7:45 a.m., 10 p.m. Sunday, Olympic Channel

Follow along on social: FINA on Twitter, USA Water Polo on Twitter and Maggie Steffens on Instagram.

Men’s Volleyball Team Looks To Make A Splash On Home Soil In FIVB Nations League
The U.S. men's volleyball team poses for a photo at the FIVB Nations League on June 30, 2019 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

The U.S. Men’s National Team is ranked second in the world and has a decided home-court advantage this week in the FIVB Nations League Final Round.After winning a bronze medal in the inaugural edition of the tournament last year, the U.S. is one of six teams playing in this year’s final round at Credit Union 1 Arena in Chicago.

The U.S. closes out pool play on Friday night against Russia.

The semifinals, which feature the top two teams in each of two pools, is Saturday. The medal round is Sunday.

Joining the U.S. and Russia in Pool A is France. Brazil, Poland and Iran are in Pool B.

The U.S. squad includes nine players who were on the 2016 Olympic team and the 2018 world championship team. Among them are two-time Olympian Matt Anderson, and brothers Kawika and Erik Shoji, who all won bronze medals in the Olympic Games Rio 2016. This is the first time this year all nine have been on the roster at the same time.

“I think this tournament is a great event,” U.S. coach John Speraw said. “It’s a great opportunity for us to go out there and compete against great competition, especially as we look forward to the rest of the summer and the Olympic qualification tournaments.”

Follow along on social: FIVB Nations League on Twitter, USA Volleyball on Instagram and Matt Anderson on Twitter.

Three U.S. Teams Rank In The Top Four Going Into FIVB 5-Star Tournament In Gstaad 
(L-R) Nick Lucena and Phil Dalhausser pose for a photo at the FIVB World Championships on June 28, 2019 in Hamburg, Germany.

The quest for Olympic rankings points continues at a FIVB 5-star beach volleyball tournament this week in Gstaad, Switzerland.

Three U.S. teams are ranked among the top four in the Olympic qualification rankings and are title contenders in Gstaad: Second-ranked April Ross and Alix Klineman, and No. 4 Kerri Walsh Jennings and Brooke Sweat on the women’s side, and No. 4 Trevor Crabb and Tri Bourne on the men’s side. Ross and Klineman won a silver medal in the world championships last week, and Crabb and Bourne finished fourth.

Three-time Olympian Phil Dalhausser and 2016 Olympic teammate Nick Lucena won their first two matches in the men’s main draw this week following a quarterfinals loss at world championships. They are No. 25 in the Olympic qualification rankings. Also in the main draw are the teams of Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb, and Casey Patterson and Chase Budinger. The men’s medal round is scheduled for Friday.

Joining the teams of Ross and Klineman, and Walsh Jennings and Sweat in the women’s main draw are Emily Stockman and Kelley Larsen. All three U.S. teams won their opening match in the main draw.

The women’s medal round is set for Saturday.

TV: 10 a.m. ET Saturday, Olympic Channel

Follow along on social: USA Beach Volleyball on Twitter, April Ross on Instagram and Phil Dalhausser on Instagram.

Track & Field – Diamond League
The Diamond League heads to Monaco on Friday, and among the big races shaping up is the women’s 400-meter hurdles. Sydney McLaughlin, a 2016 Olympian who won her Diamond League debut in June, goes against a field that includes current world champion Kori Carter of the U.S. and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Ashley Spencer. McLaughlin is the only runner in the field who has broken 54 seconds (53.72) in the event this season. Friday’s meet also includes pole vaulter Sam Kendricks, a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist who has placed first or second in all nine of his competitions this season, two-time Olympic champion Christian Taylor in the men’s triple jump; and four Americans in the men’s 100: five-time Olympic medalist Justin Gatlin, 2016 Olympian Michael Rodgers, Shanghai Diamond League winner and 2014 Youth Olympic Games champion Noah Lyles and Oregon speedster Cravon Gillespie.

TV: 2 p.m. ET Friday, Olympic Channel

Webcast: 1:25 p.m. Friday, NBC Sports App

Skateboarding -- Vans Park Series

Jordyn Barratt, CJ Collins, Cory Juneau and Roman Pabich are among the U.S. skateboarders ready to go in this week’s Vans Park Series stop in Montreal, Quebec. The qualifying rounds and semifinals are set for Friday at Montreal Olympic Park, followed by the women’s and men’s finals Saturday. Barratt has a pair of top-five finishes in the first two stops of the season in Shanghai and Sao Paulo. Pabich and Collins finished one-two in the season opener in Shanghai.

Cycling -- Tour de France

The 2019 Tour de France heads into the seventh, eighth and ninth stages this weekend. The highest-ranking American after five stages was Joey Rosskopf of CCC Team, who was in 30th place. Tejay van Garderen, who is in the race for the 13th time, was in 64th place with BMC Racing. Friday’s Stage 7, which goes from Belfort in northeastern France to Chalon-sur-Saone, is the longest stage of the race at 230 kilometers. 

Webcast: 5:10 and 7:30 a.m. ET Friday, 6 a.m. Saturday, 6:55 a.m. Sunday, NBC Sports App

Surfing -- Corona Open J-Bay

Four of the top six ranked women in the World Surf League are Americans, led by Carissa Moore at No. 2, as the league’s sixth stop, the Corona Open J-Bay, takes place in South Africa. All four — Moore, No. 4 Courtney Conlogue, and No. 5 (tie) Lakey Peterson and Caroline Marks — made it to the round of 16. On the men’s side, U.S. contenders include 11-time world champion Kelly Slater and second-ranked Kolohe Andino, who has finished among the top five in four of the five competitions so far this season.

Wrestling -- Yasar Dogu International

Olympic champions Jordan Burroughs and Kyle Snyder have opportunities to lock down No. 1 seeds for the upcoming world championships with strong performances this weekend in the Yasar Dogu International in Istanbul, Turkey. Burroughs, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, is currently third in the world rankings, but could move up to No. 1 in the 74 kg. weight class with a win. Snyder, 97 kg., can clinch a top seed with a top-three finish. Other U.S. men’s freestyle wrestlers competing this week include James Green, 70 kg.; Zain Retherford, 65 kg.; Alex Dieringer, 79 kg.; J’den Cox, 92 kg.; Nick Gwiazdowski, 125 kg.; and Pat Downey, 86 kg. Forrest Molinari is the only U.S. women’s entrant at 65 kg. The Yasar Dogu is the final United World Wrestling ranking series tournament of the year.

Cycling -- Mountain Bike World Cup

Kate Courtney is the leader among elite women entering this week’s UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Les Gets, France. She is No. 1 in the world with 1,866 points after winning the season’s first two cross-country Olympic races and finishing eighth last week. Including short track, Courtney has had four podium finishes in six world cup events. Keegan Swenson had the highest finish among American men last week, in 18th place.

Climbing -- World Cup
Eleven U.S. athletes are in Chamonix, France, this weekend for an IFSC Climbing World Cup in lead and speed, including Brooke Raboutou, who had a top-20 finish last week in Villars, Switzerland. Joining Raboutou are Ashima Shiraishi, Kyra Condie, Sienna Kopf and Margo Hayes. Jesse Grupper, who finished 22nd in lead last week, is in the men’s competition, along with Nathaniel Coleman, Sean Bailey, Zach Galla, Rudy Ruana and John Brosler. U.S. climbers are seeking their first podium finish of the year.

Rowing -- World Cup III

Two-time Olympian Ellen Tomek and her 2016 Olympic rowing partner Meghan O’Leary are among the U.S. crews competing in this week’s World Cup III in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Tomek and O’Leary are in women’s double sculls, an event in which they made U.S. rowing history by winning a silver medal in the 2017 world championships. Lily Keane, Heidi Robbins, Maureen McAuliffe and Kristina Wagner are teaming up in women’s quadruple sculls. The U.S. also has a boat in men’s eights.

TV: 2 p.m. ET Sunday, Olympic Channel

Weightlifting -- World Para Powerlifting Championships

Competition begins Saturday at the World Para Powerlifting Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. The first two days of competition includes the women’s 45 kg. and men’s 49 kg. weight classes on Saturday, followed by women’s 50 kg. and men’s 54 kg. and 59 kg. on Sunday. The championships go through July 20.

Rowing -- National Championships

Elite racing begins Friday in the US Rowing National Championships at Harsha Lake in Bethel, Ohio. Qualifying races are set for Friday, followed by the semifinals on Saturday and medal rounds on Sunday. The championships began Tuesday with competition in the U17 and U19 age-group categories. Overall, competition is being held in 62 classes with more than 1,200 entries.

Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is sports editor of the Cape Cod Times and a freelance contributor to on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.