PARIS—Playing the king of clay at the French Open is akin to scaling Mont Blanc without any ropes and even an intrepid adventurer from Europe's Alpine heartland found it a peak too steep as Rafael Nadal claimed an 11th title on Sunday, June 10. Austria's Dominic Thiem strained every sinew trying to cling on to the 32-year-old Spaniard and at times even gained a precarious foothold in his first Grand Slam final.
CLEVELAND—The Golden State Warriors repeated as NBA champions with a 108-85 victory over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday to extend a stunning run that has included three titles in the last four seasons. The fourth consecutive NBA Finals matchup between the two rivals proved to be the most lopsided as the Warriors won the latest best-of-seven series in four games. It also could mark the end of James's second tenure with the Cavs.
ELMONT, N.Y.—Justify will come out of the No. 1 post position in Saturday's Belmont Stakes where the undefeated chestnut colt will try to become only the second winner of U.S. thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown since 1978. Justify was installed as a 4-5 morning line favorite during a draw that was held on Tuesday at the home of Major League Baseball's New York Mets.
PARIS—American Serena Williams' audacious attempt to win the French Open for a fourth time ended in crushing anti-climax on Monday, June 4, as injury, rather than an old foe, forced the 36-year-old to admit defeat at Roland Garros. The scene had been set for Williams in her "superhero" catsuit to take on Russian ice queen Maria Sharapova in a fourth-round clash that had assumed top billing. But shortly before the two old warriors were due on court, the 23-times grand slam champion stepped into a news conference room to announce she was pulling out.
KANSAS CITY, Kan.—Teenager Wan Kuzain scored his first professional goal in just his second game, Daniel Salloi and Cristian Lobato added first-half goals, and Sporting Kansas City cruised to a 4-1 victory over Minnesota United on Sunday night, June 3. Diego Rubio completed the scoring late in the second half for Kansas City (8-2-4), which moved back above FC Dallas into first place in the Western Conference standings thanks to the win.
PARIS—Defending champion Jelena Ostapenko crashed out in the first round of the French Open on Sunday, May 27, after a 7-5 6-3 thrashing by Ukrainian Kateryna Kozlova. Defeat meant Ostapenko became only the sixth female major winner to fall at the first hurdle of her title defense, joining Anastasia Myskina, Steffi Graf, Jennifer Capriati, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Angelique Kerber. "It was terrible day," world No. 5 Ostapenko said.
DALLAS—South African-born American Aaron Wise clinched his first PGA Tour title in only his 26th start on Sunday, an empathic three-shot win at the AT&T Byron Nelson in Texas. Two weeks after finishing equal second in Charlotte, Wise went one better when he carded a closing six-under 65 at Trinity Forest in Dallas. Watched by a gallery including former U.S. President George W. Bush, 21-year-old Wise pulled away from the field after starting the final round tied with Marc Leishman.
PONTE VEDRA, Fla.—American Webb Simpson ended a long victory drought with a commanding four-stroke win at the Players Championship on Sunday, May 13. The 2012 U.S. Open champion was never seriously challenged after starting the day with a seven-shot lead, though Tiger Woods briefly got within four strokes on another ideal day for low scoring at TPC Sawgrass.
BAY HILL, Fla.—Rory McIlroy staged a spectacular back nine charge to claim a three shot victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday, March 18, collecting his first PGA Tour win since 2016 and putting himself among the red-hot favorites for the U.S. Masters. Two back of overnight leader Henrik Stenson when the day began, McIlroy overhauled the Swede with a brilliant error-free final round eight-under 64.
GANGNEUNG, South Korea—Kirill Kaprizov scored in overtime to lead the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) past a feisty Germany 4-3 on Sunday, Feb. 25, to win the men's ice hockey gold before joining his teammates to defy a ban by singing the Russian national anthem during the medal ceremony.