Print and Go Back News & Opinion

Friday, June 3, 2011
The finals countdown

By Amanda Rykoff

French Open: The tennis season's second major tournament comes to a close this weekend from Roland Garros in Paris. On Saturday, Li Na seeks to become the first Grand Slam champion from China in the women's final against defending champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy (9 a.m. ET, NBC). With a win, Schiavone would be the first repeat winner at the French Open since Justin Henin from 2005 to 2007. The men's final between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer is Sunday (9 a.m., NBC). To maintain his No. 1 ranking, Nadal must win the tournament.

NHL: The Stanley Cup finals got off to a heart-stopping start on Wednesday night with a last-minute game-winning goal by the Canucks' Raffi Torres. The puck drops on Game 2 Saturday night in Vancouver as the Bruins seek to even the series (8 p.m., NBC). Vancouver's Alex Burrows, who was involved in a biting incident with Boston's Patrice Bergeron in Game 1, was not suspended.

NBA: It will be hard to top the Mavericks' incredible "Instant Classic" 15-point fourth-quarter comeback win in Game 2 at Miami. A series that looked like it would be 2-0 Heat is now tied 1-1 heading to Dallas on Sunday night (8 p.m., ABC). In case you wondered whether Game 3 is critical, check this out: Since the NBA Finals went to a 2-3-2 format, series have been tied 1-1 11 times, and the Game 3 winner has gone on to win the series all 11 times. The Mavericks are 7-1 at home this postseason; the Heat are 4-3 on the road.

NCAA softball: The Women's College World Series continues from Oklahoma City, where the final eight teams are battling for a spot in the championship series. Coverage of the double-elimination tournament continues Friday. ESPN has a doubleheader starting at 7:30 p.m. with No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 11 Baylor followed by No. 1 Arizona State vs. No. 4 Florida at 9:30 p.m. Coverage continues Saturday and Sunday on ESPN and ESPN2.

NFL: Off the field, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments Friday on the NFL's appeal of Judge Susan Richard Nelson's decision to end the lockout. The court is not expected to rule for several weeks.

MLB: Every team is in action, with a total of 45 games on tap. Check your local listings for all the regular-season games this weekend.

Information from ESPN Stats & Information was used in this report.