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French Open finals, NBA, NHL playoffs pack weekend sports schedule

Rafael Nadal of Spain (pictured) takes on rival Novak Djokovic of Serbia in a semifinal match at the 2021 French Open on Friday in Paris. Photo by Yoan Valat/EPA-EFE
Rafael Nadal of Spain (pictured) takes on rival Novak Djokovic of Serbia in a semifinal match at the 2021 French Open on Friday in Paris. Photo by Yoan Valat/EPA-EFE

MIAMI, June 11 (UPI) -- The finals of the 2021 French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament and the NBA and NHL playoffs fill the schedule of sports events this weekend.

Three NASCAR races at Texas Motor Speedway, two UFC title fights and the MLB and MLS regular seasons are also on tap Friday through Sunday.

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But the clay courts of Roland Garros are the main attraction, as tennis' second Grand Slam of the season concludes Sunday in Paris.

Spaniard Rafael Nadal is the men's defending champion and is still in play to win a record-extending 14th title at Roland Garros.

RELATED Greeks Maria Sakkari, Stefanos Tsitsipas make French Open semifinal history

Poland's Iga Swiatek won the women's title in 2020, but is one of the many top players no longer in the singles circuit.

Nadal has won the last four titles in Paris and can set the record for overall Grand Slam titles (21) with another French Open crown.

"The numbers are just amazing, but I can't think about that now," Nadal told reporters Wednesday. "Let's talk about that when I finish my career."

RELATED French Open: Novak Djokovic reaches semifinal after fans ushered out

French Open tennis

The finals matchup for the men's singles circuit is to be determined, as Nadal, Serbia's Novak Djokovic, Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas and Germany's Alexander Zverev enter semifinal matchups Friday in Paris.

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Nadal and Djokovic meet in the second semifinal and should provide one of the most entertaining matchups of the Grand Slam. That match is expected to start at 11:30 a.m. EDT Friday and airs on the Tennis Channel.

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Djokovic is 29-28 against Nadal, but Nadal beat Djokovic in the 2020 French Open final. The clay-court expert owns a 7-1 career record against Djokovic at the French Open.

"We know each other well," Nadal said of Djokovic. "Everyone knows that anything can happen in these kinds of matches. The player who is playing better that day has a better chance. ... It's the semifinals, it's not the final.

"The winner of that match needs to keep going and has a lot of work to do."

Zverev takes on Tsitsipas in the first men's semifinal at 8:50 a.m. EDT Friday on Court Philippe-Chatrier. That match also airs on the Tennis Channel.

The women's singles semifinals took place Thursday at Roland Garros. Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beat Slovenian Tamara Zidansek in straight sets to advance to her first career Grand Slam final.

Czech Barbora Krejcikova beat Greece's Maria Sakkari to advance to the women's finale. Krejcikova will also make her Grand Slam final debut Saturday on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

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The 2021 French Open women's singles final airs at 9 a.m. EDT Saturday on NBC. The men's final airs at 9 a.m EDT Sunday on NBC.

NBA playoffs

The NBA playoffs continue with the Western Conference Semifinals and Eastern Conference Semifinals from Friday through next week.

The Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks are tied at 1-1 in their series. Game 3 is at 7:30 p.m. EDT Friday in Atlanta. The Phoenix Suns looked to carry momentum into Game 3 of their series against the Denver Nuggets, which they lead 2-0. That game tips off at 10 p.m. EDT Friday in Denver.

Friday's games both air on ESPN.

Game 3 of the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers series airs at 8:30 p.m. EDT Saturday on ABC. Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks host the Brooklyn Nets in Game 4 of that series at 3 p.m. EDT Sunday on ABC.

The Nuggets host the Suns in the final playoff game of the weekend at 8 p.m. EDT Sunday in Denver. Game 4 of that Western Conference Semifinals series airs on TNT.

Friday

Tennis

French Open men's semifinals: Alexander Zverev vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas at 8:50 a.m. EDT on the Tennis Channel

French Open men's semifinals: Rafael Nadal vs. Novak Djokovic at 11:30 a.m. EDT on the Tennis Channel

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Golf

Palmetto Championship: Second round from 3 to 6 p.m. EDT on the Golf Channel

MLB

Cardinals at Cubs at 2:20 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)

Padres at Mets at 7:10 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)

NBA Playoffs

Game 3: 76ers at Hawks at 7:30 p.m EDT on ESPN

Game 3: Suns at Nuggets at 10 p.m. EDT on ESPN

Saturday

Tennis

French Open women's final: Barbora Krejcikova vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 9 a.m. EDT on NBC

Golf

Palmetto Championship: Third round from 1 to 3 p.m. EDT on Golf Channel; from 3 to 6 p.m. on CBS

NASCAR

Truck Series SpeedyCash.com 220 at 1 p.m. EDT on FS1

Xfinity Series Alsco Uniforms 250 Powered by Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen at 4 p.m. EDT on FS1

Soccer

MLS: Austin at Kansas City at 3 p.m. EDT on ESPN+

MLB

Yankees at Phillies at 4:05 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)

Cardinals at Cubs at 7:15 p.m. EDT on Fox

Giants at Nationals at 7:15 p.m. EDT on Fox

Astros at Twins at 7:15 p.m. EDT on Fox

Rangers at Dodgers at 10:10 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)

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NHL Playoffs

Game 7 (if necessary): Golden Knights at Avalanche at 7:30 p.m. EDT on NBCSN

NBA Playoffs

Game 3: Jazz at Clippers at 8:30 p.m. EDT on ABC

UFC 263 on ESPN+ Pay-Per-View

Paul Craig vs. Jamahal Hill at 10 p.m. EDT

Demian Maia vs. Belal Muhammad after first fight

Leon Edwards vs. Nate Diaz after second fight

Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno after third fight

Israel Adesanya vs. Marvin Vettori after fourth fight

Sunday

Tennis

French Open men's final: Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas or Alexander Zverev 9 a.m. EDT on NBC

Golf

Palmetto Championship: Final round from 1 to 3 p.m. EDT on Golf Channel; from 3 to 6 p.m. on CBS

NBA Playoffs

Game 4: Nets at Bucks at 3 p.m. EDT on ABC

Game 4: Suns at Nuggets at 8 p.m. EDT on TNT

MLB

Yankees at Phillies at 1:05 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)

Rangers at Dodgers at 4:10 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)

Cardinals at Cubs at 7:08 p.m. EDT on ESPN

NASCAR

Cup Series NASCAR All-Star Open at 6 p.m. EDT on FS1

Cup Series NASCAR All-Star Race at 8 p.m. EDT on NBCSN

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NHL Playoffs

Semifinals: TBD

This week in Major League Baseball

Cleveland Indians' Shane Bieber delivers a pitch to the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on Tuesday. The Indians won 10-1. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

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