Weekend sports lineup includes Serena Williams and the Big 3 aiming for more Wimbledon glory

Posted at 3:49 AM, Jul 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-12 05:49:11-04

You want marquee matchups? Oh, we’ve got them!

Another chapter will be written in the storied Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal rivalry. And Novak Djokovic is facing someone who originally had planned on being at his bachelor party; more on that in a bit.

And it’s not just about the Big 3. Serena Williams — remember her? — is accelerating toward a 24th major title to tie her with Margaret Court for the most all time, but standing in her way is a formidable foe in Simona Halep.

These final few matches at Wimbledon will be must-see TV. But there’s more. There will be a new world champion in men’s cricket. And if you want extra speed, it’s available in the form of horsepower and some furious pedaling.

Here’s your guide to the weekend’s biggest sports events:


Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut was supposed to be in Ibiza for his bachelor party this weekend, but instead has the pleasure of playing against the world No. 1 and reigning Wimbledon champion Djokovic in the semifinals.

“We had everything organized already,” the No. 23 seed, in his first major semifinal at age 31, said earlier this week. “My friends, six of them, are all there. It feels better to be here in London.” Instead, he said, he thinks they’ll be flying to London on Friday.

Following that match is Fedal XL — one of the biggest rivalries in all of sports. It’s their first grass court match against each other since the epic 2008 final, which Nadal won. In the previous 39 meetings, Nadal, now 33 years old, has bested Federer 24 times, but the 37-year-old Federer has dominated the grass court and is going for a record ninth Wimbledon title.

Federer has the most major singles titles of any man, with 20. Nadal is second with 18 and Djokovic, at 32, is third with 15.

Meanwhile, Williams is the oldest grand slam finalist in the Open Era at 37 years, 291 days, surpassing Martina Navratilova at Wimbledon in 1994 at 37 years, 258 days, according to the WTA. Williams is seeking her eighth Wimbledon singles title. Only Navratilova has won more, with nine. In the pre-Open Era, Helen Wills Moody won eight.

Williams also is bidding to be the fourth mother to win a major in the Open Era, following Court, Evonne Goolagong Cawley and Kim Clijsters. Williams’ last major title was the 2017 Australian Open, when she was pregnant.

At age 27, Halep has one major title, winning the 2018 French Open. This is her fifth final in her career across all majors.

Watch it:

Friday: Djokovic vs. Bautista Agut at 8 a.m. ET, with Nadal vs. Federer to follow on ESPN

Saturday: Williams vs. Halep at 9 a.m. ET on ESPN

Sunday: TBD vs. TBD in the men’s final at 9 a.m. ET on ESPN

International viewers, check local listings.

ICC Cricket World Cup Final

No matter the result on Sunday, the ICC Cricket World Cup will be in unfamiliar hands.

Three weeks ago, England was a single defeat away from crashing out of the ICC Cricket World Cup before the close of round-robin play. Now, the hosts are in the final.

The English face a dark horse in New Zealand, who arrived in the final after a momentous upset victory over India. The Black Caps from New Zealand turned heads when they ended the nine-match unbeaten streak of the highly favored Men in Blue. But they haven’t quickly forgotten the 119-run drubbing England dealt them during the round-robin phase of the tournament.

England last reached the final in 1992. For New Zealand, it was in 2015. The winner will be a first-time world champion.

Watch it:

Sunday: At 5:30 a.m. ET on Willow

International viewers, check local listings.

National Women’s Soccer League

In the wake of perhaps the most exciting Women’s World Cup to date, the superstars that many fell in love with this summer are asking fans not to leave their passion behind in France.

Fifty-five World Cup players, including the entire US Women’s National Team, play in the NWSL. In the midst of all the action in France, ESPN reached a deal with the NWSL to air the final 14 matches of the season: 11 regular-season games and the playoffs. Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath, Emily Sonnet, Ashlyn Harris, Lindsey Horan, Christine Sinclair, and Marta are only a few of the names headlining just the first of those matches this weekend.

Watch it:

Sunday: Portland Thorns FC vs. Orlando Pride at 3 p.m. ET on ESPNEWS

International viewers, check local listings.

Formula 1 Rolex British Grand Prix

Formula 1 is returning to its roots in Silverstone in the United Kingdom with the British Grand Prix.

The history of this particular race dates back to 1950 and has been riddled with exciting finishes and shocking moments. New chapters continue to be written at the storied track year after year — lately with one dominant, main character.

Briton Lewis Hamilton is the defending World Drivers’ Champion, the current F1 leader in the standings and holder of the fastest time at the Silverstone Circuit, which is less than 60 miles from where he grew up. He’s the overwhelming favorite, with his sights set on a record sixth British Grand Prix win.

But it’s no guarantee, as evidenced by last year, when Hamilton was involved in a first-lap collision and ultimately finished second to Sebastian Vettel.

Watch it:

Saturday: Qualifying at 9 a.m. ET on ESPNEWS

Sunday: Race at 9:10 a.m. ET on ESPN2

International viewers, check local listings.

Los Angeles Angels at home for first time since Tyler Skaggs’ death

The Los Angeles Angels will host the Seattle Mariners in what will surely be an emotional return to Angels Stadium following the death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who passed away in a Texas hotel room on July 1.

The team will honor Skaggs with a pregame ceremony on Friday.

Previously, teammates Mike Trout and Tommy La Stella both wore Skaggs’ number 45 during the MLB All-Star Game, while Angels pitcher Andrew Heaney fought back tears when he threw Skaggs’ signature overhand curve ball for his first pitch against the Houston Astros on Saturday. Moments of silence have been held in stadiums all around the league.

Watch it:

Friday: 10:07 p.m. ET on MLB TV, FOX Sports West and ROOT SPORTS Northwest

Saturday: 9:07 p.m. ET on MLB TV, FOX Sports West and ROOT SPORTS Northwest

Sunday: 4:07 p.m. ET on MLB TV, FOX Sports West and ROOT SPORTS Northwest

International viewers, check local listings.

Tour de France

The world’s most famous cycling race continues this weekend in France. For all of its grace and scenic beauty, the route to the elusive yellow jersey is a grueling 3,500-kilometer battle that will test the mental fortitude and the physical durability of the world’s best cyclists.

Team Ineos has provided six of the last seven winners of the Tour de France, but the absence of their captain, Chris Froome, has left this race wide open.

Sunday is Bastille Day in France and the focus will be on world No. 1 Julian Alaphillippe, who many think could return the Tour de France title to French hands for the first time since 1985. The race is scheduled to conclude July 28.

Watch it:

Friday: Stage 7 starting at 8 a.m. ET on NBCSN

Saturday: Stage 8 on starting at 6:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN

Sunday: Stage 9 starting at 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN

International viewers, check local listings.