Brits estimate 46 medals for Team GB in 2016


We may be a little less than four years from the Rio Olympics, but the Brits are already patting themselves on the back for a relatively impressive 46-medal haul, due to come home in 2016.

Mind you their best swimmer, Rebecca Adlington, just retired, and no one knows which flag Rory McIlroy will swing his sticks under when golf makes its triumphant return, but some nerds got together and published a formula in the British Journal of Sports Medicine to estimate that Team GB would win 63.5 medals in 2012, missing the actual total of 65 by only two. Well, one-and-a-half, really.

The authors looked at the average medal hauls of Team GB’s past, as well as the average relative increase that occurred to a host country’s count to determine that, depending on the balance of objective and subjectively judged sports, the advantage of hosting the Games is roughly 2.05 times the number of average medals won.

“Anecdotal evidence suggests that the crowd had a positive effect on athletes to raise their performance,” the authors offered. “But also, based on these results, crowds appear to have had an important effect on influencing officials to favor the home based performers, and hence increase their medal winning capacity.”

The authors then looked at the other side of the bell curve for Team GB to determine that, by pouring funding and athletes into your own Games you still have a 1.46 times advantage during your next Olympics.

Using the formula we can estimate that Brazil, which has averaged roughly 14 medals during the last five Games, will be able to put about 28 to 30 medals on the board when they host the next Olympics, and then 20 or so in 2020.

So, to recap: the Brits average roughly 31 medals every Olympics, so you multiply that by their 1.46 advantage as a recent host and you get 45.26. We’ll let you know how this all pans out in four years, but just know that whatever the count, it will be dramatically less than the Americans bring home. U-S-A! U-S-A!

Coco Gauff rallies past 16-year-old at French Open

Coco Gauff French Open

Coco Gauff rallied to defeat 16-year-old Russian Mirra Andreeva in the French Open third round in Gauff’s first Grand Slam singles match against a younger opponent.

The sixth seed Gauff, the 2022 French Open runner-up, outlasted Andreeva 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-1 to reach the fourth round, where she will play Slovakian Anna Karolina Schmiedlova or American Kayla Day.

“She’s super young, so she has a lot to look forward to,” Gauff, 19, said on Tennis Channel. “I’m sure we’re going to have many more battles in the future. … I remember when I was 16. I didn’t care who I was playing against, and she has that kind of game and mentality, too.”

Gauff could play top seed and defending champ Iga Swiatek in the quarterfinals. Swiatek on Saturday thumped 80th-ranked Wang Xinyu of China 6-0, 6-0, winning 50 of the 67 points in a 51-minute match.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Women | Men | Broadcast Schedule

This week, Andreeva became the youngest player to win a French Open main draw match since 2005 (when 15-year-old Sesil Karatantcheva of Bulgaria made the quarterfinals). She was bidding to become the youngest to make the last 16 of any major since Gauff’s breakout as a 15-year-old.

The American made it that far at 2019 Wimbledon (beating Venus Williams in her Grand Slam main draw debut) and the 2020 Australian Open (beating defending champion Naomi Osaka) before turning 16. At last year’s French Open, Gauff became the youngest player to make a Grand Slam final since Maria Sharapova won 2004 Wimbledon at 17.

This was only Gauff’s third match against a younger player dating to her tour debut in 2019. It took Gauff 50 Grand Slam matches to finally face a younger player on this stage, a testament to how ahead of the curve she was (and still is).

While Gauff is the only teenager ranked in the top 49 in the world, Andreeva is the highest-ranked player under the age of 18 at No. 143 (and around No. 100 after the French). And she doesn’t turn 17 until next April. Andreeva dropped just six games in her first two matches at this French Open, fewest of any woman.

Gauff is the last seeded American woman left in the draw after No. 3 Jessica Pegula, No. 20 Madison Keys and No. 32 Shelby Rogers previously lost.

The last U.S. woman to win a major title was Sofia Kenin at the 2020 Australian Open. The 11-major span without an American champ is the longest for U.S. women since Monica Seles won the 1996 Australian Open.

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Rafael Nadal expected to miss rest of 2023 season after surgery

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal is expected to need five months to recover from arthroscopic surgery for a left hip flexor injury that kept him out of the French Open, effectively ruling him out for the rest of 2023 ATP tournament season.

Nadal underwent the surgery Friday night in Barcelona on the eve of his 37th birthday. He posted that, if all goes well, the recovery time is five months.

The timetable leaves open the possibility that Nadal could return for the Nov. 21-26 Davis Cup Finals team event in Malaga, Spain, which take place after the ATP Tour tournament season ends.

Nadal announced on May 18 that he had to withdraw from the French Open, a tournament he won a record 14 times, due to the injury that’s sidelined him since January’s Australian Open.

Nadal also said he will likely retire from professional tennis in the second half of 2024 after a farewell season that he hopes includes playing at Roland Garros twice — for the French Open and then the Paris Olympics.

When Nadal returns to competition, he will be older than any previous Grand Slam singles champion in the Open Era.

Nadal is tied with Novak Djokovic for the men’s record 23 Grand Slam singles titles.

While Nadal needs to be one of the four-highest ranked Spanish men after next year’s French Open for direct Olympic qualification in singles, he can, essentially, temporarily freeze his ranking in the top 20 under injury protection rules.

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