Roger Bannister, the first man to run a sub-4-minute mile nearly 60 years ago, said he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease three years ago in a radio interview.
“I am having troubles with walking, so I do have difficulties,” Bannister, a former neurologist, said on BBC Radio Oxford. “Ironically, it’s a neurological disorder, Parkinson’s, but I’m being well looked after, and I don’t intend to let it interfere with my other activities as much as I can.”
Bannister, 85, ran a mile in 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds at Oxford on May 6, 1954, to become the first person to break the four-minute barrier. He also finished fourth in the 1500m at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics and won gold medals in the 1954 Commonwealth Games and European Championships.
“Life has its physical challenges, and I’ve not been free of other illness, but I take every day as it comes,” Bannister said. “The pleasure that I see is, much of it, directed towards what my grandchildren are achieving.
“As I once said when someone was commiserating with me, having this illness, I said, ‘But just consider the alternatives,'” Bannister said. “That’s the way I look at it.”
But Swiatek is not as dominant as in 2022, when she went 16-0 in the spring clay season during an overall 37-match win streak.
She retired from her last pre-French Open match with a right thigh injury and said it wasn’t serious. Before that, she lost the final of another clay-court tournament to Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.
Sabalenka, the No. 2 seed, and Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, the No. 4 seed and Wimbledon champion, are the top challengers in Paris.
No. 3 Jessica Pegula, the highest-seeded American man or woman, was eliminated in the third round.
No. 6 Coco Gauff, runner-up to Swiatek last year, is the best hope to become the first American to win a Grand Slam singles title since Sofia Kenin at the 2020 Australian Open. The 11-major drought is the longest for U.S. women since Seleswon the 1996 Australian Open.
But the No. 1 seed is Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, who won last year’s U.S. Open to become, at 19, the youngest man to win a major since Nadal’s first French Open title in 2005.
Now Alcaraz looks to become the second-youngest man to win at Roland Garros since 1989, after Nadal of course.
Alcaraz missed the Australian Open in January due to a right leg injury, but since went 30-3 with four titles. Notably, he has not faced Djokovic this year. They could meet in the semifinals.
Russian Daniil Medvedev, the No. 2 seed, was upset in the first round by 172nd-ranked Brazilian qualifier Thiago Seyboth Wild. It marked the first time a men’s top-two seed lost in the first round of any major since 2003 Wimbledon (Ivo Karlovic d. Lleyton Hewitt).
No. 9 Taylor Fritz and No. 12 Frances Tiafoe are the highest-seeded Americans, looking to become the first U.S. man to make the French Open quarterfinals since Andre Agassi in 2003. Since then, five different American men combined to make the fourth round on eight occasions.