Katinka Hosszu

Katinka Hosszu wins 2 events again at Charlotte Grand Prix

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Is there any doubt who is the world’s greatest all-around female swimmer?

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu, the world champion in both individual medleys, won two finals in a 35-minute span at the Charlotte Grand Prix on Saturday. She also took two titles on Friday.

Hosszu started by winning the 200m butterfly by nearly two seconds in 2:09.66 at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center. She captured the 100m backstroke by nearly two seconds in 59.64 a half-hour later, coming from behind at the 50m turn to win in the fourth fastest time of 2014.

Hosszu, 25, is a three-time Olympian and known as the Iron Lady of swimming. She debuted at Athens 2004 at 15, finishing 31st in the 200m free. She was fourth, eighth and ninth in three events at London 2012. She’s preparing for what’s sure to be a busy schedule at the European Championships in August.

She attempted to win a third race in a 55-minute stretch but ran out of gas and finished last in the 400m freestyle. The 400m free winner was five-time 2012 Olympic medalist Allison Schmitt, who prevailed in 4:08.65. Schmitt surprisingly failed to make last year’s World Championships team.

“I’ve definitely learned a lot in the past year,” Schmitt said on Universal Sports. “I’m more motivated right now.”

World bronze medalist Connor Jaeger bagged the men’s 400m free in 3:48.89 over world 200m free silver medalist Conor Dwyer.

Two-time Bahamian Olympian Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace won the women’s 50m free in 24.65. U.S. veteran Jessica Hardy was third. American Josh Schneider took the men’s race in 22.17 ahead of Brazil’s second-best sprinter, Bruno Fratus. U.S. Olympic medalists Anthony Ervin and Cullen Jones were fourth and fifth.

Micah Lawrence, who was sixth in the 2012 Olympic 200m breaststroke, won the event Saturday in 2:24.68. Anton McKee, the Iceland Olympian who swims for the University of Alabama, won the men’s 200m breast in 2:13.06.

Three-time Russian Olympian Arkady Vyatchanin, who is trying to find a new country to represent, took the men’s 100m backstroke in 53.81.

Andrew Seliskar, 17, came from behind to win the men’s 200m butterfly in 1:57.4.

Phelps back on top, tough swimming next

Naomi Osaka, Coco Gauff set Australian Open duel

Naomi Osaka, Coco Gauff
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Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff will meet in the third round of a second straight Grand Slam, this time at the Australian Open on Friday.

Osaka, the defending champion and world No. 4, and Gauff, the 15-year-old American phenom, each won second-round matches in Melbourne to reach the final 32.

Osaka swept Chinese Zheng Saisai 6-2, 6-4 on a windy Wednesday afternoon. Later, Gauff followed her first-round win over Venus Williams by eliminating Romanian veteran Sorana Cirstea 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.

Osaka beat Gauff 6-3, 6-0 in the U.S. Open third round on Aug. 31. In the most memorable moment of that night, Osaka urged Gauff to share the on-court victor’s interview at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“It’s better than going into the showers and crying,” Osaka told Gauff in front of a packed crowd. “Let these people know how you feel.”

Gauff obliged after at first declining.

“I’m not the type of person who wants to cry in front of everyone,” she said later. “I didn’t want to take that moment away from [Osaka], as well.”

Gauff, ranked No. 684 at this time last year, is now No. 67. She broke through by beating Williams in the Wimbledon first round, then reaching the round of 16.

Gauff won a lower-level WTA Tour event in October and now ranks fifth in U.S. Olympic singles qualifying. The top four after the French Open qualify for the Tokyo Games, though Gauff has fewer than half the points as No. 4 Alison Riske.

AUSTRALIAN OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women

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John Isner leaning toward skipping Olympics again

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John Isner, the highest-ranked U.S. male singles tennis player, is considering skipping the Olympics for a second straight time.

“I haven’t put a ton of thought into it, but as of right now, I think I’m leaning towards not playing,” the 19th-ranked player said at the Australian Open on Tuesday. “It’s about scheduling. I know the Olympics, it’s a fantastic honor. There’s no doubt about that. … Right now, at this stage in my career, it’s not a huge priority for me. So that’s probably the main reason I won’t be going. I certainly love playing in the summer in America, and I’m going to focus on that.”

The Tokyo Games take place the same week as a lower-level ATP Tour event in Atlanta that Isner, a former University of Georgia star, has won five times.

Other notable male players already said they will pass on Tokyo, including Sam Querrey, the top American in Olympic qualifying standings.

Austrian Dominic Thiem, a two-time French Open finalist, is prioritizing an ATP event in Kitzbühel the week of the Olympics. The U.S. doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan are not planning to play the Olympics in their final season before retirement, their manager said in November.

“The Olympics is very tough on the schedule … especially with Davis Cup,” Isner said in 2016, according to USA Today. “I think the fact that they have no [ATP ranking] points [at the Olympics], to be honest, was a pretty big factor as well. Obviously the Olympics is not about the money, but no points I think hindered me a bit.”

Isner, who turns 35 on April 26, is likely giving up his last chance to play Olympic singles. In his only Olympic participation, he reached the quarterfinals of the 2012 London Games, plus lost an opening-round doubles match there with Andy Roddick.

The top four U.S. men qualify for Tokyo, assuming they are among the top 60 overall qualifiers (maximum four per country) after this spring’s French Open.

Taylor FritzReilly Opelka, Steve Johnson and Tommy Paul are the U.S. men currently in Olympic qualifying position if excluding Querrey and Isner.

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