Olympic champion Cat Osterman plays final softball game

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Pitcher Cat Osterman, one of the final active links to the last U.S. Olympic champion softball team, retired following the National Pro Fastpitch championship game Monday night.

Osterman, 32, took the loss as her USSSA Pride fell to the Chicago Bandits 1-0 in Hoover, Ala.

In 2004, Osterman made her first Olympic team at age 21 while taking a year off from pitching for the University of Texas. She was the youngest player on the team that won gold in Athens.

In 2008, Osterman started the gold-medal game against Japan and gave up the first earned runs by a U.S. pitcher in the tournament. Japan stunned the U.S. 3-1 in what would be Osterman’s final Olympic game.

Before the Beijing Games, baseball and softball had been voted out of the Olympics starting in 2012.

Baseball and softball could be voted back into the Olympics for Tokyo 2020.

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I've laced up my cleats for the last time, and of course it's now that I wish for just one more day. Not every ending can be storybook, and in this case it's not. I say 'it's ok' because the last 2 nights I left everything I have on that field in Hoover, and the game unfolded how the softball Gods wanted it to. 21 years ago, I asked for a pitching lesson for my 11th birthday; no one would have imagined where it would lead. Thank you to my parents & family for the amazing support on this journey, to my amazing teammates on every team along the way, to my coaches… Especially Ken Eriksen who helped mold a skinny little 18 year old, Bobby Smith who taught me to spin the ball the way I do, and to Coach Clark for giving me an opportunity. Thank you @usasoftball for a great 10 year run with 2 Olympics. To Don and @usssafloridapride thank you for an incredible 6 years of being a professional! I'm proud to be family. @meganjowillis there aren't enough words to say what you mean to me… 10 crazy, fun, irreplaceable years of you by my side. I love you more than you can imagine. You're the best. Lastly, thank you fans for the constant support! It's incredible how many of you have been on this journey for majority of it. You make what we do worth it to see your smiles and hear your stories! Thank you, everyone!! The cleats are left, the last ride has ended.

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Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz set French Open semifinal showdown

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Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz will play in the French Open semifinals on Friday in the most anticipated match of the tournament.

Each man advanced with a quarterfinal win on Tuesday.

Djokovic, eyeing a record-breaking 23rd Grand Slam men’s singles title, rallied past 11th-seeded Russian Karen Khachanov 4-6, 7-6 (0), 6-2, 6-4. The Serb reached his 45th career major semifinal, one shy of Roger Federer‘s men’s record.

Later Tuesday, top seed Alcaraz crushed fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (5) to consolidate his status as the favorite in Friday’s showdown.

“This match, everyone wants to watch,” Alcaraz said. “I really wanted to play this match as well. I always say that if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.”

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Women | Men | Broadcast Schedule

Alcaraz, who at last year’s U.S. Open became the first male teen to win a major since Rafael Nadal in 2005, is at this event the youngest man to be the top seed at a major since Boris Becker at 1987 Wimbledon.

The Djokovic-Alcaraz semifinal will produce the clear favorite for Sunday’s final given left-handed 14-time French Open champion Nadal is out this year with a hip injury and No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev lost in the first round. Djokovic and Nadal share the record 22 men’s major titles.

Djokovic and Alcaraz met once, with Alcaraz winning last year on clay in Madrid 6-7 (5), 7-5, 7-6 (5).

“[Alcaraz] brings a lot of intensity on the court,” Djokovic said, before breaking into a smile. “Reminds me of someone from his country that plays with a left hand.”

Alcaraz and Djokovic were set to be on opposite halves of the draw — and thus not able to meet until the final — until Medvedev won the last top-level clay event before the French Open to move ahead of Djokovic in the rankings. That meant Djokovic had a 50 percent chance to wind up in Alcaraz’s half, and that’s what the random draw spit out two weeks ago.

Earlier Tuesday in the first two women’s quarterfinals, No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus and 43rd-ranked Czech Karolina Muchova advanced to face off in Thursday’s semifinals.

Sabalenka, the Australian Open champion, swept Ukrainian Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-4 to complete her set of semifinals in all four Grand Slams. Sabalenka will take the No. 1 ranking from Iga Swiatek if Swiatek loses before the final, or if Sabalenka makes the final and Swiatek does not win the title.

Svitolina, a former world No. 3, returned to competition in April from childbirth.

Muchova took out 2021 French Open runner-up Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 7-5, 6-2, to make her second major semifinal after the 2021 Australian Open.

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2023 French Open men’s singles draw

Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz
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The French Open men’s singles draw is missing injured 14-time champion Rafael Nadal for the first time since 2004, leaving the Coupe des Mousquetaires ripe for the taking.

The tournament airs live on NBC Sports, Peacock and Tennis Channel through championship points in Paris.

Novak Djokovic is not only bidding for a third crown at Roland Garros, but also to lift a 23rd Grand Slam singles trophy to break his tie with Nadal for the most in men’s history.

FRENCH OPEN: Broadcast Schedule | Women’s Draw

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 meet in Friday’s 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).

All of the American men lost before the fourth round. The last U.S. man to make the French Open quarterfinals was Andre Agassi in 2003.

MORE: All you need to know for 2023 French Open

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2023 French Open Men’s Singles Draw

French Open Men's Singles Draw French Open Men's Singles Draw French Open Men's Singles Draw French Open Men's Singles Draw