Matt Grevers
Getty Images

Matt Grevers: ‘There’s no room for me’

Leave a comment

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Matt Grevers was usually overshadowed on the powerful U.S. swimming team, coming along in an era that also included Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte.

Grevers still managed to make quite a mark.

After winning four golds and six medals overall at the last two Olympics, Grevers sounded as if his career was over Thursday, just minutes after competing in the 200-meter backstroke at the U.S. swimming trials.

Even though he qualified for the evening semifinals, Grevers scratched from the event and has no plans to compete in his remaining race, the 50 freestyle, knowing he wasn’t a contender to make the Olympic team in either.

“I feel like the future of backstroke is in great hands,” Grevers said. “There’s no room for me.”

The 31-year-old chuckled a bit, but he was clearly in a reflective mood as he exited pool for what might have been the final time, at least as a top-level competitor.

“Nothing is set in stone,” Grevers said. “I really love this sport. I’m going to be around it the rest of my life. I’m just not positive if I’m going to be as competitive as I once was.”

He was hoping to swim in one more Olympics, but that plan was snuffed out by a third-place finish in the 100 back earlier in the week.

Grevers was stunned by the result, knowing he wouldn’t get a chance to defend the gold medal he won at the 2012 London Games.

But after a couple of days to reflect — and plenty of love from those around him — he sounded content with the impact he’s made on the sport.

“The fans have been awesome, very loving,” Grevers said. “Parents, coaches, friends, teammates, they’ve all been supportive and loving. I feel like I couldn’t have had a better career. Everyone appreciates who I am, and that probably means more to me than anything.”

At 6-foot-8, Grevers was one of the most imposing figures on the pool deck. But his laid-back personality and ever-present smile always made him one of the most approachable figures on the national team.

He was impressive in the water, as well.

Grevers won a silver medal in the 100 back at the 2008 Beijing Games, and followed up with his first individual gold in London. He was a stalwart of the relays, earning a pair of golds in 4×100 medley and another in the 4×100 freestyle relay, to go along with a silver in the 4×100 free relay in 2012.

All things being equal, Grevers would have preferred to keep swimming. But he is fully aware of the financial limitations of trying to carry on after missing out on the Olympics.

“The sport of swimming is unforgiving,” he said. “There’s not too many ways to make a livelihood in swimming unless you’re pretty much on the Olympics team.”

Grevers and his wife, Annie, are expecting their first child in November.

“I’ve got to think about supporting the growing family,” he said. “I’ll probably still swim, to be honest, but I’ve got to start that next step in life, get a real job.”

Grevers mentioned coaching as a possibility. Commercial real estate is another option.

No matter what comes next, he will always be proud of what he did in the pool.

“There’s always that battle: When do you step away? On top? Where would I feel satisfied?” Grevers said. “I feel very satisfied. I didn’t bomb or anything. I got third. It’s a tough sport. But it’s not a bad spot to maybe separate a little bit.

“I’ll probably keep swimming,” he added, “but I’m not going to put everything into swimming, like I have forever.”

2020 French Open women’s singles draw, results

Leave a comment

If Serena Williams is to win a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title at the French Open, she may have to go through her older sister in the fourth round.

Williams, the sixth seed, could play Venus Williams in the round of 16 at Roland Garros, which begins Sunday.

Serena opens against countrywoman Kristie Ahn, whom she beat in the first round at the U.S. Open. Serena could then get her U.S. Open quarterfinal opponent, fellow mom Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria, in the second round.

If Venus is to reach the fourth round, she must potentially get past U.S. Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka in the second round. Azarenka beat Serena in the U.S. Open semifinals, ending the American’s latest bid to tie Margaret Court‘s major titles record.

Venus lost in the French Open first round the last two years.

The French Open top seed is 2018 champion Simona Halep, who could play 2019 semifinalist Amanda Anisimova in the third round.

Coco Gauff, the rising 16-year-old American, gets 2019 semifinalist Jo Konta of Great Britain in the first round in the same quarter of the draw as Halep.

The field lacks defending champion Ash Barty of Australia, not traveling due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Also out: U.S. Open winner Naomi Osaka, citing a sore hamstring and tight turnaround from prevailing in New York two weeks ago.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

French Open Women's Draw French Open Women's Draw French Open Women's Draw French Open Women's Draw

2020 French Open men’s singles draw, results

Leave a comment

Rafael Nadal was put into the same half of the French Open draw as fellow 2018 and 2019 finalist Dominic Thiem of Austria, with top-ranked Novak Djokovic catching a break.

Nadal, trying to tie Roger Federer‘s male record 20 Grand Slam singles titles, could play sixth-seeded German Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals before a potential clash with Thiem, who just won the U.S. Open.

Djokovic, who is undefeated in 2020 save being defaulted out of the U.S. Open, could play No. 7 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy in the quarterfinals before a possible semifinal with Russian Daniil Medvedev.

Medvedev is the fourth seed but is 0-3 at the French Open. Another possible Djokovic semifinal opponent is fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, who reached the fourth round last year.

The most anticipated first-round matchup is between three-time major champion Andy Murray and 2015 French Open champion Stan Wawrinka. In Murray’s most recent French Open match, he lost in five sets to Wawrinka in the 2017 semifinals.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

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