With group play in men’s basketball coming to an end Monday night with Croatia’s win over Lithuania, the four quarterfinal matchups are now set. And for the U.S. men’s basketball team, that means an opponent they certainly have some familiarity with.
Thanks to the combination of their loss to Spain and Croatia’s victory, Argentina gets first crack at the Americans in the bracket rounds. Argentina’s got some players fans will certainly be familiar with, as Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola and Andres Nocioni are still mainstays on the roster. But there’s another player on Argentina’s roster, point guard Facundo Campazzo, who has the potential to give the U.S. trouble if they aren’t better defending the pick and roll than they were in their last three games in group play.
Campazzo scored 33 points and dished out 11 assists in Argentina’s double-overtime win over Brazil, and he averaged 16.4 points and 5.2 assists per game in group play. The U.S. did blow out Argentina in an exhibition leading into these Olympics, but Ginobili played just over 14 minutes with Scola and Nocioni playing a shade over 23 and 22 minutes, respectively.
Also on that side of the bracket are France and Spain, with the French finishing third in Group A and the Spaniards second in Group B. The U.S. beat France by three in their final game in group play, and they’ve defeated Spain in each of the last two gold medal games. On the other side of the bracket, Group B winner Croatia takes on Serbia in one quarterfinal, with Group A runner-up Australia drawing Lithuania in the other.
Wednesday’s Quarterfinal Schedule
Australia vs. Lithuania, 10 a.m. Eastern
Spain vs. France, 12:30 p.m.
U.S.A. vs. Argentina, 5:45 p.m.
Croatia vs. Serbia, 9:15 p.m.
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, is her top remaining challenger in Paris.
No. 3 Jessica Pegula, the highest-seeded American man or woman, was eliminated in the third round. No. 4 Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, who has three wins over Swiatek this year, withdrew before her third-round match due to illness.
No. 6 Coco Gauff, runner-up to Swiatek last year, is the top 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).
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.