Chase Kalisz leads a host of Olympic medalists and world champions at a USA Swimming Pro Series meet in Atlanta starting Thursday and airing live on NBCSN, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app.
The meet is the second of six in the Pro Series leading to the U.S. Championships in Irvine, Calif., in July.
The U.S. Championships are a qualifier for this year’s major international meet — the Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo in August. Nationals and Pan Pacs would also usually serve as the two qualifiers for the 2019 World Championships in South Korea, the biggest meet between now and the 2020 Olympics, though USA Swimming hasn’t posted those qualifying procedures yet.
Back to Atlanta. Kalisz, who swept the individual medleys at the 2017 Worlds, is joined in this week’s field by U.S. Olympic gold medalists Ryan Murphy and Nathan Adrian.
International stars entered include Katie Ledecky‘s biggest recent rivals — Italian Federica Pellegrini, Swede Sarah Sjöström and Chinese Li Bingjie — though Ledecky, a Stanford sophomore, is missing this week’s meet that takes place during the NCAA season.
The full broadcast schedule for finals sessions (all times Eastern):
No. 1 Iga Swiatek of Poland is favored to claim a third French Open title, a year after beating American Coco Gauff in the final. She bids to join Serena Williams and Justine Henin as the lone women to win the French Open three or more times since 2000.
Two Americans are ranked in the top six in the world — No. 3 Jessica Pegula and Gauff.
The last American to win a major singles title was Sofia Kenin at the 2020 Australian Open. The 11-major drought matches the longest in history (since 1877) for American men and women combined.
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, No. 12 Frances Tiafoe and No. 16 Tommy Paul are the highest-seeded Americans, all 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.