Naomi Osaka upset at French Open by No. 1 doubles player

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Naomi Osaka, feeling the weight of the No. 1 ranking, could not rally from a set down in a third straight French Open match. She was ousted by the world’s No. 1 doubles player, Czech Kateřina Siniaková, 6-4, 6-2 in the third round on Saturday.

Osaka had won 16 straight Grand Slam matches — including title runs at the U.S. Open and Australian Open — but she was living dangerously, having gone the full three sets in seven of them. That includes dropping the first set in every match this week.

“This tournament I have had a feeling that was different to the other Grand Slams, or, like, every other Grand Slam that I have played, because usually I find it very freeing and fun, and this time around I was kind of tense the entire time,” Osaka said, adding that, on a scale of 1 to 10, her level of disappointment was 100. “Today I felt very tired. And, like, the other matches, too, I had, like, this headache, right, but I didn’t feel tired.”

Siniakova, who had never made a Grand Slam fourth round in 18 tries, saved seven break points while converting three of six chances against Osaka. The Czech gets American Madison Keys in the round of 16.

Osaka was bidding to join Serena Williams as the only women to win three straight majors in the last 21 years. She was undone by 38 unforced errors to Siniakova’s 13. Osaka, who has never made a clay-court final nor the second week at the French Open, will retain the No. 1 ranking.

“There has been a weight on me, kind of,” she said when asked of any pressure associated with the number next to her name. “I wasn’t ranked one last year. I was ranked 70. … Last year I would have been happy to get to the third round [at the French Open. I mean, it would have been normal.

“It’s weird, but I think me losing is probably the best thing that could have happened. I think I was overthinking this, like, calendar slam. For me this is something that I have wanted to do forever, but I think I have to think about it like if it was that easy, everyone would have done it.”

The draw opens up for Williams, who could have played Osaka in the quarterfinals. The 23-time Grand Slam singles champ plays countrywoman Sofia Kenin later Saturday. Defending champion Simona Halep is also into the fourth round in the top half.

The bottom half is less imposing, with No. 7 Sloane Stephens the only remaining top-10 seed.

FRENCH OPEN: TV Schedule | Scores | Men’s Draw | Women’s Draw

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2022 Ironman Kona World Championships results

Ironman Kona World Championships
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2022 Ironman Kona World Championship top-10 results and notables (full, searchable pro and age group results are here) …

Pro Women
1. Chelsea Sodaro (USA) — 8:33:46
2. Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR) — 8:41:37
3. Anne Haug (GER) — 8:42:22
4. Laura Philipp (GER) — 8:50:31
5. Lisa Norden (SWE) — 8:54:43
6. Fenella Langridge (GBR) — 8:56:26
7. Sarah Crowley (AUS) — 9:01:58
8. Daniela Ryf (SUI) — 9:02:26
9. Skye Moench (USA) — 9:04:31
10. Laura Siddall (GBR) — 9:07:49
16. Heather Jackson (USA) — 9:22:17
DNF. Sarah True (USA)

Pro Men
Race is on Saturday, live on Peacock at 12 p.m. ET.

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Chelsea Sodaro wins Ironman Kona World Championship, ends American drought

Chelsea Sodaro
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Chelsea Sodaro was the surprise winner of the Ironman Kona World Championships women’s race, ending the longest American victory drought in the event’s 44-year history.

Sodaro, a 33-year-old mom to an 18-month-old, prevailed in an unofficial 8 hours, 33 minutes, 46 seconds on Hawaii’s Big Island.

“My mind is a little bit blown right now,” she said in a finish area interview 25 minutes later, standing next to her daughter, Skylar. “This is the culmination of things being right in my life and having perspective. … This is freakin’ incredible, but the greatest gift at the end of the finish line is my little 18-month-old.”

Sodaro was in fifth place after the 2.6-mile swim and 112-mile bike, then recorded one of the fastest 26.2-mile marathon runs in event history (2:51:45) to win by 7 minutes, 50 seconds over Brit Lucy Charles-Barclay.

Swiss Daniela Ryf, who was eyeing her sixth Ironman world title, led after the bike but faded quickly on the run.

MORE: Ironman Kona Race Results

Sodaro, whose lone previous full Ironman was a second-place finish at June’s European Championships (reportedly in the second-fastest Ironman distance debut in history), became the first American to win in Kona since Tim DeBoom in 2002 and the first American to win the women’s race since Zimbabwean-turned-American Paula Newby-Fraser in 1996.

She is the first woman or man to win in their Kona debut since Brit Chrissie Wellington took the first of her four titles in 2007.

Sodaro (née Reilly) was an All-America runner at Cal, then placed 19th in the 10,000m at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.

She turned to triathlon in 2017, made podiums on the World Cup circuit (just below the top-level World Series for Olympic hopefuls) and moved up to long-distance racing in 2018.

At the half Ironman distance, she was fourth at the 2019 World Championships, her last major championship start before the pandemic, pregnancy, childbirth and a move up to the full Ironman this year.

“I’m pretty stoked that I think I maybe get to take the rest of the year off and be a mom for a month or so,” Sodaro said.

The pro men’s race is Saturday, live on Peacock at 12 p.m. ET.

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