Elana Meyers Taylor, a triple Olympic bobsled medalist, is due to have her first child in March and will miss this bobsled season.
“It was always my dream to win two gold medals in the 2022 Olympics and place them around the neck of our child,” Meyers Taylor said, according to U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton. “When we were told by doctors that this might not be possible, I put all my efforts into winning two gold medals in 2022. However, they were wrong, and now I have the chance to live this dream. We are excited for our little miracle.”
Meyers Taylor and husband Nic Taylor, a veteran U.S. bobsledder, were married in April 2014 after meeting through the sport in 2011. They have competed together in international four-person bobsled races with Meyers Taylor driving.
Meyers Taylor earned Olympic bronze as a push athlete in 2010, then silver medals as a driver in 2014 and 2018. She also earned world titles in 2015 and 2017.
Meyers Taylor’s longtime Canadian rival, Kaillie Humphries, could also miss the season as she bids to switch representation to the U.S. A Canadian judge ruled against her on Tuesday, though U.S. Bobsled has said it would welcome her should she be released from Bobsleigh Canada.
German Mariama Jamanka, the surprise PyeongChang Olympic gold medalist, has taken over as the world’s top driver, winning last season’s World Cup and world championship titles.
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, and Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, the No. 4 seed and Wimbledon champion, are the top challengers in Paris.
No. 3 Jessica Pegula and No. 6 Coco Gauff, runner-up to Swiatek last year, are the best hopes 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).
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.