Christian Coleman is suspended. Who are the Olympic men’s 100m favorites?

Getty Images

Christian Coleman was the world’s fastest man in 2017, 2018 and 2019, but now he is ineligible for the Tokyo Olympics, pending an appeal of a two-year ban for missed drug tests. The 100m title, a crown jewel event of the Games, is now even more up for grabs. Remember, Usain Bolt retired in 2017.

A look at the world’s other fastest men since the start of 2019:

Noah Lyles (9.86 seconds, May 2019)
Lyles, a 23-year-old who just missed the Rio Olympic 200m team coming out of high school, has been just as dominant over 200m as Coleman has been at 100m in this Olympic cycle. He added the 100m in earnest in 2018 and announced a bid to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m. Lyles did not contest the 100m at the world championships — where he took the 200m gold — but won two of his three 100m starts on the Diamond League in 2019.

Divine Oduduru (9.86, June 2019)
The Nigerian won the 2019 NCAA 100m title for Texas Tech, but before that was known for his 200m — reaching the Rio Olympic semifinals at age 19 and winning the 2018 NCAA title. Oduduru entered the 2019 World Championships ranked second in the world in the 100m and third in the 200m. He did not contest the 100m and was eliminated in the 200m semifinals.

Michael Norman (9.86, July 2020)
The world’s fastest 400m sprinter in 2018 and 2019. Norman, eliminated in the 2019 World Championships 400m semifinals while injured, in July ran the 100m for the first time in four years. Though Norman last year ruled out a 200m-400m double at the Tokyo Games, the time put him on the 100m radar, should he choose to move down in distance for the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Justin Gatlin (9.87, June 2019)
Bidding to become, at 39, the oldest man to win an Olympic medal of any color in any track (but not field or road) event. Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic 100m champ, was Bolt’s closest rival late in the Jamaican’s career, even winning the 2017 World 100m title over Bolt. Gatlin dealt with injuries in this Olympic cycle, but he upped his Tokyo prospects by taking silver behind Coleman at last year’s worlds.

Andre De Grasse (9.90, Sept. 2019)
The Rio Olympic 100m bronze medalist and 200m silver medalist. The Canadian suffered season-ending hamstring injuries in 2017 and 2018, then came back strong to take 100m bronze and 200m silver at 2019 Worlds.

Trayvon Bromell (9.90, July 2020)
Bromell, who clocked 9.84 at age 19 in 2015, went two years between races after Achilles surgeries in 2016 and 2017. When he clocked 9.90 on July 24, it was his first time breaking 10 seconds in more than four years. It put him back in contention for the U.S. Olympic team, which will be the top three at trials.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Frances Tiafoe, Taylor Fritz exit French Open, leaving no U.S. men

Frances Tiafoe French Open

Frances Tiafoe kept coming oh so close to extending his French Open match against Alexander Zverev: 12 times Saturday night, the American was two points from forcing things to a fifth set.

Yet the 12th-seeded Tiafoe never got closer than that.

Instead, the 22nd-seeded Zverev finished out his 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-1, 7-6 (5) victory after more than 3 1/2 hours in Court Philippe Chatrier to reach the fourth round. With Tiafoe’s exit, none of the 16 men from the United States who were in the bracket at the start of the tournament are still in the field.

“I mean, for the majority of the match, I felt like I was in control,” said Tiafoe, a 25-year-old from Maryland who fell to 1-7 against Zverev.

“It’s just tough,” he said about a half-hour after his loss ended, rubbing his face with his hand. “I should be playing the fifth right now.”

Two other American men lost earlier Saturday: No. 9 seed Taylor Fritz and unseeded Marcos Giron.

No. 23 Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina beat Fritz 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5, and Nicolas Jarry of Chile eliminated Giron 6-2, 6-3, 6-7 (7), 6-3.

There are three U.S women remaining: No. 6 Coco Gauff, Sloane Stephens and Bernarda Pera.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Women | Men | Broadcast Schedule

It is the second year in a row that zero men from the United States will participate in the fourth round at Roland Garros. If nothing else, it stands as a symbolic step back for the group after what seemed to be a couple of breakthrough showings at the past two majors.

For Tiafoe, getting to the fourth round is never the goal.

“I want to win the trophy,” he said.

Remember: No American man has won any Grand Slam title since Andy Roddick at the 2003 U.S. Open. The French Open has been the least successful major in that stretch with no U.S. men reaching the quarterfinals since Andre Agassi in 2003.

But Tiafoe beat Rafael Nadal in the fourth round of the U.S. Open along the way to getting to the semifinals there last September, the first time in 16 years the host nation had a representative in the men’s final four at Flushing Meadows.

Then, at the Australian Open this January, Tommy Paul, Sebastian Korda and Ben Shelton became the first trio of Americans in the men’s quarterfinals in Melbourne since 2000. Paul made it a step beyond that, to the semifinals.

After that came this benchmark: 10 Americans were ranked in the ATP’s Top 50, something that last happened in June 1995.

On Saturday, after putting aside a whiffed over-the-shoulder volley — he leaned atop the net for a moment in disbelief — Tiafoe served for the fourth set at 5-3, but couldn’t seal the deal.

In that game, and the next, and later on, too, including at 5-all in the tiebreaker, he would come within two points of owning that set.

Each time, Zverev claimed the very next point. When Tiafoe sent a forehand wide to end it, Zverev let out two big yells. Then the two, who have been pals for about 15 years, met for a warm embrace at the net, and Zverev placed his hand atop Tiafoe’s head.

“He’s one of my best friends on tour,” said Zverev, a German who twice has reached the semifinals on the red clay of Paris, “but on the court, I’m trying to win.”

At the 2022 French Open, Zverev tore ligaments in his right ankle while playing Nadal in the semifinals and had to stop.

“It’s been definitely the hardest year of my life, that’s for sure,” Zverev said. “I love tennis more than anything in the world.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

2023 French Open women’s singles draw, scores

1 Comment

At the French Open, Iga Swiatek of Poland eyes a third title at Roland Garros and a fourth Grand Slam singles crown overall.

The tournament airs live on NBC Sports, Peacock and Tennis Channel through championship points in Paris.

Swiatek, the No. 1 seed from Poland, can join Serena Williams and Justine Henin as the lone women to win three or more French Opens since 2000.

Having turned 22 on Wednesday, she can become the youngest woman to win three French Opens since Monica Seles in 1992 and the youngest woman to win four Slams overall since Williams in 2002.

FRENCH OPEN: Broadcast Schedule | Men’s Draw

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 best 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 Seles won the 1996 Australian Open.

MORE: All you need to know for 2023 French Open

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

2023 French Open Women’s Singles Draw

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