Coco Gauff reaches French Open quarterfinals, Olympics

Coco Gauff
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Coco Gauff clinched the fourth and final U.S. Olympic women’s singles spot and, should she want to go to Tokyo, is set to become the youngest Olympic tennis player since 2000.

Gauff, 17, qualified after countrywoman Sloane Stephens lost in the fourth round of the French Open on Monday.

Later Monday, Gauff won her own French Open fourth-round match — 6-3, 6-1 over Tunisian Ons Jabeur — to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal. Gauff, who at Roland Garros became the youngest Grand Slam singles seed since Czech Nicole Vaidisova in 2006, is now the youngest Grand Slam quarterfinalist since Vaidisova in 2006.

“This has been the most consistent tennis I have played at this level,” said Gauff, who broke out at age 15 by reaching the Wimbledon fourth round in 2019, then made the 2020 Australian Open fourth round, beating Naomi Osaka. “Hopefully I can keep that going.”

Gauff is one of a record six first-time Grand Slam women’s quarterfinalists in the draw. She gets 33rd-ranked Czech Barbora Krejčíková next.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule

Novak Djokovic rallied from a two-set deficit to win for the fifth time in his career. He beat 19-year-old Lorenzo Musetti of Italy, who retired with an injury two games from defeat in the fourth round.

Musetti took a medical timeout after the fourth set, briefly left the court, and conceded after losing the next four games. The score was 6-7 (7), 6-7 (2), 6-1, 6-0, 4-0. Djokovic lost only 10 points in the third set and four in the fourth, and won the final 13 games.

Seeded No. 1, Djokovic remained in contention for his second French Open title, and his 19th at a Grand Slam. He improved to 34-10 in five-setters.

The Serb advanced to the Roland Garros quarterfinals for the 15th time. He’ll next play another Italian, No. 9-seeded Matteo Berrettini, who advanced when Roger Federer withdrew.

Gauff was far behind in Olympic qualifying when the Tokyo Games were postponed in March 2020, but she’s been consistently strong this year, especially in the clay season. Gauff overtook Madison KeysAlison Riske and Jessica Pegula in recent weeks to claim the fourth Olympic spot.

Sofia KeninSerena Williams and Jennifer Brady previously clinched the first three U.S. spots. Kenin and Brady confirmed this spring that they plan to play in Tokyo. Williams said last month that she hadn’t decided whether she will play.

If Williams declines, either Pegula or Riske will be next in line, depending on how far Riske goes in a grass-court tournament this week.

The U.S. Tennis Association can add up to two more women who can play doubles and mixed doubles in Rio.

The U.S.’ highest-ranked doubles players are Nicole Melichar (ninth in the world) and Bethanie Mattek-Sands (No. 16). Venus Williams, the most decorated Olympic tennis player in history with five medals and four golds, could also be a candidate.

LIST: U.S. athletes qualified for Tokyo Olympics across all sports

Gauff is set to become the youngest Olympic tennis player since 2000, when Mario Ancic competed at 16 and Jelena Dokic at 17, according to Olympedia.org. She would be the second-youngest U.S. Olympic tennis player ever after 16-year-old Jennfier Capriati, who took gold at the 1992 Barcelona Games.

Gauff said in May she’s pleased with the progress made since her breakout Wimbledon run nearly two years ago. Before that tournament, she was the 37th-highest-ranked American just starting on a senior-level career.

“During that time people were saying, it’s a fluke, it will never happen again,” Gauff said in May. “I think I’ve proved all those people wrong. I’m going to continue to prove them wrong.”

Later Monday, defending champion Rafael Nadal beat Jannik Sinner 7-5, 6-3, 6-0 to reach the quarterfinals and extend his streak of sets won at Roland Garros to 35.

The 18th-seeded Sinner had a chance to become the first player since Dominic Thiem in the 2019 final to take a set off Nadal in Paris.

But when serving for the first set at 5-4, the Italian was broken at love. He then lost the next six games to trail 4-0 in the second set.

Nadal won the next two sets to clinch his 12th title here, won all 21 sets last year as he added No. 13 and has yet to drop a set this year.

The third-seeded Spaniard faces No. 10 Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinals, having beaten the Argentine in the semifinals last year.

Sofia Kenin lost in the fourth round to Maria Sakkari of Greece, 6-1, 6-3.

At No. 4, Kenin was the highest-seeded player left in the tournament. She was the runner-up at Roland Garros last October, and was seeking her second major title.

Sakkari, seeded 17th, advanced to her first career Grand Slam quarterfinal and earned her sixth win against a top-20 player this year.

Kenin lost serve six times and had 32 unforced errors to 15 for the steady Sakkari.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Eliud Kipchoge breaks marathon world record in Berlin

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Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge broke his own world record in winning the Berlin Marathon, clocking 2:01:09 to lower the previous record time of 2:01:39 he set in the German capital in 2018.

Kipchoge, 37 and a two-time Olympic champion, earned his 15th win in 17 career marathons to bolster his claim as the greatest runner in history over 26.2 miles.

His pacing was not ideal. Kipchoge slowed in the final miles, running 61:18 for the second half after going out in an unprecedented 59:51 for the first 13.1 miles. He still won by 4:49 over Kenyan Mark Korir.

“I was planning to go through it [the halfway mark] 60:50, 60:40,” Kipchoge said. “My legs were running actually very fast. I thought, let me just try to run two hours flat, but all in all, I am happy with the performance.

“We went too fast [in the first half]. It takes energy from the muscles. … There’s still more in my legs [to possibly lower the record again].”

MORE: Berlin Marathon Results

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa won the women’s race in 2:15:37, the third-fastest time in history for somebody who ran one prior marathon in 2:34:01. Only Brigid Kosgei (2:14:14 in Chicago in 2019) and Paula Radcliffe (2:15:25 in London in 2003) have gone faster.

American record holder Keira D’Amato, who entered as the top seed, was sixth in 2:21:48. D’Amato, who went nearly a decade between competitive races after college, owns the American record of 2:19:12 and now also the 10th-best time in U.S. history.

“Today wasn’t my best day ever, but it was the best I could do today,” she said in a text message, according to Race Results Weekly, adding that she briefly stopped and walked late in the race.

The last eight instances the men’s marathon world record has been broken, it has come on the pancake-flat roads of Berlin. It began in 2003, when Kenyan Paul Tergat became the first man to break 2:05.

The world record was 2:02:57 — set by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2014 — until Kipchoge broke it for the first time four years ago.

The following year, Kipchoge became the first person to cover 26.2 miles in under two hours, clocking 1:59:40 in a non-record-eligible showcase rather than a race.

Kipchoge’s focus going forward is trying to become the first runner to win three Olympic marathon titles in Paris in 2024. He also wants to win all six annual World Marathon Majors. He’s checked off four of them, only missing Boston (run in April) and New York City (run every November).

Kipchoge grew up on a farm in Kapsabet in Kenya’s Rift Valley, often hauling by bike several gallons of the family’s milk to sell at the local market. Raised by a nursery school teacher, he ran more than three miles to and from school. He saved for five months to get his first pair of running shoes.

At 18, he upset legends Hicham El Guerrouj and Kenenisa Bekele to win the 2003 World 5000m title on the track. He won Olympic 5000m medals (bronze in 2004 and silver in 2008), then moved to the marathon after failing to make the 2012 Olympic team on the track.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup schedule, results

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The U.S. goes for its fourth consecutive title at the FIBA World Cup in Sydney — and eighth global gold in a row overall when including the Olympics.

A’ja Wilson, a two-time WNBA MVP, and Breanna Stewart, the Tokyo Olympic MVP, headline a U.S. roster that, for the first time since 2000, includes neither Sue Bird (retired) nor Diana Taurasi (injured).

The new-look team includes nobody over the age of 30 for the first time since 1994, before the U.S. began its dynasty at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Americans have won 52 consecutive games between worlds and the Olympics dating to the 2006 Worlds bronze-medal game.

The field also includes host Australia, the U.S.’ former primary rival, and Olympic silver medalist Japan.

Nigeria, which played the U.S. the closest of any foe in Tokyo (losing by nine points), isn’t present after its federation withdrew the team over governance issues. Spain, ranked second in the world, failed to qualify.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Round
Wed., Sept. 21 8:30 p.m. Puerto Rico 82, Bosnia and Herzegovina 58 Group A
9:30 p.m. USA 87, Belgium 72 Group A
11 p.m. Canada 67, Serbia 60 Group B
Thurs., Sept. 22 12 a.m. Japan 89, Mali 56 Group B
3:30 a.m. China 107, South Korea 44 Group A
6:30 a.m. France 70, Australia 57 Group B
8:30 p.m. USA 106, Puerto Rico 42 Group A
10 p.m. Serbia 69, Japan 64 Group B
11 p.m. Belgium 84, South Korea 61 Group A
Fri., Sept. 23 12:30 a.m. China 98, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51 Group A
4 a.m. Canada 59, France 45 Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia 118, Mali 58 Group B
Sat., Sept. 24 12:30 a.m. USA 77, China 63 Group A
4 a.m. South Korea 99, Bosnia and Herzegovina 66 Group A
6:30 a.m. Belgium 68, Puerto Rico 65 Group A
Sun., Sept. 25 12:30 a.m. France 74, Mali 59 Group B
4 a.m. Australia 69, Serbia 54 Group B
6:30 a.m. Canada 70, Japan 56 Group B
9:30 p.m. Belgium vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
11:30 p.m. Mali vs. Serbia Group B
Mon., Sept. 26 12 a.m. USA vs. South Korea Group A
2 a.m. France vs. Japan Group B
3:30 a.m. China vs. Puerto Rico Group A
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Canada Group B
9:30 p.m. Puerto Rico vs. South Korea Group A
11:30 p.m. Belgium vs. China Group A
Tues., Sept. 27 12 a.m. USA vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
2 a.m. Canada vs. Mali Group B
3:30 a.m. France vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Japan Group B
Wed., Sept. 28 10 p.m. Quarterfinal
Thurs., Sept. 29 12:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
4 a.m. Quarterfinal
6:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
Fri., Sept. 30 3 .m. Semifinal
5:30 a.m. Semifinal
11 p.m. Third-Place Game
Sat., Oct. 1 2 a.m. Final