Katie Ledecky has one Olympic Trials swim left, as does her Little Flower buddy

2021 U.S. Olympic Trials - Swimming - Day 6
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Katie Ledecky checked every box at the Olympic Trials so far. All that’s left is the event that made her famous nine years ago — the 800m freestyle — on Saturday night.

Ledecky qualified fastest into the final by 10.84 seconds in an eight-and-a-half-minute race. She is undefeated in this event since winning the 2012 Olympics at age 15.

Ledecky can become the fifth U.S. woman to swim in four individual events at an Olympics after Shirley BabashoffSummer SandersKatie Hoff (who did five in 2008) and Missy Franklin, according to Bill Mallon of Olympedia.org. (Tracy Caulkins also won four events at the 1980 Olympic Trials, but the U.S. boycotted those Games.)

Ledecky will also be part of the 4x200m free relay in Tokyo, giving her the chance to become the first American woman to win five golds at a single Olympics in any sport (Simone Biles can, too, but Ledecky can do it first by a matter of days.)

But Ledecky trails Australian rival Ariarne Titmus in the world rankings in the 200m and 400m frees. Titmus doesn’t swim the 1500m like Ledecky, so the 800m is at the tail end of her distances.

The number to monitor Saturday is 8:15.57, Titmus’ winning 800m free time from the Australian Trials. Ledecky went 8:16.61 in prelims.

SWIM TRIALS: Results | TV Schedule | Women’s Event Previews | Men’s Event Previews

A look at tonight’s races …

Men’s 100m Butterfly FINAL9:04 p.m. ET
Caeleb Dressel swam the third-fastest 100m fly in history in Friday’s semifinals. He already owned the fastest two times, so the tattooed Floridian is an overwhelming favorite here. His world record of 49.50 is in play. Rio Olympian Tom Shields, who in December 2019 shared that he attempted suicide in 2018, was the second-fastest qualifier. Shields ranked sixth in the nation in 2019, but on Friday clocked his fastest time in five years.

Women’s 200m Backstroke FINAL — 9:12
Regan Smith, 19, is favored here, in her best event, to qualify for a third individual event in Tokyo. She’s the world-record holder, and nobody else in this field has ever come within two and a half seconds of that best time. However, 18-year-old Phoebe Bacon was .23 off Smith in the semifinals (and the lone swimmer within 1.15 seconds of her). Bacon, sixth in the 100m back, was Ledecky’s “little buddy” as a pre-K student at Little Flower School in Bethesda, Md., when Ledecky was a fourth-grader at the same institution.

Women’s 800m Freestyle FINAL — 9:22
Bella Sims, a 16-year-old who qualified in the 4x200m relay, was second-fastest in the prelims by 1.22 seconds. She is already set to become the youngest U.S. Olympic swimmer since Ledecky in 2012. Sims will look to hold off Erica Sullivan, who was second to Ledecky in the 1500m free, Haley Anderson, who made the team last year in the open-water 10km, and Ally McHugh, who was fifth in her best event, the 400m IM.

Men’s 50m Freestyle Semifinals — 9:39
Tony Ervin, at 40 the oldest swimmer at Trials, was eliminated in morning prelims in 23rd place. Ervin won the 50m free at the Olympics in 2000 and 2016, but said in 2018 that his goal was not to make it to Tokyo, but try and make the final to shake the hands of the two men who do go. Nathan Adrian, 32 and an eight-time Olympic medalist, gets his last chance to qualify for Tokyo in this event. He was third in the prelims behind Dressel, an overwhelming favorite, and Michael Andrew.

Women’s 50m Freestyle Semifinals — 9:52
Simone Manuel gets her last chance at making the Olympic team in this event (where she is world champion and holds the American record). She was second in prelims, two days after failing to qualify for the 100m free final. Abbey Weitzeil, a Rio Olympian who already made it in the 100m free, was fastest.

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Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz set French Open semifinal showdown


Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz will play in the French Open semifinals on Friday in the most anticipated match of the tournament.

Each man advanced with a quarterfinal win on Tuesday.

Djokovic, eyeing a record-breaking 23rd Grand Slam men’s singles title, rallied past 11th-seeded Russian Karen Khachanov 4-6, 7-6 (0), 6-2, 6-4. The Serb reached his 45th career major semifinal, one shy of Roger Federer‘s men’s record.

Later Tuesday, top seed Alcaraz crushed fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (5) to consolidate his status as the favorite in Friday’s showdown.

“This match, everyone wants to watch,” Alcaraz said. “I really wanted to play this match as well. I always say that if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.”

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Women | Men | Broadcast Schedule

Alcaraz, who at last year’s U.S. Open became the first male teen to win a major since Rafael Nadal in 2005, is at this event the youngest man to be the top seed at a major since Boris Becker at 1987 Wimbledon.

The Djokovic-Alcaraz semifinal will produce the clear favorite for Sunday’s final given left-handed 14-time French Open champion Nadal is out this year with a hip injury and No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev lost in the first round. Djokovic and Nadal share the record 22 men’s major titles.

Djokovic and Alcaraz met once, with Alcaraz winning last year on clay in Madrid 6-7 (5), 7-5, 7-6 (5).

“[Alcaraz] brings a lot of intensity on the court,” Djokovic said, before breaking into a smile. “Reminds me of someone from his country that plays with a left hand.”

Alcaraz and Djokovic were set to be on opposite halves of the draw — and thus not able to meet until the final — until Medvedev won the last top-level clay event before the French Open to move ahead of Djokovic in the rankings. That meant Djokovic had a 50 percent chance to wind up in Alcaraz’s half, and that’s what the random draw spit out two weeks ago.

Earlier Tuesday in the first two women’s quarterfinals, No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus and 43rd-ranked Czech Karolina Muchova advanced to face off in Thursday’s semifinals.

Sabalenka, the Australian Open champion, swept Ukrainian Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-4 to complete her set of semifinals in all four Grand Slams. Sabalenka will take the No. 1 ranking from Iga Swiatek if Swiatek loses before the final, or if Sabalenka makes the final and Swiatek does not win the title.

Svitolina, a former world No. 3, returned to competition in April from childbirth.

Muchova took out 2021 French Open runner-up Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 7-5, 6-2, to make her second major semifinal after the 2021 Australian Open.

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2023 French Open men’s singles draw

Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz
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The French Open men’s singles draw is missing injured 14-time champion Rafael Nadal for the first time since 2004, leaving the Coupe des Mousquetaires ripe for the taking.

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

Novak Djokovic is not only bidding for a third crown at Roland Garros, but also to lift a 23rd Grand Slam singles trophy to break his tie with Nadal for the most in men’s history.

FRENCH OPEN: Broadcast Schedule | Women’s Draw

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 meet in Friday’s 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).

All of the American men lost before the fourth round. The last U.S. man to make the French Open quarterfinals was Andre Agassi in 2003.

MORE: All you need to know for 2023 French Open

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2023 French Open Men’s Singles Draw

French Open Men's Singles Draw French Open Men's Singles Draw French Open Men's Singles Draw French Open Men's Singles Draw