Allyson Felix caps track career with 30th medal, bronze in world champs mixed relay


Allyson Felix capped her career with a 30th global outdoor championships medal, bronze in the mixed-gender 4x400m relay at the world championships on Friday in Eugene, Oregon.

“Really special. I felt a lot of love out there,” she said. “It met every expectation. It’s a night that I’ll really cherish.”

Felix, a 36-year-old who will retire after this season, contested what was expected to be her one and only race of worlds on the opening night of the 10-day meet.

The U.S., with Elija Godwin, Felix, Vernon Norwood and Kennedy Simon, finished behind the Dominican Republic and the Netherlands. Simon was given the lead on anchor and was passed on the final straight. The U.S. did not enter its best 400m runners in the event.

In her last major meet, Felix did not qualify to race an individual event and is not expected to be on the women’s 4x400m next weekend.

So she finishes her career with a U.S. track and field record 11 Olympic medals and now 19 world outdoor championships medals, extending her record in the latter for the most by any athlete from any nation. Of those 30 medals, 20 are gold, also a record for the most combined Olympic and world titles in the sport.

Felix made her world championships debut in 2003, just after high school graduation, and went 18 years between her first and last global championships medals.

“It definitely felt different,” on Friday, she said, looking forward to retirement — eating ice cream and taking daughter Camryn to soccer practice. “I think it was the first time I heard the crowd while I was running.”

Worlds continue Saturday, headlined by the men’s 100m semifinals and final where a U.S. medals sweep is possible.

TRACK WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule | Results | U.S. Roster | Key Events

In 100m qualifying on Friday, American Fred Kerley clocked 9.79 seconds, the fastest-ever first-round time at an Olympics or world championships and a time that would have won the Tokyo Olympic title. Only one man has run faster than that this year — Kerley, the Olympic silver medalist.

Kerley is joined in the 100m semifinals by all of the other medal favorites, including Americans Trayvon Bromell (9.89), the world’s fastest man last year, and defending world champion Christian Coleman (10.08), both heat winners.

Italy’s Marcell Jacobs, the surprise Olympic gold medalist, advanced in 10.04, then said he is dealing with injuries in both of his legs. Jacobs has been sidelined by illness and injury since winning the world indoor 60m title in March.

“I’m not really well,” Jacobs told Lewis Johnson on USA Network. “I want to come here with the best performance. It’s not easy, but we try.”

The favorites also advanced through qualifying in the women’s 1500m (Kenyan Faith Kipyegon and Ethiopian Gudaf Tsegay), men’s 3000m steeplechase (Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali and Ethiopian Lamecha Girma), men’s shot put (Americans Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs), women’s shot put (China’s Gong Lijao and American Chase Ealey), women’s pole vault (Americans Sandi Morris and Katie Nageotte), men’s long jump (Greek Miltiadis Tentoglou), men’s high jump (Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim and Italian Gianmarco Tamberi), men’s hammer (Poland’s Pawel Fajdek and Wojciech Nowicki) and women’s hammer (Americans Brooke Andersen and Janee’ Kassanavoid).

The most notable athletes eliminated were Jamaican long jumper Tajay Gayle, the reigning world champion, and British pole vaulter Holly Bradshaw, the Olympic bronze medalist. Gayle, who ranks outside the world top 50 this year, fouled all three attempts. Bradshaw snapped a pole in warm-up, felt discomfort and withdrew as a precaution, according to British Athletics.

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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.”

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2023 French Open women’s singles draw, scores

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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

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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