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French Open: Sakkari, Raducanu fall as top seeds continue to tumble

Maria Sakkari was ousted by Karolina Muchova in the second round at Roland Garros. (Tnani Badreddine/Getty Images)

Both Maria Sakkari and Emma Raducanu fell to their second-round opponents at the French Open on Wednesday, continuing a string of upsets in the tournament’s first three days.

With Sakkari out, five of the top 10 seeds have now been ousted from the tournament.

Karolina Muchova, currently ranked 81st in the world, fought hard against Sakkari, ranked No. 3, and ultimately prevailed 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-4). She earned her sixth win over a top-10 opponent and fourth over a player ranked at No. 5 or higher.

Muchova will meet Amanda Anisimova in the third round after Anisimova took down Donna Vekic 6-4, 6-1 in the second round.

Aliaksandra Sasnovich once again played spoiler to Raducanu, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1. She had previously beaten Raducanu at Indian Wells – the teenager’s first match after winning the US Open as a qualifier.

Raducanu fought hard but ultimately fell flat. She lacked in the drop-shot, which Sasnovich utilized handedly to beat the world No. 12. Sasnovich hit 45 winners to 24 unforced errors compared to Raducanu’s 17 winners and 33 unforced errors.

Top tennis players pull out of Olympics citing health reasons

Aryna Sabalenka will not play in the Olympics. (Photo by ALAIN JOCARD/AFP via Getty Images)

Ons Jabeur and Aryna Sabalenka joined a growing list of tennis stars opting out of the Olympics on Monday.

Sabalenka, the reigning Australian Open champion and world No. 3, told reporters in Berlin that she was looking after her health while citing WTA tournament participation requirements. The Belarusian had struggled with a stomach bug during the French Open, where she lost in the semifinals of a major for the first time since 2022. 

“Especially with all the struggles I was having last month, I feel like I need to take care of my health. … It’s too much with the scheduling,” Sabalenka said. “It’s just too much. I made the decision to take care of my health.”

Similarly, Jabeur cited the health risks that come with the change of surface. The world No. 10 has been battling knee injuries this season, and lost in the French Open quarterfinals to Coco Gauff. 

Players will spend the next few weeks playing on grass in the lead-up to Wimbledon, while the Olympics will be played at Roland-Garros and be held on clay. 

“After consulting with my medical team regarding attending the Olympics in Paris, we have decided that the quick change of surface and the body’s adaptation required would put my knee at risk and jeopardize the rest of my season,” Jabeur posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Unfortunately, I will not be able to participate in the 2024 Paris Olympics. I have always loved representing my country in any competition, However, I must listen to my body and follow my medical team’s advice.”

The two join Emma Raducanu in opting out of the Olympics. Raducanu – who has dealt with a number of injuries since her US Open win in 2021 – cited the changing surface as “not worth the risk.”

Jaedyn Shaw Breaks NWSL Record for Most Goals Scored as a Teenager

Jaedyn Shaw of the san diego wave
Jaedyn Shaw is now holds the record for most NWSL goals as a teenager. (Julia Kapros-USA TODAY Sports)

Jaedyn Shaw continues to make NWSL history, surpassing Trinity Rodman for the most NWSL goals by a teenager on Saturday. 

She did it in a game against Rodman's Washington Spirit in the 20th minute of the 1-1 draw. It brings her total to 13 league goals, after making her NWSL debut at 17 years old in July 2022. 

The goal is her third this season. Shaw currently leads Wave alongside Makenzy Doniak. 

Shaw has also been a member of the USWNT, alongside Rodman, netting seven goals over 14 national team appearances. If she gets called up to this summer’s Olympics under Emma Hayes, it will mark her first official tournament with the USWNT.

Seattle Reign Sells to Seattle Sounders, Private Equity Firm

seattle reign
The Seattle Reign have officially been sold. (Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Seattle Reign have officially been sold, with the OL Groupe selling the club to an ownership group that includes MLS’s Seattle Sounders and private equity firm the Carlyle Group.

The team was sold for a reported $58 million, after being acquired by OL Groupe in 2019 for $3.5 million.

"It's all about the potential going forward," Alex Popov of the Carlyle Groupe told ESPN. "And frankly, our starting point was off. You know, that's what attracted a lot of us to, including ourselves here at Carlyle, to think about investing in women's sport. We have seen the potential."

The valuation is the latest of rising numbers in the NWSL. San Diego Wave FC is in the process of a sale that values the team between $113 and $120 million

In the sale announcement, chief business officer of the Reign Maya Mendoza-Exstrom said that the team has no plans to move from Lumen Field. 

"It feels a little bit like we have the gritty startup mentality of an expansion franchise in this exciting moment, but we have this benefit of having a dedicated fan base that has been dedicated to this club, even though it has moved a ton and changed a ton over the last few years," she told ESPN. "So, I think the opportunity just to root this club in place — Lumen is our home. The club's not moving anywhere."

US Swimmer Katie Ledecky Tapped for 4th-Straight Olympic Games

Katie Ledecky celebrates after winning the 400-meter freestyle during this year's US Olympic Swimming Team Trials
Katie Ledecky celebrates after winning the 400-meter freestyle during this year's US Olympic Swimming Team Trials. (Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Katie Ledecky is officially on to her fourth-straight Olympics, punching her ticket to Paris in the 400-meter freestyle at Saturday's US Olympic Swimming Trials. 

But Ledecky’s wasn’t the only name in the headlines in Indianapolis. Virginia’s Gretchen Walsh set a World Record in the 100-meter butterfly on Saturday in the semifinal. And roughly 24 hours later, she was also named an Olympian, taking first in the event. 

"I was definitely nervous," Walsh said. "There were a lot of what-ifs. Coming off breaking the world record, I was thinking, 'Do I need to do that again just to make the team? What if I get third? What's that even even going to look like?'"

She later added that she "couldn’t ask for a better start" to the meet. 

Both Torri Huske and Regan Smith were under the previous American record placing second and third respectively. But Smith, whose time would’ve won her silver at the Tokyo Olympics, won’t swim the event in Paris after placing third. 

And in front of a record crowd, 46-year-old Gabrielle Rose proved that age is just a number. She set a best time in the 100-meter breaststroke en route to advancing to the semifinals of the event. There, she finished in 10th place — and with another best time. 

"I’m just hoping to show people you can do more, you’re capable of doing more," Rose, a two-time Olympian, said. "You can have more energy, you can have more strength than you thought was possible. I want women in particular to not be afraid to be strong, to lift weights, to take care of themselves, and just know that they can have a lot more in the older chapters of their lives."

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