Scott Simon speaks with Howard Bryant of Meadowlark Media about the men’s and women’s finals at the French Open, as well as the second game in the NBA finals.
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
* Time for sports.
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SIMON: An impressive win at the French Open. A horrific injury for Alexander Zverev that sets up rival Rafael Nadal for another milestone. And the Celtics one up on the Warriors. Howard Bryant of Meadowlark Media joins us. Howard, thanks so much for being with us.
HOWARD BRYANT: Hi, Scott.
SIMON: Coco Gauff, God bless her, gave her – gave it all, but Iga Swiatek has won the French Open for a second time – and decisively, didn’t she?
BRYANT: Very comprehensive victory – second time in three years, No. 1 player in the world, 35 match winning streak, absolutely dominant – and earned it. And it’s – she’s just the best player in the world right now. And good for Coco Gauff. She spent her class of ’22 high school graduation in a French Open final. And her ceiling – it’s very, very high. She’s going places. She’s fantastic ever since she got on the scene. But today was completely belonging to Iga Swiatek. But great showing by Coco – didn’t quit. She was just up against a great, great player.
SIMON: Let me ask you about the men’s semifinal between Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev – terrible injury.
BRYANT: Yeah. Zverev’s injury yesterday was one of the more gruesome things that we’ve seen on a tennis court. And really a tough match, gruesome match. Three hours into – just to play two sets. And then the way he injured himself – a really hard way to go out. And it’s not just at this tournament. You’re hoping with an injury like that – we haven’t heard exactly the extent of it, but the way it looked, we’re hoping that we see him back at some point this year. I don’t think we’re going to see him at Wimbledon. But, boy, tough, tough, tough injury. Nadal goes to his 14th Roland Garros final. And I’ll tell you, he’s going to play Casper Ruud, Scott. And that’s a tough out for Casper because Nadal is 13 and 0 in his previous French Open finals.
SIMON: Also tomorrow, Warriors versus Celtics, game two. The Celtics won the first in, to use the overused phrase, a historic come-from-behind victory.
BRYANT: Yeah – incredible what they did. Usually when the Warriors have you by 15 points in the second half, that’s pretty much all she wrote. But the Celtics came back, and the Celtics have been waiting for this moment for a long time. They’ve been geared up. They’ve patterned their entire play for the last seven years against the Warriors. The Warriors are – they’ve been the model. And so the Celtics really have tried to do what the Warriors have done. They – to be able to take the Warriors the way they did in the fourth quarter, down 103-100, and then in an eye blink, they were up 117-103. This is going to be a tough series. It’s going to be a tough series. It’s going to be a long series. And anyone who’s a true basketball fan who really likes the beautiful game, this is exactly what we’ve been looking for.
SIMON: And, of course, a great coach like Steve Kerr goes into the locker room and says, look, it’s just 1-0. I don’t care.
BRYANT: Exactly. It’s – there’s a lot of basketball left.
SIMON: Howard, I want to ask you, you’ve got a book coming out on Tuesday. It’s called “Rickey: The Life And Legend Of An American Original.” And it’s about the great Rickey Henderson.
BRYANT: It is, Scott. And I can tell you, I’m so happy to do this, to do something fun. It’s been a long time. The books that we talk about that I’ve been doing have always been so difficult, with all these societal issues. And I wanted to do something fun. I wanted to do something enjoyable. There was nobody more electric than Rickey, nobody more fun than Rickey in terms of this combination of Satchel Paige and Yogi Berra, who also absolutely obliterated the record book. Looking forward to talking about it more, but yeah, Rickey is one of a kind.
SIMON: Howard Bryant, thanks so much. Talk to you soon.
BRYANT: Thank you.
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