Legendary Olympic biathlete set to retire after Sochi

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All-time Olympic great Ole Einar Bjørndalen, 39, said Wednesday he finally plans to retire from the biathlon following the Sochi Games in February.

“It’s clearly a heavy decision,” he told NRK Wednesday. “I think it’s fun to take part, to train hard and sacrifice everything – to put everything else aside to be the best possible in biathlon.”

Bjørndalen’s eleven Winter Olympics medals are the second most all-time, and he’s only one behind his similarly named Norwegian cross-country skiing compatriot Bjørn Dæhlie, which mean’s he could catch him with a good showing in Russia.

On top of six Olympics golds – including four from the Salt Lake Games – the legendary biathlete has also won an unfathomable 37 World Championships medals and 94 World Cup victories in his twenty-year career. He considered pushing himself through the 2016 Worlds on his home soil in Oslo, but thought the better of it since he’ll be 42 by that time.

Instead, Bjørndalen admitted to having some yet to be announced plans for his retirement:

“I’m working quite intensively with them, and have a lot of meetings right now,” he said. “That’s good for my head, too, because then I can break away from what I do every single day.”

2020 French Open women’s singles draw, bracket

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If Serena Williams is to win a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title at the French Open, she may have to go through her older sister in the fourth round.

Williams, the sixth seed, could play Venus Williams in the round of 16 at Roland Garros, which begins Sunday.

Serena opens against countrywoman Kristie Ahn, whom she beat in the first round at the U.S. Open. Serena could then get her U.S. Open quarterfinal opponent, fellow mom Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria, in the second round.

If Venus is to reach the fourth round, she must potentially get past U.S. Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka in the second round. Azarenka beat Serena in the U.S. Open semifinals, ending the American’s latest bid to tie Margaret Court‘s major titles record.

Venus lost in the French Open first round the last two years.

The French Open top seed is 2018 champion Simona Halep, who could play 2019 semifinalist Amanda Anisimova in the third round.

Coco Gauff, the rising 16-year-old American, gets 2019 semifinalist Jo Konta of Great Britain in the first round in the same quarter of the draw as Halep.

The field lacks defending champion Ash Barty of Australia, not traveling due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Also out: U.S. Open winner Naomi Osaka, citing a sore hamstring and tight turnaround from prevailing in New York two weeks ago.

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2020 French Open men’s singles draw, bracket

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Rafael Nadal was put into the same half of the French Open draw as fellow 2018 and 2019 finalist Dominic Thiem of Austria, with top-ranked Novak Djokovic catching a break.

Nadal, trying to tie Roger Federer‘s male record 20 Grand Slam singles titles, could play sixth-seeded German Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals before a potential clash with Thiem, who just won the U.S. Open.

Djokovic, who is undefeated in 2020 save being defaulted out of the U.S. Open, could play No. 7 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy in the quarterfinals before a possible semifinal with Russian Daniil Medvedev.

Medvedev is the fourth seed but is 0-3 at the French Open. Another possible Djokovic semifinal opponent is fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, who reached the fourth round last year.

The most anticipated first-round matchup is between three-time major champion Andy Murray and 2015 French Open champion Stan Wawrinka. In Murray’s most recent French Open match, he lost in five sets to Wawrinka in the 2017 semifinals.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule

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