Russell Coutts, CEO of Oracle Team USA at the America’s Cup, responded to an Italian team threatening to sit out in advance of the opening weekend of the sailing event by calling them “a bunch of spoiled rich kids dressed in Prada gear.”
“I think it’s just wrong that they should think that by threatening the event and threatening race officials that they’re going to get their own way,” Coutts said of Luna Rossa, according to The Associated Press. “It’s just the wrong approach. They’re frankly acting like a bunch of babies. Even my 7-year-old boy doesn’t behave like this. I wouldn’t accept this behavior from him. It’s childish.”
Coutts, a New Zealand native, is a four-time America’s Cup winner and a 1984 Olympic sailing gold medalist.
Luna Rossa and Team New Zealand are protesting safety changes made following the death of British sailor Andrew “Bart” Simpson in a capsize tragedy on May 9.
They say their boats were designed and built under the old rules and they don’t have time to build new rudders and, perhaps more importantly, test them. They’ve also said they feel the change gives an advantage to defending champion Oracle Team USA, which doesn’t have to race until the start of the 34th America’s Cup on Sept. 7.
Luna Rossa and Team New Zealand are scheduled to face off Sunday, if they back off their threats, with their protest set to be heard Monday, according to the AP.
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.
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.