Hannes Reichelt

Austrian downhill contender Hannes Reichelt will miss Olympics

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Hannes Reichelt will miss the Sochi Olympics due to a back injury, knocking out Austria’s top medal hope in the downhill.

Reichelt, 33, won the biggest race of his career in the Hahnenkamm downhill in Kitzbuehel, Austria, on Saturday. An MRI revealed a herniated disk in his back Monday.

“Surgery is unavoidable,” Reichelt said in a statement Monday, according to The Associated Press. “Health comes in first place, and I want to keep doing sports after my career. Unfortunately my Olympic dream is in shatters.”

Reichelt is ranked No. 2 in the World Cup downhill standings. His absence from Sochi makes leader Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway an even clearer favorite in Sochi.

Svindal is the reigning Olympic silver medalist and world champion.

Another threat to Svindal, Italian world silver medalist Dominik Paris, hasn’t finished better than 15th in a World Cup race since suffering a leg injury in a December fall.

Reichelt’s absence and Paris’ recovery improve the medal chances of two 36-year-olds.

2010 Olympic champion Didier Defago won his first World Cup race in more than two years on Sunday, a super-G in Kitzbuehel.

2010 Olympic bronze medalist Bode Miller finished third behind Reichelt and Svindal in the Kitzbuehel downhill Saturday.

Austria leaves Vancouver gold medalist off Olympic Team

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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