Missy Franklin

Missy Franklin takes second in her first NCAA Championships finals

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Four-time Olympic champion Missy Franklin just missed a pair of titles at her first night of the NCAA Championships in Minneapolis on Thursday.

Franklin, an 18-year-old freshman at Cal, finished second in the 500-yard freestyle, getting passed over the final two of 20 laps in the 25-yard pool by Georgia sophomore Brittany MacLean.

MacLean posted 4 minutes, 32.53 seconds, an NCAA record. Franklin came in .13 behind after leading by .51 after 450 yards.

MacLean, like Franklin, swam at the 2012 Olympics. The Canadian finished seventh in the 400m freestyle in London. She was 18 then, four years younger than anyone else in that final.

Franklin also took second as the third leg of Cal’s 200 free relay team, 25 minutes before the 500 free final. Stanford won that race, aided by 2012 Olympian Lia Neal.

The 500 free was the toughest of Franklin’s three individual events she’s expected to swim this weekend. Her best freestyle event, in Olympic pools, is the 200m free.

She’s better known for her backstrokes, having swept the 100 and 200 backs at the 2012 Olympics and 2013 World Championships. Cal is deep in backstrokes, making Franklin more valuable to the team in freestyles, which she has focused on this season.

Franklin entered NCAAs as the No. 2 seed in the 500 free and was second fastest in Thursday’s preliminaries, behind MacLean.

In the final, Franklin took the lead near the halfway point but never led by more than .55 after any of the 50-yard splits.

Franklin is expected to swim the 200 free on Friday and the 100 free on Saturday. Cal is looking to win its fourth team national title in six years. Georgia clipped Cal in 2013.

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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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