Rio 2016

IOC’s message to Rio 2016: Every second counts

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Time is of the essence for Rio Olympic organizers, more than two years before the 2016 Olympics are set to begin, with a “crucial meeting” coming next week.

“We enter this crucial phase of our journey without a minute to lose, and certain that our partners in government share this vision,” Carlos Arthur Nuzman, President of the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee, said in an International Olympic Committee (IOC) press release.

The IOC’s release said its coordination commission’s clear message to Rio organizers was “every second counts” in its sixth visit to the Brazilian host city this week. It mentioned a “necessary sense of urgency shared by all,” citing progress in constructing venues.

“The Rio 2016 Olympic Games have great potential for being a very exciting event which leaves many legacies,” said IOC Coordination Commission Chair Nawal El Moutawakel. “But although progress is being made, each decision that is postponed and each subsequent delay will have a negative impact on delivery. Total focus and dedication are therefore required.

“The Olympic Movement stakeholders will continue to actively and constructively assist the organizers towards their short and long-term objectives.”

What the IOC called a crucial meeting between federal authorities and key Games stakeholders is set for Brasilia on Thursday. There, it’s expected that Olympics-related project responsibilities and funding will be clarified to avoid further significant delays.

The commission said progress was made in several areas since its last visit in September, including finalizing the overall venue master plan and the integration of government efforts. It will visit again this September. The Rio Olympics open on Aug. 5, 2016.

Mexico studies possible 2024 Olympics bid

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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