Jason Brown

U.S. figure skaters mixed on adding lyrics for next season

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Figure skaters have the option of performing to vocal music with lyrics next season, but top U.S. skaters aren’t committing to change just yet.

Olympians Jason BrownGracie Gold and Polina Edmunds said they would stick to music without lyrics for next season.

“I have no idea how people are going to utilize it and what they’re going to do,” Brown said, taking a wait-and-see approach.

Brown’s coach, Kori Ade, told The New York Times in February that she thought the idea would come off “really corny” and was afraid people would attempt it poorly, making the sport “look even stupider.”

The reigning U.S. champion Gold said she wants to see how judges react to the skaters who do skate to vocal music before she gives it a shot.

“We’ll let people experiment before me,” Gold said, “but maybe in a couple years.”

Edmunds said she had not thought about the new International Skating Union rule, which goes into effect for men, women and pairs. It had already been allowed in ice dance.

“But I think I’m going to keep it the classic way,” Edmunds said. “I think it’ll be interesting to see what everyone does with it.”

Two-time U.S. champion Ashley Wagner, with more senior experience than Brown, Gold and Edmunds, said she hasn’t decided if she will embrace the change yet.

“I think that it really is going to require a fine balance,” she said. “It needs to be done tastefully. I’m just so traditional when it comes to figure skating. Yeah, it’ll be awesome to have that extra choice. We’ll see. I think it would be really cool to bring some classic rock in with the lyrics. That would be really awesome. It would bring in a new crowd to figure skating.”

One skater bursting with excitement is Josh Farris, the 2013 world junior champion who finished fourth at the U.S. Championships in January. Farris is considering John Mayer or Jason Mraz songs.

“I really want to [skate to lyrics],” he said. “I’ve been talking with my coaches about it. I think it’s a great idea. I want to do something that’s light hearted.”

But Farris also cautioned.

“I think I need to get opinions of the officials,” he said.

Jeremy Abbott ‘kind of on the fence’ about retiring

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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