Christ the Redeemer

Free Rio Olympic tickets will be offered to diversify crowds, reports say

Leave a comment

Rio de Janeiro’s mayor said some 2016 Olympic tickets will be given away, to make crowds more diverse than at the World Cup, according to reports.

“What we will do is give some subsidies for some of the tickets,” mayor Eduardo Paes told reporters in Rio on Friday, according to Bloomberg. “We will try to do something more democratic.”

Bloomberg cited a poll stating that 90 percent of the crowd at Brazil’s round of 16 win over Chile on June 28 came from the nation’s top two economic classes, which make up 15 percent of the population.

Paes also updated Olympic preparations, saying 55 percent of venues were ready or being adapted, according to Agence France-Presse.

“I think all the criticism that we faced before the World Cup helped a lot to smooth concerns about the Olympic Games,” Paes said, according to AFP. “This mistrust that we had two months ago, we don’t face anymore.

“I’m not saying that we have an easy task ahead of us. It’s not easy to do the Olympics. We still have lots of work ahead of us, but we are confident that we will deliver things on time.”

Paes said work was being accelerated on Guanabara Bay, whose water pollution levels came under scrutiny in May. A test event is scheduled there in August.

“It’s going to be clean, there’s no risk for the athletes,” Paes said. “There are some problems far away from the Olympic space.”

Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, said the 2016 Olympics will be the nation’s “top priority” come Monday, the day after the World Cup final in Rio. Rousseff met with International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach on Friday.

“I was pleased to hear the confidence President Rousseff has in the Games and what they will deliver, and it was good to hear that the Games and their legacy will be a top priority,” Bach said, according to a press release. “The IOC will contribute $1.5 billion to the Games, which will leave a huge sporting, economic and social legacy.”

Bach will be at the Maracanã Stadium on Sunday to watch Argentina face his native Germany. In 2016, the Maracanã will host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies in addition to the gold-medal soccer games.

IOC president: ‘Still no time to lose’

2020 French Open women’s singles draw, results

Leave a comment

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.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

French Open Women's Draw French Open Women's Draw French Open Women's Draw French Open Women's Draw

2020 French Open men’s singles draw, results

Leave a comment

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

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

French Open Men's Draw French Open Men's Draw French Open Men's Draw French Open Men's Draw