Daisuke Takahashi
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Daisuke Takahashi retires from figure skating

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Daisuke Takahashi, the first Japanese men’s figure skater to win an Olympic medal and a World Championship in 2010, retired Tuesday.

“I’ve decided to retire so that I can take the next step in my career,” Takahashi said, according to The Associated Press. “It was a quick decision, but I didn’t want to fuss about it for too long.”

Takahashi, 28, skated in three Olympics, winning one medal, a bronze in 2010 behind Evan Lysacek and Yevgeny Plushenko in Vancouver. He won the World Championship one month later, with Lysacek and Plushenko not in the field.

Takahashi won two other World Championships silver medals and finished eighth or better at every Worlds and Olympics he skated at from 2006 through the Sochi Winter Games, where he finished sixth.

He helped usher in the current deep crop of Japanese men’s skaters, including Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu.

“I asked him for advice and he has helped me many times,” Hanyu said in a statement, according to Agence France-Presse. “As a skater … he will always be someone I look up to.”

Jeremy Abbott, rebuilt and motivated, begins 10th season

2020 French Open women’s singles draw, results

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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, results

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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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