Joss Christensen

Joss Christensen becomes ‘mountain man’ since Sochi Olympics

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Some Olympic gold medalists go on talk shows after the Games. Others do reality TV. Joss Christensen bought a chainsaw and a half-acre behind a Park City ski resort and went to town on 25-foot trees.

“I’m trying to become more of a mountain man,” Christensen said with a jocular smile, while waiting to get his hair done at a New York salon for a recent U.S. Ski Team gala. “I use my chainsaw every day.”

Last winter, Christensen went from fortunate to make the Olympic team to one of the dominant performers at the Winter Games, leading a U.S. sweep in men’s ski slopestyle’s Winter Games debut. He scored at least 90 points in all five of his runs (qualifying and final). In the two-run final, where only a skier’s better run counts, both of his runs would have won gold.

Christensen’s podium mates — silver medalist Gus Kenworthy and bronze medalist Nick Goepper — made added off-the-snow headlines after their competition for puppies and a dating contest, respectively.

Meanwhile, Christensen, a 22-year-old of few words, basked in the glow of his gold medal in Sarajevo. He flew to the 1984 Winter Games host city to shoot a ski film. A dog bit him. He needed 30 to 40 injections, including rabies and tetanus shots.

“The hospitals in Bosnia are sketchy,” Christensen said. “Nobody speaks English.”

Back home in Park City, Christensen made a few purchases — his first chainsaw, a snowmobile, a half-acre of land behind a ski resort (joining with a half-acre bought by a friend who works for a ski film company) and a black 2014 Chevrolet Silverado.

“Double cab,” Christensen said proudly. “Z71 package.”

Christensen and the friend began building “a little hut” by chopping down dead trees on their new land.

“It was definitely really scary to use [the chainsaw] at first, because I didn’t know much of what I was doing with a power machine with a blade on it,” he said.

There’s plenty more work ahead. Christensen said the land didn’t have running water yet, but it does have rails to hone his skiing, given to him by the nearby ski resort.

“That’s kind of my biggest plan besides contests is get in the back country, get on my snowmobile and scare myself more than I have before,” said Christensen, who also recently jumped out of a plane.

Christensen will return to competition next month.

“Before I thought, one Olympics, that’s it, but now a new flame’s inside of me,” he said. “I think I’ve got four more years.”

Louie Vito looks to stand out after missing Olympics

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 tieĀ 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 championĀ Simona Halep, who could play 2019 semifinalistĀ Amanda AnisimovaĀ 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 NadalĀ was put into the same half of the French Open draw as fellow 2018 and 2019 finalist Dominic ThiemĀ of Austria, with top-rankedĀ Novak DjokovicĀ catching a break.

Nadal, trying to tieĀ 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 seedĀ Matteo BerrettiniĀ of Italy in the quarterfinals before a possible semifinal with RussianĀ Daniil Medvedev.

Medvedev is the fourth seed but is 0-3 at the French Open. Another possible Djokovic semifinal opponent is fifth seedĀ Stefanos TsitsipasĀ of Greece, who reached the fourth round last year.

The most anticipated first-round matchup is between three-time major champion Andy MurrayĀ 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: MenĀ |Ā Women | TV Schedule

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