U.S. aerialists post best World Championships since 1999

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The U.S. aerials team won multiple medals at the World Freestyle Skiing Championships for the first time since 1999 on Thursday.

Kiley McKinnon and Alex Bowen won women’s and men’s silvers, respectively, in Kreischberg, Austria. Neither McKinnon, 19, nor Bowen, 22, were on the U.S. Olympic team in Sochi.

McKinnon, who came into Worlds second in the World Cup standings, scored 88.12 in her final jump. Australian Laura Peel beat her by .35 for gold after finishing seventh in Sochi.

The 2013 World champion and Sochi silver medalist, Xu Mengtao of China, won bronze, ahead of two-time U.S. Olympian Ashley Caldwell. Olympic champion Alla Tsuper of Belarus is reportedly on maternity leave.

In the men’s final, Bowen won a surprise silver medal. Bowen, 22, had never finished better than 14th in a World Cup competition until last week, when he was sixth in Park City, Utah.

But Bowen tallied 121.27 in his last jump under the lights in Kreischberg, a distant 18.23 points behind Chinese gold medalist Qi Guangpu but 1.36 ahead of the next-best aerialist, Belarus’ Maxim Gustik.

Qi won his second straight World title after placing fourth at the Sochi Olympics. The Olympic champion, Belarus’ Anton Kushnir, is reportedly sitting out this season due to injury.

The last time U.S. aerialists won multiple medals at a single Olympics or World Championships was 1999, when Eric Bergoust followed his 1998 Olympic gold with a World title and Joe Pack won bronze, three years before his Olympic silver. Nikki Stone won women’s bronze one year after her Olympic gold medal, too.

‘Foxcatcher,’ ‘Unbroken’ receive Oscar nominations

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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