Lindsey Vonn

Lindsey Vonn feels no nerves, no pressure as World Championships start

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Lindsey Vonn “hated it” the last time the World Alpine Skiing Championships were in the U.S., in 1999 in Vail, Colo.

“I was a course worker, and I hated it because I had to wake up at four in the morning to get on the course and help preparing the slope,” Vonn said, according to the 2015 World Championships website.

Vonn, then known as Lindsey Kildow, was also mischievous.

The Denver Post in 2005:

When she was a promising racer for Ski Club Vail, Lindsey Kildow went to a local ski shop with her dad, bought a replica U.S. Ski Team uniform and passed herself off as a team member during the 1999 world alpine championships.

“It was really cool,” recalls Kildow, who was 14 during those world championships. “I actually got into the finish corral. ‘I don’t have my credential, I’m on the ski team, see my uniform?’ I got all these autographs. It was pretty funny.”

The autographs included one from Bode Miller, according to the Washington Post.

There’s no mistaking Vonn as the star of the World Championships in their return to Vail (and Beaver Creek) the next two weeks.

Vonn, who broke the women’s World Cup wins record last month, got the nerves out of the way with her first downhill training run on a windy Raptor course Monday afternoon.

“It’s a different feeling than I expected,” Vonn said on Eurosport. “I’m much more relaxed than I anticipated.”

She was fourth fastest in the first of three scheduled training runs before Friday’s downhill race, .62 behind countrywoman Stacey Cook.

“Today, the times really don’t matter at all,” Vonn, who stood up and slowed before crossing the finish, said on Eurosport. “It’s just a matter of getting a good run on the hill and kind of getting a feeling for the downhill. … I was definitely taking it easy.”

Vonn’s first medal event of the World Championships will be Tuesday’s super-G, the same race where she crashed at the 2013 World Championships, requiring the first of two knee surgeries that forced her to miss the Sochi Olympics. She is a gold-medal favorite.

“I’m not nervous,” Vonn said on Eurosport. “I don’t feel pressure.”

Alpine Skiing Worlds: Women’s preview | Men’s preview | TV schedule

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.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule

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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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