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South Africa 2024 Olympic bid ‘unrealistic,’ official says

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South Africa appears unlikely to bid for the 2024 Olympics.

“In 2024 it will be quite unrealistic because we would have just staged the 2022 Commonwealth Games,” South Africa sports minister Fikile Mbalula said, according to insidethegames. “So I think the Olympics will come later.”

Mbalula’s comments follow a steady stream of reports the last three months casting doubt on South Africa’s hope to become the first African host nation for an Olympics in 2024.

Previously, on Dec. 1, International Olympic Committee member and former South African Olympic Committee president Sam Ramsamy said South Africa was “readying to bid for the 2024 Games.”

Since then, the South African city of Durban emerged as the favorite to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, especially with Edmonton withdrawing from that bid race on Feb. 11.

No other cities are thought to be vying against Durban, meaning it should be announced as the 2022 Commonwealth Games host last this year.

Mbalula said that hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games make a 2024 Olympic bid less likely.

The most recent African Olympic bid was by Cape Town for the 2004 Olympics, which were won by Athens in 1997. Cape Town was third in voting.

South Africa, the first African nation to host the World Cup in 2010, previously discussed bidding for the 2024 or 2028 Olympics.

Confirmed 2024 Olympic bids are coming from Boston, Rome and either Berlin or Hamburg. Paris and other cities may also bid. The 2024 Olympic host will be determined via an IOC vote in 2017.

Full coverage of 2024 Olympic bidding

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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