Desi Linden, Shalane Flanagan, Kara Goucher
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Fall marathons lack U.S. Olympic women’s contenders

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The news that 18-year-old Alana Hadley is the fastest American woman entered in the New York City Marathon on Nov. 1 means that none of the 2012 U.S. Olympic women’s marathoners have announced they’re in a fall marathon ahead of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials on Feb. 13.

Though Hadley is qualified for the trials (live on NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra), it appears she is too young to compete in the Olympic marathon.

London Olympic marathoners Shalane Flanagan, Desi Linden and Kara Goucher have not announced fall marathons, which is no surprise with the Olympic trials on the horizon. More than half of the elite U.S. men’s marathoners are also sitting out fall marathons.

The top U.S. woman in a fall marathon appeared to be Amy Cragg, who finished 11th in the 2012 Olympic 10,000m. Cragg was entered in the Sept. 27 Berlin Marathon but is no longer in the field. She ran the U.S. 20km championships Sept. 7, placing 14th.*

Cragg ran 2:27:03 at the 2014 Chicago Marathon, ranking her third among U.S. women across all marathons since the start of 2013. Flanagan is first at 2:21:14, followed by Linden with a 2:23:54.

The next fastest Americans since the start of 2013 are Serena Burla, a cancer survivor who was the top U.S. finisher at the World Championships on Aug. 30 (10th), Goucher and Annie Bersagel, a Norway-residing lawyer.

Burla, Goucher and Bersagel are not among the elite fields of the major fall marathons (Berlin, Chicago, New York City).

The last U.S. woman to earn an Olympic marathon medal, Deena Kastor (2004 bronze), is to run the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 11 at age 42.

MORE TRACK AND FIELD: Meb Keflezighi faces tough international field at NYC Marathon

*Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Amy Cragg was running the Berlin Marathon.

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.

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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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