Maria Sharapova
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Maria Sharapova to play Fed Cup, ensure Olympic place; no Tokyo 2020?

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Maria Sharapova is entered in Fed Cup doubles this weekend, meeting the Russian tennis federation boss’ mandate to ensure she can play at the Rio Olympics.

She won’t play at the Tokyo 2020 Games, her agent, Max Eisenbud, said, according to Russian Eurosport.

Eisenbud also said that this weekend would likely mark Sharapova’s last Fed Cup appearance, according to the report, but Sharapova said Friday she hasn’t decided, according to Russian news agency TASS.

Sharapova, a 2012 Olympic silver medalist and five-time Grand Slam singles champion, had said after losing in last week’s Australian Open quarterfinals that she didn’t plan to play again until March due to a forearm injury.

She’s dealt with the injury since before she was named to the initial Fed Cup team earlier in January.

Sharapova must be part of a Russian Fed Cup team once this year to be eligible for the Olympics, but she doesn’t have to play in the Fed Cup, according to the International Tennis Federation.

However, the Russian tennis federation president reportedly said Sharapova needed to play for Russia in Fed Cup in order to be part of the Olympic team. And if she didn’t play for Russia against the Netherlands this weekend, and Russia was upset by the Dutch, she would not go to the Olympics.

Sharapova lost to Serena Williams 6-0, 6-1 in the London 2012 final, the Russian’s first Olympics.

MORE: Two-time Olympic tennis player named Opening Ceremony flag bearer

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.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule

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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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