Mao Asada
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Mao Asada looks ahead after 7th at World Championships

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Three-time World champion Mao Asada was vague about her future plans after finishing seventh at the World Championships on Saturday, her lowest result at an Olympics or Worlds in 11 appearances.

“I’ve just finished my free skate so it’s hard to say, but my feelings and inclinations can change from day to day,” Asada said, according to an International Skating Union press release. “There are times when I think I can do it and other times when I think that I cannot. I want to rest for now and then give it more thought.”

But Asada said she planned to compete at least next season, according to the Japan News.

“I’m able to perform, so that’s the idea,” she said, according to the report.

Asada, 25, improved from ninth after Thursday’s short program to place seventh Saturday, landing her trademark triple Axel. But it was called under-rotated by judges, along with two other triple jumps.

Before the competition, Asada said she planned to make a run for a third Olympics in 2018. The Japanese icon took the 2014-15 season off and announced her return to the sport in May.

“After I came back, there were times when I wondered whether I should not have,” Asada said Saturday, according to the press release. “It can be difficult, but I only have a few years left to be able to do this, and I want to give skating all that I have. There are many young skaters competing now, and I felt that maybe my generation’s time was over. But as I went on, I began to think that just skating for myself is another approach, and once I became comfortable with that, my thoughts and feelings eased.”

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Rafael Nadal to miss U.S. Open; men’s, women’s singles fields named

Rafael Nadal
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Rafael Nadal is not entered in the U.S. Open, joining the recovering Roger Federer in missing the first Grand Slam tennis tournament since the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s the first time a Grand Slam tournament main draw will be missing both legends since the 1999 U.S. Open.

“The situation is very complicated worldwide, the COVID-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don’t have control of it,” was posted on Nadal’s social media. “This is a decision I never wanted to take, but I have decided to follow my heart this time and for the time being I rather not travel.”

The U.S. Open starts as scheduled Aug. 31 without fans. The rescheduled French Open, which Nadal has won a record 12 times, is scheduled to start two weeks after the U.S. Open ends. Nadal did not mention in Tuesday’s statement whether he planned to play Roland Garros.

Nadal won his fourth U.S. Open in 2019, defeating Russian Daniil Medvedev in a five-set final. That moved Nadal within one Grand Slam singles title of Federer’s record 20.

Federer previously announced he is out for the rest of 2020 following a right knee procedure.

U.S. Open Entry Lists: Men | Women

The U.S. Open fields are led by top-ranked Novak Djokovic and 23-time Grand Slam singles champion Serena Williams.

Other notable players not on main-draw entry lists published Tuesday: women’s No. 1 Ash Barty and 2016 U.S. Open winner Stan Wawrinka. Other than Barty, the top 28 women in the world rankings are entered, including defending champion Bianca Andreescu.

Djokovic, Dominic Thiem, Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev are the top-ranked men in the field. Djokovic and 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic, plus first alternate (and wild-card candidate) Andy Murray, are the only male Grand Slam singles champions in the field.

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Why did Shaun White cut his hair? Carrot Top

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Shaun White said a revelatory chat with Carrot Top led to the Olympic snowboarding champion chopping off his flowing red locks more than seven years ago, according to a report.

“I went to an event in Vegas where I run into Carrot Top,” White wrote, according to a Bleacher Report AMA last Wednesday. “We were talking about our hair and he basically looked at me like you could see into his soul and he basically said he was stuck like this. And at that point it was like seeing the ghost of Christmas future. And at that point I was like omg I can change.”

White documented a meeting with Carrot Top on social media in September 2013, but that was 10 months after the haircut. They must have met in 2012, too.

White, formerly known as the Flying Tomato, posted video of the haircut in December 2012, saying he didn’t tell anybody beforehand. He had grown tired of the nickname.

He donated the hair to Locks of Love, which makes wigs for needy children.

White is known for charitable efforts for children, including with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the St. Jude Children’s Hospital. White was born with a heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot, requiring two major surgeries before his first birthday.

White, a 33-year-old who recently changed his hair color to blond, announced in February that he ended a bid to make the first U.S. Olympic skateboarding team for the Tokyo Games.

He is expected to compete for a spot in the 2022 Winter Olympics, where he could be the oldest U.S. Olympic halfpipe rider in history.

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