Nate Ebner
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Nate Ebner has ’50-50′ shot at Olympics

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New England Patriots safety Nate Ebner has “a 50-50 chance” of making the Olympic rugby team, U.S. coach Mike Friday said, according to an ESPN report Tuesday.

“But if he stays on this trajectory then it’s only going one way, and that’s up,” Friday said, according to the report.

Ebner, who announced his rugby return with an Olympic goal March 15, debuted for the U.S. national team at a World Series stop in Singapore last weekend. Watch his highlights here.

Ebner’s chances of making the Olympic team were “10 or 20 percent” when he told Friday of his rugby plan in the winter, the coach said, according to ESPN.

“I said to Nate there are no guarantees he will make the Olympics squad, and he gets that,” Friday said, according to ESPN. “This isn’t a PR stunt, we haven’t got time for that. But it would be great for USA rugby if he makes it.”

The U.S. typically puts its best players on the 12-man roster for World Series stops, providing a look into the top hopefuls for the 12-man Olympic team that will be named later this year.

The next World Series stop is in Paris in mid-May. The U.S. roster has not been announced.

Ebner, 27, has been mostly a special-teams player for the Patriots since being drafted in the sixth round in 2012.

Ebner was a rugby standout a decade ago for U.S. junior teams at World Championships and at Ohio State, before he walked onto the Buckeyes football team as a junior.

MORE: Potter makes U.S. rugby team, 14 months after cancer diagnosis

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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