Simone Biles, Aly Raisman
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U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics team will prove sport’s unpredictability

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In 2012, a 15-year-old Simone Biles finished third in the junior all-around at the U.S. Championships.

She was too young to be eligible for the London Olympics, not that she would have been considered for the U.S. team. At the time, Biles wasn’t one of the first two names mentioned in early predictions for the Rio squad.

Biles has gone undefeated in seven U.S. and world championships competitions since and is now one of the biggest favorites for gold across all sports at the Games.

She can clinch her Rio spot by winning the Olympic Trials all-around in San Jose, Calif., this weekend (broadcast schedule here). The all-around winner plus four team members chosen by a committee will be announced shortly after the meet ends Sunday night.

Of the 14 women competing for five Olympic berths, Biles is the only one who finished in the top five of the 2012 U.S. Championships junior all-around.

Junior results are one of the best harbingers for senior, Olympic division success. But this year’s Olympic team will throw that out the window. (So did the 2012 team, as Jordyn Wieber was the only gymnast who made the 2008 U.S. junior all-around top 10 and competed in the 2012 Olympic Trials)

By the end of the weekend, Biles will likely be joined on the Olympic team by Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas, who turned senior in 2010 and 2011, respectively, and are set to become the first female gymnasts to make back-to-back Olympic teams since 2000.

The other contenders include Maggie Nichols and Laurie Hernandez, who finished 11th and 21st, respectively, in the 2012 U.S. junior all-around. Nichols was runner-up to Biles at last year’s P&G Championships.

Hernandez went on to finish second in the U.S. junior all-around at age 13 in 2013 and won it in 2015. She was third in her U.S. senior all-around debut two weeks ago, behind Biles and Raisman.

Madison Kocian and Ashton Locklear, who count uneven bars as their best event, may be vying for one spot on the Olympic team. Neither competed at the 2012 U.S. Championships.

Kocian actually tied for sixth in the 2009 U.S. Championships junior all-around at age 12 (Kyla Ross won, Raisman was third and McKayla Maroney was 27th). She tied for fifth the following year but missed the 2012 Nationals due to a wrist injury.

Locklear didn’t make her national-level debut until she was already a senior gymnast in 2014. She finished fourth on the uneven bears at the world championships later that year.

VIDEO: Simone Biles throws acrobatic first pitch at Astros game

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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