The qualifying heats for the men’s 110 hurdles, women’s 400 hurdles and women’s discus were held Monday night, with athletes looking to progress into the semifinal heats for the track events and the final for the women’s discus. A total of six American runners qualified for the men’s 110 hurdles and women’s 400 hurdles including 17-year old Sydney McLaughlin, who advanced to the semis of the women’s 400 on time.
Ashley Spencer posted the second-fastest time among qualifiers for the women’s 400, winning her heat in a time of 55.12 seconds. Dalilah Muhammad finished her heat in 55.33 seconds, with McLaughlin’s time of 56.32 seconds being fast enough to get her into the semis. Jamaica’s Ristananna Tracey was the lone runner to finish with a time under 55 seconds, as she finished in 54.88 seconds. Also among the semifinal qualifiers is reigning world champion Zuzana Hejnova of the Czech Republic, who finished in 55.54 seconds.
Ronnie Ash led three Americans who qualified for the semifinals of the men’s 110 hurdles with a time of 13.31 seconds, the second-fastest time of the night. Also qualifying for the semis were Devon Allen, who upon completion will return to the University of Oregon where he’s a wide receiver on the football team in addition to running track, and Jeff Porter. Allen finished his heat with a time of 13.41 seconds, with Porter finishing in 13.50 seconds.
Jamaica’s Omar McLeod posted the fastest qualifying time, finishing in 13.27 seconds. Also among the qualifiers for the semifinals is France’s Dimitri Bascou, who finished fifth at last year’s World Championships, with a time of 13.31 seconds.
USA Track and Field wasn’t as fortunate in the women’s discus, as Kelsey Card, Shelbi Vaughan and Whitney Ashley all failed to qualify for the semifinals. Cuba’s Yaime Perez and China’s Su Xinyue were the only competitors to surpass the 65 meter mark in qualifying, with Perez’s throw of 65.38 meters leading the way and Su in second with a throw of 65.14 meters.
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.
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.