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Ashley Wagner on what gives her ‘fighting chance’ against Yevgenia Medvedeva

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Just as last season, Yevgenia Medvedeva is the clear No. 1 of women’s figure skating this fall.

Ashley Wagner knows this, having taken silver to Medvedeva at the world championships last spring and seeing the Russian win the free-skate-only Japan Open invitational on Oct. 1.

Though both Medvedeva and Wagner won separate Grand Prix events in the last month, their total scores show a disparity.

Medvedeva, 16, tallied 220.65 and 221.54 points, respectively, at her wins in Canada and France. Wagner, 25, scored 196.44 points for her Skate America title.

How does Wagner close the gap?

“I need to be a robot,” she said, laughing, according to the International Skating Union. “She is insane, she is tough. I think the game I have to play is – I just have to max out every jump that I have. I won’t go in being the technical strongest competitor. She’s going to have me on that, always. But if I do a triple flip-triple toe it has to be the nicest triple flip-triple toe, if I do triple loop, it has to be the nicest triple loop. Everything has to be maxed out on quality and that’s what is going to give me a fighting chance.”

Wagner competes again at Cup of China this week, where a finish of third or higher can clinch a spot in the Grand Prix Final in December.

The Grand Prix Final, the second-biggest annual competition, would be the first true head-to-head between Wagner and Medvedeva since the world championships in April.

MORE: Figure skating season broadcast schedule

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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