Defending pairs champions pull out of U.S. Figure Skating Championships

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KANSAS CITY — Defending U.S. pairs champions Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea withdrew from the national championships due to a concussion Kayne sustained in a short program fall Thursday.

“After examination and follow up, it was the advice of the chief medical officer that Kayne should not compete for her own health and safety due to symptoms of concussion,” U.S. Figure Skating said in a statement Saturday.

Kayne and O’Shea were fifth in Thursday’s short program, where Kayne fell hard on their throw triple Lutz.

Kayne and O’Shea were surprise national champions last year but came into Kansas City as underdogs behind Skate American silver medalists Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier. Kayne had been battling knee tendinitis.

Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc, in their first year together, surprisingly topped the pairs short program with a clean performance and go into Saturday’s free skate (3 p.m. ET, NBC, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app) with a 3.96-point lead.

Full pairs short program results are here.

The top U.S. pair in international competition in recent seasons, Alexa Scimeca and Christopher Knierim, has been out since Scimeca’s stomach surgery in September.

Check out NBCsports.com/USFIGS for all-access coverage all week.

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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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