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Serena Williams seeded 17th at U.S. Open

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Serena Williams has been seeded 17th at the U.S. Open, nine spots higher than her WTA ranking as she returns from childbirth.

The rest of the women’s and men’s singles seeds follow WTA and ATP rankings. Williams is seeded one spot below older sister Venus, a two-time U.S. Open winner.

Williams goes for her seventh U.S. Open title beginning next week. She eyes her 24th Grand Slam singles title overall, which would tie Margaret Court‘s record.

Williams returned to the WTA Tour in March after Sept. 1 childbirth followed by multiple surgeries. She made the fourth round of the French Open in May and June before withdrawing with a pectoral muscle injury.

She then reached the Wimbledon final, losing in straight sets to German Angelique Kerber.

Williams has lost two of her three matches since Wimbledon in U.S. hard-court tournaments.

The French Open did not give Williams a seed when she was ranked No. 453 due to the maternity leave. Wimbledon seeded Williams 25th when she was ranked No. 183.

The U.S. Open would “revise the seedings if pregnancy is a factor in the current rankings of a player,” USTA president and chairwoman Katrina Adams said in June, according to The New York Times.

2018 US Open Women’s Singles Seeds

 

1. Simona Halep, Romania

2. Caroline Wozniacki, Denmark

3. Sloane Stephens, United States

4. Angelique Kerber, Germany

5. Petra Kvitova, Czech Republic

6. Caroline Garcia, France

7. Elina Svitolina, Ukraine

8. Karolina Pliskova, Czech Republic

9. Julia Goerges, Germany

10.  Jelena Ostapenko, Latvia

11.  Daria Kasatkina, Russia

12.  Garbiñe Muguruza, Spain

13.  Kiki Bertens, Netherlands

14.  Madison Keys, United States

15.  Elise Mertens, Belgium

16.  Venus Williams, United States

17.  Serena Williams, United States

18.  Ashleigh Barty, Australia

19.  Anastasija Sevastova, Latvia

20.  Naomi Osaka, Japan

21.  Mihaela Buzarnescu, Romania

22.  Maria Sharapova, Russia

23.  Barbora Strycova, Czech Republic

24.  CoCo Vandeweghe, United States

25.  Daria Gavrilova, Australia

26.  Aryna Sabalenka, Belarus

27.  Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Russia

28.  Anett Kontaveit, Estonia

29.  Dominika Cibulkova, Slovakia

30.  Carla Suarez Navarro, Spain

31.  Magdalena Rybarikova, Slovakia

32.  Maria Sakkari, Greece

 

2018 US Open Men’s Singles Seeds

 

1. Rafael Nadal, Spain

2. Roger Federer, Switzerland

3. Juan Martin del Potro, Argentina

4. Alexander Zverev, Germany

5. Kevin Anderson, South Africa

6. Novak Djokovic, Serbia

7. Marin Cilic, Croatia

8. Grigor Dimitrov, Bulgaria

9. Dominic Thiem, Austria

10.  David Goffin, Belgium

11.  John Isner, United States

12.  Pablo Carreno Busta, Spain

13.  Diego Schwartzman, Argentina

14.  Fabio Fognini, Italy

15.  Stefanos Tsitsipas, Greece

16.  Kyle Edmund, Great Britain

17.  Lucas Pouille, France

18.  Jack Sock, United States

19.  Roberto Bautista Agut, Spain

20.  Borna Coric, Croatia

21.  Kei Nishikori, Japan

22.  Marco Cecchinato, Italy

23.  Hyeon Chung, South Korea

24.  Damir Dzumhur, Bosnia and Herzegovina

25.  Milos Raonic, Canada

26.  Richard Gasquet, France

27.  Karen Khachanov, Russia

28.  Denis Shapovalov, Canada

29.  Adrian Mannarino, France

30.  Nick Kyrgios, Australia

31.  Fernando Verdasco, Spain

32.  Filip Krajinovic, Serbia

Asbel Kiprop, Olympic 1500m champ, banned 4 years

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Kenyan Asbel Kiprop, the 2008 Olympic 1500m champion and a three-time world champ, was banned four years after testing positive for EPO in November 2017, according to track and field’s doping watchdog organization.

The ban is backdated to Feb. 3, 2018, when the 29-year-old was provisionally suspended after the failed test.

Kiprop repeatedly denied doping since last May, when he first acknowledged the positive test. Most recently, a 3,000-word defense from his lawyer was posted on Kiprop’s Facebook page.

Kiprop’s defenses included saying he was a victim of extortion and that he was offered “a reward” of becoming an anti-doping ambassador if he admitted guilt. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), the IAAF’s independent organization to monitor doping and corruption, denied the latter last May.

A disciplinary panel dismissed six defenses from exonerating him, including the possibility his sample was spiked, in handing out the four-year ban.

Kiprop, the pre-eminent 1500m runner of the last decade, can appeal the ban.

At 19, he finished second in the Beijing Olympic 1500m but was upgraded to gold a year later after Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi failed a drug test. He is the youngest Olympic 1500m medalist of all time, according to the OlyMADMen.

Kiprop went on to earn three straight world titles in the 1500m in 2011, 2013 and 2015, matching the feats of retired legends Noureddine Morceli and Hicham El Guerrouj.

He struggled in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, finishing last in the London final with a hamstring injury and sixth in the Rio final won by American rival Matthew Centrowitz.

Kiprop has targeted El Guerrouj’s world record of 3:26:00, missing the mark by .69 of a second in 2015.

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Maggie Nichols is second woman in 20 years to repeat as NCAA all-around champ

Maggie Nichols
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Oklahoma junior and world champion gymnast Maggie Nichols became the first woman to repeat as NCAA all-around champion in 12 years, returning from a heel injury to compete on all four events for the first time since January on Friday.

Nichols, a Rio Olympic hopeful before being beset by a torn meniscus in 2016, joined 2004 Olympic silver medalist Courtney Kupets as the only women to win back-to-back NCAA all-arounds in the 2000s.

A junior, Nichols can next year join Jenny Hansen as the only women to three-peat in NCAA history.

Oklahoma goes for a third team title in four years on Saturday night against UCLA (featuring Olympic champions Madison Kocian and Kyla Ross), LSU and Denver.

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NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships Individual Results
All-Around
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma) — 39.7125
2. Lexy Ramler (Minnesota) — 39.6625
2. Kyla Ross (UCLA) — 39.6625
4. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 39.65
5. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 39.6

Vault
1. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 9.95
1. Derrian Gobourne (Auburn)
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)

Uneven Bars
1. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 9.95

Balance Beam
1. Natalie Wojcik (Michigan) — 9.95

Floor Exercise
1. Alicia Boren (Florida) — 9.95
1. Lynnzee Brown (Denver)
1. Brenna Dowell (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)