Laurie Hernandez talks Rio Olympic memories, Tokyo plans with Mike Tirico

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Gymnast Laurie Hernandez last competed at the Rio Olympics. She must wait a bit longer to return with the Tokyo Games postponed to 2021.

“I can adapt to it pretty quick,” Hernandez told Mike Tirico on “Lunch Talk Live” on NBCSN on Monday. “I think that year really threw a lot of athletes off, even though we can all agree it’s the safest for the world. Even still then, my goal is still to make the Olympic team. It’s still a big dream of mine.”

Hernandez, now 19, took two full years off after earning gold and silver medals in Rio. The New Jersey native won “Dancing with the Stars,” then moved to a new gym in California with a bold goal — to make the world’s strongest Olympic gymnastics team going more than three years between competitions.

“Taking those two years off after Rio was, I think, really important,” said Hernandez, the youngest female U.S. Olympian across all sports in Rio. “I got to travel. I got to meet a lot of new people and see about all the things that I really liked, only for it to come full circle and for me to come around a second time.”

Before the coronavirus pandemic halted sports, Hernandez’s plan was to return to competition this spring. Since 2004, Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman are the only U.S. female gymnasts to make back-to-back Olympic teams. Douglas and Raisman returned to competition more than one year before their second Olympics.

Depending on when sports resume, Hernandez could get a bit of a cushion to shake off any competition rust.

She’s still reflective, though, cherishing that Rio Olympic experience. Hernandez said she will go live on Instagram on Monday night to coincide with NBCSN Olympic Week’s broadcast of the 2016 Olympic women’s team final. A full TV and live stream schedule for Olympic Week is here.

When thinking of those three weeks in Rio, that’s what first comes to mind.

“I think of how tight we all were,” Hernandez said. “I feel a lot of pride.”

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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.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule

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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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