Allyson Felix details ‘powerful experience’ participating in Black Lives Matter protest

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Allyson Felix said it was “a powerful experience” recently participating in a Black Lives Matter protest, speaking in an interview with TODAY on Thursday.

“I just felt compelled to be out there,” Felix said. “When I heard the cries of George Floyd and calling for his mother, it completely broke my heart. And so, it’s just so important for me to use my voice. And I am hopeful. It’s such a diverse crowd. I feel like there’s a lot of allies. It’s a feeling that I haven’t felt before, so I’m hoping that hope definitely moves to action.”

Felix, a 34-year-old mom to 1-year-old Camryn, wore a black T-shirt with the words “Phenomenally Black” sitting below an Olympic rings necklace in an image shared on Instagram from a protest.

“I hope that, as [Camryn] grows up, things change, but I’ll have to give her the tools to be able to navigate through what is reality right now,” Felix said. “It’s a really sobering reality to have those talks and those conversations, but as soon as I became a mother, I knew that was going to happen, and even long before.”

Since recovering from life-threatening childbirth, Felix fought for maternity protection in athlete contracts. She also testified at the House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee hearing on overcoming racial disparities and social determinants in the maternal mortality crisis.

“I hope that my daughter sees that, through adversity, we have to keep pushing,” she said. “We have to use our voice for the voiceless, and it’s not just about ourselves. I am really fighting for these things for the next generation, for her generation. I want to be able to let her know she was on this journey with me, and hopefully the world looks a lot different and she won’t have to face some of these things that I did.”

Felix, after training on streets and a baseball field near her home, is scheduled to race on July 9 at the Inspiration Games. The meet will include at least 30 athletes spread across three continents.

The exhibition team event will feature Felix racing against Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas and world 200m bronze medalist Mujinga Kambundi of Switzerland in a 150m. Felix will cover the distance from California, Miller-Uibo in Florida and Kambundi in Switzerland.

Felix is bidding for her fifth Olympics and to add to her collection of nine medals, tied for the most among female track and field athletes. In her first meet as a mom, Felix made her ninth world championships (strictly in relays) and then broke her tie with Usain Bolt for the most world titles (Felix now has 13).

Felix yearns to compete in Tokyo in an individual event, which will be difficult. Last year, she placed sixth in the 400m at nationals in her first meet as a mom. The top three at trials qualify individually.

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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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