Alysa Liu
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Figure skating’s Junior Grand Prix season canceled

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Figure skating’s Junior Grand Prix Series, its top set of early season competitions for skaters mostly ages 13 to 18, has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Travel restrictions would have kept some nations from sending skaters to international competitions, plus made other nations feel uncomfortable participating, according to an ISU press release.

“Furthermore, the potential extensive sanitary/medical care measures (including possible quarantine) would put an unsustainable burden on the organizers,” according to the ISU.

Three of the seven originally scheduled Junior Grand Prix events had already been cancelled, including the first two in Canada and Slovakia in late August and early September.

The series was also scheduled to stop in Hungary, Japan (canceled earlier this month), the Czech Republic, Uzbekistan, Slovenia and Latvia before the Junior Grand Prix Final in Beijing in December.

Two-time U.S. champion Alysa Liu was expected to compete on the Junior Grand Prix Series for her second and final season before becoming age-eligible for senior international competitions in the 2021-22 Olympic season.

Liu, 14, swept her two Junior Grand Prix starts last season before taking silver at the Junior Grand Prix Final. She became the first U.S. woman to earn a Junior Grand Prix Final medal since Hannah Miller took silver in 2012.

The senior Grand Prix Series is still scheduled to start with Skate America in Las Vegas in late October. An update on whether that event will move forward is expected by Aug. 1.

The ISU council will meet virtually on Aug. 3 to decide on further action for upcoming competitions.

MORE: Tai Babilonia, a Winter Olympic original, credits skating trailblazer

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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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