Matt Stutzman, the Armless Archer, motivated by Rio equipment malfunction

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Matt Stutzman placed a memento from the Rio Paralympics on his shelf in his Iowa home. Not to remember a celebratory moment, but to remind him of what must never happen again.

Four years ago, Stutzman, profiled across major media as the “Armless Archer,” went to the Games looking to improve upon his compound silver medal from the London Paralympics.

But Stutzman, after placing fourth in the initial ranking round, was stunned in the round of 16 by Brazilian Andrey Muniz de Castro, who was 20th in the ranking round and 33rd at the 2015 Worlds.

Castro upset Stutzman by one point. Of all his arrows, Stutzman remembers his last shot, where he scored an eight out of ten.

“Up to that point, he hadn’t shot anything out of the gold,” coach M.J. Rogers said, referring to the two innermost rings on the target. “So, nines and tens, they were just a given. All he needed to shoot was a nine, and then the eight popped up.”

After Stutzman did media interviews, he was handed his arrows. He noticed a crack in the final arrow’s nock and was convinced the equipment malfunction occurred before he used it. He kept the arrow and nock and now sees it regularly at home.

The slightest error can have a significant impact, given arrows are shot 200 miles per hour from 50 meters away.

“Never had one break like that,” Stutzman said. “It caused it to obviously not go where it was meant to go.”

Rogers said he bears responsibility for not inspecting the arrows before passing them from a runner to Stutzman that day in Rio.

“If I would have done to his arrows what I currently do with every arrow that I retrieve with any of the [archers], I would have noticed it,” he said. “In a big way, it’s my fault.”

Stutzman didn’t blame Rogers, who remains his coach.

“We put in a process to prevent that from happening again,” said the 37-year-old Stutzman, who Rogers believes is the only Paralympic medal hopeful who shoots with his feet. “What I’ve learned is I need to check them, especially at that level, after every shot and not just at the beginning of the event.”

Stutzman spoke to promote his appearance in “Rising Phoenix,” a film about the history of the Paralympic movement that premieres on Netflix this week. It also tells the stories of nine current Paralympians, including Stutzman, who was born without arms, adopted and then climbed to the top of a sport that relies on upper-body strength.

“Everybody who watches this is hopefully going to be in for a life-changing experience,” the father of three said.

What happened in Rio helped spark a major change in Stutzman’s life, too. He lost around 50 pounds since those Games, hiring a personal trainer and nutritionist.

“If I’m going to be a professional athlete, I need to play the part,” he said. “I can shoot all day without getting tired.”

It paid off at the 2019 World Championships. Stutzman was part of a U.S. men’s team that broke a world record in the ranking round (though they did not earn a medal). He also earned a first individual world medal, a bronze, competing on a rain-soaked platform that forced him to reset his chair after shots, Rogers said.

“I can only imagine what whole ‘nother year of me eating right — shooting and mentally training as well — will add to what I’ve got going into the next Games,” Stutzman said.

MORE: How the Olympics, Paralympics intersected over time

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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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