Barty ends Australias 46year wait for French Open title

first_imgParis: Ashleigh Barty ended Australia’s 46-year wait for a French Open singles title on Saturday by thrashing nervous Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova in a one-sided women’s final. Eighth seed Barty got off to a strong start and never looked back, winning 6-1, 6-3 after only 70 minutes to claim her maiden Grand Slam title. The 23-year-old will rise to second in the world behind only Naomi Osaka when the latest rankings are released next week, after becoming the first Australian winner at Roland Garros since Margaret Court won the last of her five trophies in 1973. Also Read – We don’t ask for kind of tracks we get: Bowling coach ArunShe will be best-ranked Australian woman since Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1976. “It’s unbelievable, I’m a little bit speechless. I played the perfect match today. I’m so proud of myself and my team, it’s been a incredible two weeks,” said Barty. “It’s a special place for Australians here. Sam (Stosur) has done well here before and come so close. It’s been a magical two weeks.” Barty, who famously took a break from tennis to play professional cricket in 2015, struck 27 winners past an opponent riddled with nerves. Also Read – Bastian Schweinsteiger announces retirement, could join Germany set-upThe 19-year-old Vondrousova saw her bid to become the first teenage Grand Slam champion since Maria Sharapova won the 2006 US Open come to a tame end, as the world number 38 made 22 unforced errors, against a mere 10 winners. “Congratulations to you and your team, you gave me a lesson,” Vondrousova said to Barty at the trophy presentation. “Even though I didn’t get the win today, I’m really happy with everything.” Almost 90 minutes after the match was due to start, the players made their way onto Court Philippe Chatrier, after Dominic Thiem’s thrilling five-set win over Novak Djokovic in the men’s semi-finals forced Barty and Vondrousova to endure a nervous wait. The scheduling had already been criticised on Friday as a sexism row erupted when the women’s semis were moved away from the showpiece Chatrier court. In fact, this was the first match on the premier Roland Garros arena in Vondrousova’s career, although she did have a brief practice session on Saturday morning. The tension got the better of the Czech early on, as she double faulted to gift Barty two break points, before firing long to put her opponent 2-0 ahead. Barty, who also reached the Australian Open quarter-finals earlier this year, consolidated the break with a confident love hold, leaving Vondrousova firmly on the back foot after only seven minutes of play.last_img read more

Renewed fighting in eastern Chad sparks alarm from UN refugee agency

Although the most recent clashes have occurred away from inhabited areas and not caused any significant movements of population yet, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesperson Andrej Mahecic told reporters in Geneva that refugees and IDPs in eastern Chad fear the already unstable situation may soon worsen.The fighting has been concentrated mainly in the Farchana, Iriba, Biltine and Guereda areas, located to the north and east of the major town of Abeché, the main operational base for a dozen of refugee camps that run by UNHCR. Insecurity is also plaguing the areas near refugee camps to the south of Abeché, such as Goz Beida.Mr. Mahecic said all essential services are still running in the camps, which house an estimated 212,000 people from the war-torn Darfur region of neighbouring Sudan, but aid workers’ access has become limited because of the dangers posed by the fighting.For more than a week over 130 humanitarian workers from various organizations were blocked in the town of Hadjer Hadid, southwest of Farchana, because of heavy fighting, but they were finally relocated yesterday to Abeché.“The volatile situation has also prompted an increase in banditry,” Mr. Mahecic said. “We continue to monitor the security situation very closely.”Across eastern Chad UNHCR and its aid partners are helping more than 240,000 Darfur refugees and at least 180,000 IDPs. 4 December 2007The United Nations refugee agency today issued a warning that the surge in fighting in eastern Chad between Government forces and rebels over the past 10 days has limited its access to camps that are home to hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) and heightened tensions in the area. read more