Ash Barty is potentially two sets away from her second grand slam title… with the world number one moving into the Wimbledon final
The Australian 25 year old didnt have it all her own way, claiming a tight victory over the 2018 Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber.
Barty described the win as one of the best of her career against a player who has been near the top of the game for a long period.
She will now play the 8th seed Karolina Pliskova in the ladies’ singles final at Wimbledon.
It will be the second grand slam singles final for both players.
Victory in the decider would make Barty the first Australian woman to lift the Venus Rosewater dish since Evonne Goolagong Cawley back in 1980.
Nick Kyrgios to withdraw from Australia’s Olympic tennis team for Tokyo
Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios has pulled out of the Tokyo Olympics.
“It’s been my dream to represent Australia at the Olympics and I know I may never get that opportunity again,” he said.
“But I also know myself. The thought of playing in front of empty stadiums just doesn’t sit well with me. It never has.”
In his statement, Kyrgios said he “wouldn’t want to take an opportunity away from a healthy Aussie athlete” ready to represent the country.
“I will also take all the time I need to get my body right,” he said.
“Good luck to all the Aussies competing and I’ll see you back on the court real soon.”
Belarusian sprinter taken to airport to leave Tokyo
Belarusian athlete is fearing for her safety after criticising her coaches and being ordered to return home early
The 24-year-old sought police protection when arriving at an airport terminal in Japan so she would not have to board the flight back to Belarus.
She was due to compete in the Women’s 200-metre event this week but had complained online about being forced into another race at short notice.
She told the International Olympic Committee that she was “put under pressure to compete” and has asked for urgent assistance.
The IOC says it is seeking clarification from Belarusian officials who earlier said she was removed due to her poor “emotional and physical condition”.
State media has criticised the athlete saying she lacks “team spirit” whilst several other countries including the Czech Republic and Poland have offered her refuge.
It comes as the nation’s leaders cracked down on anti-government protestors, with some national-level athletes stripped of funding, cut from national teams and arrested.
Politics v sport – F1 drivers speak out against anti-gay laws
Formula 1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have spoken out against Hungary’s new anti-LGBTQ+ law
Hamilton, a seven-time world champion and eight-time winner of the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest, posted in support of the country’s LGBTQ+ community ahead of this year’s edition of the race.
He wrote: “To all in this beautiful country Hungary. Ahead of the Grand Prix this weekend, I want to share my support for those affected by the governments’ anti-LGBTQ+ law. It is unacceptable, cowardly and misguiding for those in power suggest such a law.
“Please show love for those around you because Love will always win. Sending positivity. #lgbtq”
Following suit, Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel, arrived at the Budapest paddock with a rainbow strip on his trainers.
“Everybody’s free to do what they want and exactly that I guess is the point,” Vettel said. “So I find it embarrassing for a country that is in the European Union having to vote or having some laws like this as part of their constitution, whatever,” Vettel said.
“So it’s obviously not for us to make the law, that’s not our role, but I think just to express the support for obviously those who are affected by it.”
Politics vs sport
The law has become a controversial issue within sport.
The country is holding a referendum on a law which includes a ban on the depiction or promotion of homosexuality and gender change to under-18s.
Last month, UEFA refused a request from Munich’s Mayor for a stadium to be lit in rainbow colours ahead of Germany’s Euro 2020 clash against Hungary.
UEFA has refused a request from Munich’s Mayor for a stadium to be lit in rainbow colours ahead of Germany’s Euro 2020 clash against Hungary.
UEFA says the decision was consistent with being a “politically and religiously neutral organisation”.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said Hungary will hold a referendum on the issue by early 2022 at the latest.
Manchester United cans friendly match vs Preston
Manchester United has been forced to cancel their pre-season friendly with Preston North End after a COVID-19 outbreak within the first-team squad.
The Red Devils identified a small number of suspected live cases following the latest round of testing at the club.
A statement issued by United on Thursday said: “Maintaining Covid security is a priority for us.
The statement continues: “As a precautionary measure based on covid protocols, we have taken the difficult decision that we will not now be able to play the friendly match against Preston North End this Saturday.“
“We regret the disruption to Preston and disappointment caused to fans. Any Manchester United fans who have purchased tickets for the game will be automatically refunded.“
“At this stage, we do not expect further disruption around our forthcoming matches, but we will continue to follow Premier League protocols in this regard.”
The decision to cancel the game with Preston leaves Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with just one more warm-up fixture before the start of the Premier League campaign on August 14.
The cases are a mixture of players and staff, who tested positive with lateral flow tests but will need to take PCR tests to confirm the result.
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