Tag: Ash Barty

The Loop: First reported death out of Tonga, Kanye West criticised by animal rights group and Ash Barty’s easy win

Good morning, it's Tuesday, January 18. Here's what you need to get going today.

One thing to know right now: The first reported death in Tonga following volcano eruption and tsunami Angela Glover was known for her work helping dogs in Tonga.(Supplied: Angela Glover)

The body of a British woman who was swept away in Tonga's tsunami has been found, according to her brother.  

Angela Glover, 50, is the first known death in Tonga following the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano on Saturday, which triggered a tsunami which was felt around the world.

Ms Glover's brother Nick Eleini, who lives in Sydney, said the family was "devastated" by the loss. 

"She loved her life — both when she was working in London and then she achieved her life's dream of going to work in the south Pacific," Mr Eleini said.

Ms Glover moved to Tonga with her husband, James, where she started the Tonga Animal Welfare Society.

One thing you'll be hearing about today: Australian Open wins and losses Ash Barty had reason to smile after beating Lesia Tsurenko in the first round.(Getty Images: Cameron Spencer)

Australians Ash Barty and John Millman tasted success on the opening night of action at the Australian Open.

Barty beat Lesia Tsurenko 6-0, 6-1 in less than an hour, while Millman beat Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez in four sets.

Fellow Australians Ajla Tomljanovic and Thanasi Kokkinakis both lost their opening matches in straight sets.

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  • PETA and Kanye West– People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has criticised US rappers Kanye West (also known as Ye) and The Game for using an image of a skinned monkey to promote the pair's new song


One more thing: Can you catch COVID twice? More and more Australians have now had COVID-19. But that doesn't mean they'll never catch it again. (Pexels: Pixabay)

Well, infections, like vaccinations, help your body create antibodies that fend off SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This immunity is most powerful immediately following an illness, when the cellular memory of the infection and neutralising antibodies are at their strongest.

"Someone who has been vaccinated previously and then gets an Omicron infection effectively gets their immunity 'boosted' by infection in a similar way to a third dose of vaccine," says Professor Miles Davenport, who leads the Kirby Institute's Infection Analytics Program.

Mary-Louise McLaws, who advises the World Health Organization on COVID-19, says it's quite safe to assume you won't be reinfected with any variant within three months of recovery.

This is because neutralising antibodies are at their highest during that period, before beginning to wane. "With Omicron and Delta, we're probably not going to have our antibodies forever," she says. 

Read more of what the experts have to say here.

That's it!

We'll back later tonight with a wrap of today's news.



Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news

Ash Barty mounts brilliant comeback in her first match in months

World number one Ash Barty was plagued by unforced errors but displayed plenty of fight on her return to the WTA Tour.

Key points:

  • Barty last played competitively at the US Open in September
  • Coco Gauff capitalised on a number of loose errors by Barty to win the first set
  • She appeared rusty at times in the contest before mounting a brilliant comeback

The Australian rallied from a set down to beat American Coco Gauff 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 at the Adelaide International on Wednesday night.

Barty, the 2020 Adelaide champion, last played competitively at the US Open in September before heading home. 

She appeared rusty at times in the contest before mounting a brilliant comeback to reach the quarter-finals.

A delicate drop shot from the baseline helped Gauff break for a 2-1 lead in the opening set and although the 17-year-old failed to build on the early advantage, she capitalised on a number of loose errors by Barty to close out the set.

Barty saved four breakpoints in the opening game of the next set before world number 22 Gauff sealed a break to go up 4-2. But Barty clawed her way back to force a decider.

Barty still the best in the world

Ash Barty's name now sits alongside Steffi Graf, Serena Williams, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert as the only women to be world number one at the end of three consecutive years.

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She raced ahead 5-1 after a scrappy start to the final set and completed the victory with a powerful volley.

Earlier, world number 100 Kaja Juvan beat second seed Aryna Sabalenka 7-6(6), 6-1 while Shelby Rogers knocked out Maria Sakkari 7-6(5), 2-6 6-4.

World number two Sabalenka, a semi-finalist at last year's Wimbledon and US Open, struggled on serve, making 18 double faults, and committed 49 unforced errors.

Juvan won a tight first set after trailing 2-0 and saved a set point at 6-5 in the tiebreak, before racing ahead 3-0 in the second to storm to victory in an hour and a half.

Rogers beat Sakkari in straight sets in the second round at Wimbledon last year and looked on course for a repeat, but lost seven straight games after being 2-0 up in the second set.

World number six Sakkari forced the decider but Rogers hit back to close out the win and set up a clash with seventh seed Elena Rybakina, who secured a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Czech qualifier Marie Bouzkova.


Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news

Novak Djokovic, Ash Barty named 2021 ITF world champions

Men's world number one Novak Djokovic has been named the 2021 International Tennis Federation world champion for a record seventh time, while women's number one Ash Barty has picked up her second crown.

Key points:

  • Novak Djokovic has finished the year as number one for a record seventh time
  • He has beaten American great Pete Sampras' six wins for the title first awarded in 1978
  • The Serb is tied with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer on 20 Grand Slams

Djokovic won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon, but fell short at the Tokyo Olympics and the US Open final in his quest for a rare golden slam.

The Serb was tied with American great Pete Sampras on six wins for the title first awarded in 1978.

Barty, who won her first Wimbledon title this year and a bronze medal at the Olympics in mixed doubles, previously won the award in 2019.


"After such a rewarding year for me, my team, family and fans it is a great honour to be named the ITF World Champion for the seventh time," Djokovic said.

"I am very grateful and proud for the results I've achieved and fortunate I had a chance to compete for the Serbian national team, too."

Djokovic is tied with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer on 20 Grand Slams and could make the record his own if he wins next month's Australian Open — a tournament he has won a record nine times.

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There are still questions over whether Djokovic will play at the event, with organisers stating only fully vaccinated players, entourages, staff and spectators will be granted entry to Melbourne Park.

Djokovic — who has not publicly revealed his vaccination status — has not yet confirmed whether he will play at the tournament.

Tennis Australia last week released the event's main draw entry list, which included his name.

Croatian duo Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic were named ITF men's doubles world champions after winning nine titles this season, while Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova won the women's doubles award for a second time.

"It has been an incredible year for us — Wimbledon, Olympics, nine titles, year-end number one and now first Croatian pair ever to be named ITF World Champions," Pavic said.

"It's something special and we're very happy about it."


Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news

Simona Halep shows why she may be the favourite to win the Australian Open

Melbourne 3000

Former world number one Simona Halep spent her off-season away from home in Dubai for the first time so she could focus fully on 2020 and her quest for a third major singles title.

Key points:

  • Simona Halep won 11 consecutive games during her comprehensive 6-1, 6-1 victory over Anett Kontaveit
  • Halep will meet Garbine Muguruza in the semi-finals after the Spaniard beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-5, 6-3
  • Australia’s world number one Ash Barty plays American Sofia Kenin in the other semi-final

The Romanian is within two wins of achieving that goal already after breezing into the Australian Open semi-finals with a 6-1, 6-1 win over 28th-seeded Anett Kontaveit in just 53 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

Kontaveit held the opening game at love. From then on it was all one-way traffic, as Wimbledon champion Halep went on a relentless 11-game roll that took the quarter-final match away from her Estonian rival.

Halep, who is coached by Australian Darren Cahill, will play another former world number one and two-time major winner, Spain’s Garbine Muguruza, in tomorrow’s semi-finals.


Garbine Muguruza wrapped up a straight-sets win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. (AP: Dita Alangkara)

The unseeded Muguruza, a French Open (2016) and Wimbledon champion (2017) during her career, won her quarter-final against Russian 30th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-5, 6-3.

World number one Ash Barty faces 14th seed Sofia Kenin of the US in the other semi-final tomorrow, the Australian having beaten Petra Kvitova in straight sets to progress to the last four.

While public expectations in Australia are high for Barty, Halep showed against Kontaveit why many consider her to be the top contender for the women’s title at Melbourne Park.

Seeded fourth, Halep advanced to the last four without dropping a set and said she felt like she was playing her best tennis.

“I felt great today on court,” Halep said in her courtside interview.

“I feel my game. I feel strong on my legs. I’ve been focused, every point. I worked a little bit more in the off-season.

“It’s the first time in my life I did the off-season away from home, so I could be focused. No days off.

“This year I’ve started very well. I’m feeling much stronger than before.”

External Link:

@usopen video tweet: "A fitting reaction to a near-perfect W"

Halep worked for every point and strangled Kontaveit’s opportunities. She only faced one break point and fended it off with a commanding forehand winner.

In the second set, Halep won the longest rally of the match — a 25-shot exchange — and then followed it up immediately with an ace on the way to 5-0 lead.

Halep reached the Australian Open final in 2018, saving match points in the third round and in the semi-finals along the way, before losing the tournament decider in three sets to Caroline Wozniacki.

That gave Wozniacki her first and only major title and it provided Halep with a lot more motivation.

Halep only had to wait one more Grand Slam tournament before collecting her first major title at the French Open. She added a second a bit over 12 months later when she won Wimbledon last year by thrashing Serena Williams 6-2, 6-2.


Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news

From Barty’s ‘incredible year’ to fire catastrophes: Look back at the moments that defined Queensland in 2019


In Queensland, it was a year of extremes.

We were battered and bruised by the weather both physically and emotionally, fluctuating between flood, fire and drought.

We also celebrated some successes, our sportswomen in particular blazing a path to glory.

Look back at the 10 most memorable moments of the year, or maybe some we would rather forget:

1. State of emergency

We started the year with catastrophic flooding.

Townsville went under and there was carnage in the north-west as half a million cattle died in the deluge.

Video: Drone footage showing flooding in the suburb of Idalia

(ABC News)

Then we lurched head-long into devastating drought.

Towns like Stanthorpe and Miriam Vale are on the brink of running out of drinking water, crops are failing and dairy farmers are walking off the land.


The aftermath of fires that swept through Stanthorpe and surrounding bushland. (ABC News: Stephen Cavenagh)

If that wasn’t enough, fires ripped through the parched brown land.

Communities were constantly on-edge.

Cities were shrouded in smoke.

Video: At one stage Brisbane's air quality became worse than Beijing's.

(ABC News)

Houses burnt, but many more were saved thanks to our incredible firies.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the year had been “full, fascinating and formidable”.

“Queensland’s climate at its kindest makes us the envy of the nation; at its cruellest, it can drive us to our knees,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“It is hard to say what is worse: the terrifying devastation of fire, the overwhelming catastrophe of flood, or the unremitting heartbreak of drought, but all have affected our people and our state this year.”

2. Mass protests

The fires stoked calls for urgent action on climate change, with protesters growing bolder in their tactics to cause mass disruption.

Students demonstrated too, skipping class in their tens of thousands and scoffing at the pollies who suggested they’d be better off in school.

Video: Anti-Adani protesters march during Brisbane peak hour

(ABC News)

3. Adani

Adani has long been at the centre of protests, but regional Queensland towns this year celebrated news that the mega-mine had received its final environmental approvals.

The controversial coal mine played a major role in the Federal Election.

With Queensland’s growing unemployment rate, the coalmine offered work for hundreds.

As political reporter Allyson Horn wrote, “Labor was too weak on either side of the Adani-climate change equation [and] in its attempts to appease everyone, it failed to appeal to anyone”.

4. Political scandals

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad’s investment home in Woolloongabba caused a lingering integrity headache for the Government.


This Woolloongabba house became the source of a lingering headache for Ms Trad. (Supplied: RP data)

Former Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale got two years in jail for extortion.

Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan was expelled from the LNP over allegations involving a woman.

He branded the claims “utter crap”.

Then there was One Nation’s Steve Dickson’s sleazy, handsy visit to a Washington strip club.

He quit as a Senate candidate.

Video: Steve Dickson caught on hidden camera at US strip club

(ABC News)

And Deb Frecklington finished off the year by accusing the Premier of being a “princess”.

5. Political gambles

Just six months out from the local government elections, Labor dumped its candidate for Brisbane lord mayor in favour of brash former journo Patrick Condren.

We will know whether the gamble pays off come the March 2020 poll.

6. Speaking of elections…

The Coalition romped back into office in the May federal election.

Its biggest wins were in Queensland.

7. Sporting success

Queensland women really brought it home this year.

Tennis player Ash Barty had an absolute blinder.

World number one, French Open champion, winner of the Don award.

Humble in her success, she’s earned the respect and adoration of legions of young fans.


Australia’s Ashleigh Barty in action against Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic at the WTA tour finals. (Reuters)

While in cricket, the Brisbane Heat secured back-to-back Women’s Big Bash League titles.

Barty said 2019 was “incredible” for her both professionally and personally.

“I am so proud of my team and I for what we achieved, it was rewarding to see our hard work paying off. Personally I had a great year too and feel lucky to have my wonderful family and friends around me,” she told the ABC.

Not only did she win the French Open but she gained another little niece, which she said was “very cool”.

But she said it was tough to watch the state struggle with countless environmental challenges from afar.

“Sadly, the devastation caused by the bushfires across Australia has been enormous,” she said.

“I feel for all of the people who have lost a loved one, their home or property and the poor animals who have been so badly affected.”

For 2020, she has just one wish:

“That the people of Queensland stay safe. The fires have been so awful this year, I hope that 2020 is kinder to our state and the rest of Australia.”

8. NZ volcano disaster

We were shocked and saddened by the deaths of Brisbane mum and daughter Julie and Jessica Richards in the White Island eruption.


Julie Richards and her daughter Jessica died while on an excursion to White Island. (Supplied: Barbara Whitehead)

9. Kids in watch houses

The ABC’s Four Corners program revealed kids as young as 10 were being kept in adult watch houses in Queensland.

10. Quirky Queensland

It wouldn’t be the Sunshine State without a croc or a snake story.

And the python peppered with 500 ticks was our most clicked-on in 2019.

Video: Snake catcher discovers python with hundreds of ticks latching on (Supplied: Gold Coast and Brisbane Snake Catcher)

(ABC News)

Happy new year, from the ABC News Queensland team.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news

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