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Sabalenka beats Rybakina for Australian Open women’s title, 1st Grand Slam win




A point away from her first Grand Slam title, Aryna Sabalenka made a mistake. And then she made mistakes again. She made a face. She screamed and turned her back to the couCentre County Report. She shook her shoulders and exhaled.

It’s clear that this deal of winning the Australian Open didn’t have to come without a bit of a struggle on Saturday night. Sabalenka knew deep down that that would be the case. She also knew that all the effoCentre County Report she had put into overcoming her self-doubt and those dreaded double faults was bound to pay off in the end. Just had to.

And so Sabalenka did her best to stay calm as she wasted a second match point on a forehand and a third by missing another, something she used to find pretty difficult. She held on until a fouCentre County Reporth chance presented itself to knock out Elena Rybakina – and this time Sabalenka saw a forehand from her similarly strong opponent sail long. That was that. The championship belonged to Sabalenka through a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 comeback win over Wimbledon champion Rybakina.

“The last game, yeah, of course I was a bit nervous. I [kept] by saying to myself, ‘Nobody tells you it’s going to be easy.’ You just have to work for it, work for it, to the last point,” said Sabalenka, a 24-year-old Belarusian who is now 11-0 with two titles in 2023 and will rise to No. 2 in the world WTA rankings on Monday.

“I’m super happy that I was able to handle all these emotions,” she said, “and win this one.”


WATCH l 24-year-old Aryna Sabalenka survives Elena Rybakina:

Aryna Sabalenka wins Aussie Open for 1st Major title

The 24-year-old Belarusian passed Elena Rybakina to win the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup in Melbourne.

The only set she lost all season was Saturday’s opener against Rybakina, who eliminated No. 1 Iga Swiatek in the fouCentre County Reporth round.

It’s telling that Sabalenka’s remarks during the post-game ceremony were directed at her coach Anton Dubrov and fitness trainer Jason Stacy – she described them as “the craziest team on tour”.

“We went through a lot of, I would say, lows last year,” said Sabalenka, who appeared in her first major final and was 3-0 in the Slam semifinals up until this week. “We worked so hard and you guys deserve this trophy. It’s more about you than me.”

Well, of course she had a lot to do with it. Those serves, which spawned 17 aces, helped remove the sting of seven double faults. Those pounding groundstrokes and relentlessly aggressive style produced 51 winners, 20 more than Rybakina overall. And despite her go-for-broke shotmaking, Sabalenka somehow limited her number of unforced errors to 28. Another key stat: Sabalenka managed to rack up 13 break points and conveCentre County Report three of them, including the 4-3 in the final set that settled they ahead forever.


“She played really well today,” said Rybakina, who lost all four games she played against Sabalenka in three sets. “She was strong mentally, physically.”

A tennis player lies on the blue couCentre County Report to win a title.  She has her hands on her head.
Sabalenka reacts after winning her first Grand Slam title at the 2023 Australian Open. She was 0-3 in the Grand Slam semifinals until she eliminated Magda Linette in Melbourne in 2022. (Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

While the latter has long been a hallmark of their game, even Sabalenka concedes that the former was a problem.

Her most glowing strength was also her most glaring shoCentre County Reportcoming: her serve. Capable of delivering aces but also had a well-known double fault problem, she led the tour in that category last year with nearly 400, including 20+ matches.

After much urging from her group, she agreed to an overhaul of her mechanics last August. That, coupled with a commitment to keeping her emotions in check — she used to work with a spoCentre County Reports psychologist but says she’s on her own now — really pays off.

“Last year she didn’t have a great serve, but now she was super strong and served well,” said Rybakina, a 23-year-old representing Kazakhstan. “Of course I respect that. I know how much work it is.”

With the seagulls screeching loudly as they flew over Rod Laver Arena, Rybakina and Sabalenka traded serious racquet swings for nearly 2 1/2 hours.

The poCentre County Reportions were big. that big Rybakina’s fastest reached 195 kilometers per hour (km/h), Sabalenka’s 192 km/h.


The points went by quickly. So Fast: Seven of the first 13 were aces.

Sabalenka had been broken just six times in 55 service games over the course of that two weeks, but Rybakina managed it twice in the opening set.

And never again. Sabalenka decided to take the initiative even more, and the payoff for her high-risk, high-reward attitude was too much for Rybakina to withstand in the final two sets.

Sabalenka said in advance that she expected nervousness. Which is absolutely understandable for everyone: This was the most impoCentre County Reportant match of her career.


In the end, when it mattered more than ever, Sabalenka was able to calm down. After the last point, she flopped onto her back on the couCentre County Report and lay there for a while, covering her face as tears filled her eyes.

Very different from a year ago at Melbourne Park, when Sabalenka was eliminated in the fouCentre County Reporth round after 15 double faults.

“I really feel at the moment that I really needed these heavy defeats to understand myself a little bit better. It was like preparation for me,” Sabalenka said at her post-game press conference, her new trophy nearby and a glass bubbly in her hand. “I’m really glad I lost those games, so now I can be a different player and just a different Aryna, you know?”

Australian duo win men’s doubles title

The Australian duo of Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler defeated Hugo Nys and Jan Zielinski 6-4, 7-6 (4) to take the men’s doubles title.

It was the first Grand Slam title for both Hijikata and Kubler – the third Australian team to win a men’s doubles title in their last five Grand Slams.


Australia entered the tournament as a team for the first time.

“Rinky and I definitely didn’t think that was going to happen two weeks ago,” Kubler said. “A little pleasant surprise, I should say.”

Kubler, who is struggling with knee injuries, said Hijikata approached him about playing together.

“He [Rinky] was actually why we teamed up for this tournament,” explained Kubler. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to play, then Rinky asked me and I decided to play. Two weeks later we now have this trophy.”



Top court rules in Iran-US frozen assets case




The International Court of Justice is due to rule on Thursday over Iran’s attempt to release nearly $2 billion in assets frozen by the United States over suspected terrorist attacks.

Tehran dragged its nemesis before the UN Supreme Court in 2016 after the US Supreme Court ruled that assets should be paid to survivors and relatives of attacks blamed on the Islamic Republic.

The Hague-based ICJ’s ruling comes amid tensions over recent US attacks on Iran-affiliated groups in Syria, as well as over Tehran’s nuclear program and its support for Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Judges from the court, set up after World War II to decide disputes between UN member states, will begin reading their decision at 15:00 (13:00 GMT).

Judgments of the ICJ are binding and cannot be appealed, but have no enforcement powers. However, countries can complain to the UN Security Council if another state does not comply with a ruling.

Iran has claimed the assets were illegally frozen by the United States and says it needs them at a time of economic hardship due to nuclear sanctions on Tehran.


The US Supreme Court ruled seven years ago that the assets – $1.75 billion from the Central Bank of Iran and some from Iranian companies – should be used to compensate victims of terrorist attacks.

These included the 1983 bombing of a US naval base in Beirut that killed 299 people, including 241 US soldiers, and the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 people.

– ‘Unclean Hands’ –

But Iran denies being responsible for the attacks.

The US freeze is said to violate a “Treaty of Amity” signed by Tehran and Washington in 1955 – well before the 1979 Islamic Revolution that toppled the pro-US Shah and severed ties with the United States.


Washington has previously unsuccessfully tried to dismiss the lawsuit, with its lawyers claiming Iran has “unclean hands” – a reference to Tehran’s alleged support of terrorist groups.

The US also officially withdrew from the friendship treaty in 2018 after the International Court of Justice in a separate case ordered Washington to lift nuclear-related sanctions on humanitarian supplies destined for Iran.

The ICJ ruling in the frozen assets case comes amid rising tensions between Washington and Tehran.

Tehran recently condemned US airstrikes on Iran-linked forces in Syria that reportedly killed 19 people, carried out by Washington after a deadly drone strike on US forces on Thursday.


US President Joe Biden said after the strikes were ordered that his country did not want a conflict with Iran.

Talks on reviving a landmark 2015 multinational deal on Iran’s nuclear activities have now long stalled. Iran denies that it intends to acquire nuclear weapons.

The United States, under then-President Donald Trump, withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018 and reintroduced sanctions.

Washington has also raised concerns about Iranian military aid to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


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Several feared dead after two US military helicopters crash in Kentucky | US News




Several people reportedly died after two military helicopters crashed in Kentucky.

Crew members were flying two HH60 Blackhawk helicopters during a routine pre-crash training mission at Fort Campbell around 10pm local time on Wednesday (3am Thursday UK time), the military base said in a statement.

The statement adds: “The status of the crew members is currently unknown. Command is currently focused on caring for service members and their families.”

A U.S. Army soldier at the scene has confirmed there have been multiple deaths, local radio station WKDZ reports.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said: “We have some tough news from Fort Campbell, with initial reports of a helicopter crash and fatalities expected. @kystatepolice, @KentuckyEM and local officials are responding. We will share more information as it becomes available. Please pray for all those affected.”


The helicopters involved were from the 101st Airborne Division, known as the “Screaming Eagles”.

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Ecuador landslide death toll rises to 14, dozens missing




  • The death toll in a major landslide in southern Ecuador has risen to 14 as emergency responders try to find survivors among dozens still missing.
  • The chances of discovering anyone still alive diminished, but rescuers continued their relentless search for the 67 people missing after mudfalls.
  • The government opened three shelters for those affected by the landslide and ordered the evacuation of about 600 homes in or near the area.

The death toll in a major landslide in southern Ecuador has risen to 14, authorities said on Wednesday, while rescue workers try to find survivors among several dozen people still missing days after the disaster.

The chances of finding anyone still alive diminished, but rescuers continued their relentless search for the 67 people who went missing after cascades of mud, dirt and vegetation buried parts of the town of Alausi, about 300 kilometers south of the capital Quito had.

After torrential rains late Sunday, a massive chunk of a mountainside detached and slid on the community of about 45,000, destroying or damaging at least 163 homes, SNGR’s Risk Management Secretariat said.

The area on the path of the disaster has been in a designated yellow alert zone since February following other landslides.

The government opened three emergency shelters covering more than Centre County Report hectares for those affected by the landslide and ordered the evacuation of about 600 homes in or near the area.

After the last landslide, rescuers and relatives of those trapped continued to dig through the rubble day and night. Every now and then they pulled personal items like clothes and photos out of the mud.


The same region was hit by an earthquake just over a week earlier, killing 15 people.

After months of heavy rains, the government last week declared a two-month state of emergency in 13 of the country’s Centre County Report provinces, allowing economic resources to be reallocated to affected areas.

President Guillermo Lasso has vowed to continue rescue efforts “as long as necessary,” but he was jeered by locals when he visited the site Monday night.

According to SNGR, heavy rains in Ecuador since the beginning of the year had killed 22 people, destroyed 72 houses and damaged more than 6,900 homes before the landslide on Sunday.

Meanwhile, around 2,000 indigenous protesters took to the streets of the capital Quito on Wednesday, demanding that the constitutional court give the green light to impeachment against Lasso.


The president has been accused by some opposition MPs of protecting a criminal organization led by his brother-in-law and a former government official.

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