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Australian Open: Kyrgios issues Djokovic warning

Serbian superstar’s visa was revoked upon arrival

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Australian Open: Kyrgios issues Djokovic warning
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Sydney: Nick Kyrgios warned Saturday Novak Djokovic would be unstoppable at the Australian Open if cleared to play, predicting the world number one would use his predicament as fuel to win another Grand Slam title.

The Serbian superstar was set to spend the weekend in a Melbourne immigration detention facility pending an appeal after he was dramatically refused entry to Australia over his Covid-19 vaccine status.

Kyrgios has feuded with Djokovic in the past over his response to the coronavirus pandemic, but has softened his stance, saying on Saturday he was “feeling for him”.

Djokovic’s visa was revoked after he failed to meet the country’s tough pandemic restrictions, with a court challenge to overturn his visa cancellation set to be heard on Monday.

If successful, he will be gunning for a 10th Australian Open crown and a record 21st Grand Slam title — a milestone that Spanish great Rafael Nadal is also chasing at Melbourne Park.

Fellow 20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer is injured and not in Australia.

“If he’s allowed to play the Australian Open, I don’t want any bar of him. I reckon he’s going to be pissed off,” Kyrgios said in Sydney ahead of a warm-up tournament before the Australian Open on January 17.

“He’s going to be very determined to play well, and stick it to everyone (because) of what’s going on. I think this is just all added fuel for him, in my opinion.”

“We all know how good of a competitor he is,” he added.

“You don’t become a great champion like that without being able to overcome some adversity like this. I’m sure he’s overcome a lot more challenging times than, you know, spending a couple more extra days in hotel rooms.”

Kyrgios on Friday called Australia’s treatment of the Serbian “really bad” and doubled down Saturday, saying it was “not really humane, is it, what’s going on”.

“I think like it’s just, if this was a normal person they wouldn’t have to deal with all this. His life’s probably hard enough as it is, and I know what that’s like. I just hope it all gets sorted soon.”

He added that tennis needed the outspoken vaccine-sceptic 34-year-old, forecasting that the Australian Open would get record television ratings if he played.

Kyrgios has waged a running battle with Djokovic in recent years, sparked by the Serbian’s ill-fated Adria Tour exhibition in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic raged.

Last year he dismissed Djokovic as a “tool” after he issued a list of demands for quarantined players who arrived on charter flights for the Australian Open.

The Australian claimed Saturday their rift had been blown out of proportion, but was not sure if he would reach out personally to him.

“I don’t know if we’re on talking terms,” he said.

“But that’s the funny thing about me and Novak. We actually used to be friends. We used to practice at events and again, the media has divided us.”

SOURCE: AFP

Siddra Sumreen

Syeda Siddra has been working as a web journalist for over the past seven years. She earned her M.Phil degree in Mass Communication from the Lahore Leads University. Ms. Siddra has previously worked with other renowned channels and is now associated with GNN as Senior Content Writer.

World

124 snakes found with dead body in US home

Pythons, rattlesnakes, cobras and black mambas were among the snakes found inside the home

Published by Faisal Waqas

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124 snakes found with dead body in US home

In a horrible discovery, the dead body of a man – surrounded by at least 124 snakes – was found inside a house in Maryland, United States. 

The Independent reported that the incident took place in Charles Countyof Maryland. The snakes, some of which were identified to be venomous, were kept inside cages when police reached the man’s home at around 6pm on Wednesday, the Charles County sheriff’s office said.

Police said that the man had kept the snakes, some of which were venomous, inside a cage in his house. 

One of the deceased man's neighbours, after not seeing him for a day, had gone to check in on him. 

The neighbour told the police that he peeped into the house through a window after no one answered the door and saw the man, 49, lying on the floor unconscious. 

He then decided to call 911 for help. When emergency services arrived and examined the man, he was found to be dead.

Police added that the cause of death is yet to be determined, adding that "no obvious signs of foul play have been found so far."

“Inside the house, more than 100 venomous and non-venomous snakes of different varieties were discovered in tanks situated on racks,” the Charles County Sheriff’s Office said, per the report.

The man had kept different types of snakes in his house, including pythons, rattlesnakes, cobras and black mambas, police said, adding that animal control officials were examining the snakes.

The chief animal control officer of the county told police that they had "not encountered an incident like this in more than 30 years of experience."

“Charles County Animal Control is coordinating rescue efforts relating to the reptiles with assistance from reptile experts from North Carolina and Virginia,” the police said.

It should be noted that Maryland's law prohibits people from keeping snakes as pets.

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Sports

Nadal beats Khachanov, qualifies for 4th round in Australian Open

Olympic runner-up Khachanov had lost all seven previous meetings with 2009 Australian Open champion Nadal but briefly looked capable of mounting a comeback

Published by Faisal Ali Ghumman

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Nadal beats Khachanov, qualifies for 4th round in Australian Open

MELBOURNE: Sixth seed Rafa Nadal dropped his first set at this year's Australian Open but still powered through to the fourth round with a 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-1 defeat of Karen Khachanov on Friday.

The Spaniard, seeking to claim a record 21st Grand Slam title in the absence of great rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, was sensational as he took a two-set lead.

But Khachanov, seeded 28th, threw caution to the wind in the third set, stalling Nadal's charge with some ferocious hitting.

Olympic runner-up Khachanov had lost all seven previous meetings with 2009 Australian Open champion Nadal but briefly looked capable of mounting a comeback.

Nadal seized back control with a break of serve at the start of the fourth, however, and with the clock having ticked past midnight on Rod Laver Arena he finished it off in a hurry.

Nadal, who has reached the last-16 in Melbourne for the 15th time in 17 appearances, will face another Russian, 18th seed Aslan Karatsev, or Frenchman Adrian Mannarino next.

 "I played a great player tonight and happy that this was my best match since coming back," the 35-year-old Nadal, who missed the second half of 2021 with a foot injury, said on court.

"I've been going through some tough times in the last year but night's like tonight mean everything."

With Federer still injured and nine-time Australian Open champion Djokovic deported after a visa row, Nadal has a chance to edge ahead of that duo with whom he shares the record for most men's Grand Slam titles.

 After routine wins against 66th-ranked American Marcos Giron and German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann in rounds one and two, Khachanov represented a step up in class for Nadal despite the Russian having only ever won one set off the Mallorcan.

Nadal was primed though and won 12 of the first 13 points to stamp his authority all over the court.

Khachanov had no answer to Nadal's intensity and managed to win only one point on Nadal's serve in the opening set.

Nadal broke serve at the start of the second set but Khachanov won an incredible point in the fourth game, picking himself off the floor to crunch a backhand winner and then winning another incredible rally to earn a break point.

He could not convert that and Nadal immediately broke in the next game on his way to a two-set lead.

Khachanov began to hit closer to the lines and with more menace in the third set, which he took after breaking the Nadal's serve for the first time for a 3-1 lead.

Nadal simply found another gear though, firing a stunning backhand winner to break Khachanov's serve, and spirit, in the second game of the fourth set.

SOURCE: REUTERS

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Pakistan

Sharif family should come to clarify position on Guthrie’s statement: Fawad

British solicitor claims former CJ Rana Shamim signed affidavit at residence of Nawaz Sharif in London

Published by Faisal Waqas

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Sharif family should come to clarify position on Guthrie’s statement: Fawad

Dubai: Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry on Friday asked the Sharif family to clarify their position on the statement by British solicitor Charles Guthrie claiming that former Giligt Baltistan chief judge Rana Shamim signed the affidavit at the residence of Nawaz Sharif in London.

It was an important allegation and “I think the Sharif family should come forward and explain their position,” he said while talking to the media.

Chaudhry Fawad said apparently it was a fake story as the affidavit was signed at the residence of Nawaz Sharif. “When Nawaz Sharif and the company was in power, only his films were playing, no one paid attention to the original cinema films,” he added. 

Taking a jibe on Nawaz Sharif, he said the “flop movie” (referring to Nawaz) had gone to London.

To a question, he said the overseas Pakistanis were an asset for the nation and particularly those living in the United Arab Emirates.

Around 1.5 million Pakistanis resided in the UAE, the biggest contributor in the remittances, and most of them were using the Roshan Digital Pakistan account, he added.

The minister said the overseas Pakistanis supported Prime Minister Imran Khan and he also stood with him firmly, and their combination would take Pakistan forward.

Fawad said 11 Pakistani films were being screened at the Dubai Film Festival and he was here to support and enjoy the Pakistani stuff.

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