** Call it national government, call it emergency government – but the need for change is urgent ** Rains lash Dhaka, trigger snarls ** Global Covid cases near 527 million ** No advice to be economical, honest people are already in hardship ** Flooding affects millions in Sylhet ** India, Bangladesh train services to resume shortly ** Global Covid cases near 526 million ** Gridlocks greet capital commuters ** Consumers buying rice from a Food Directorate's Truck posted at Abdul Gani road in the capital on Thursday amid soaring prices of essential commodities. NN photo ** Is Bangladesh heading toward a Sri Lanka-like crisis? ** Veteran journalist Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury no more ** Averting currency crisis without power sector reform ** Boatmen struggle to cross the Buriganga River as water hyacinths cover part of the river near Islampur in the capital. NN photo ** Nasir, two others indicted in Pori Moni case ** Covid-19: Bangladesh logs 22 new cases, no death ** HC cancels bail of expelled JL leader Samrat ** Truck-microbus collision leaves 2 dead in Natore ** PK Halder now wants to return to Bangladesh knowing he has powerful friends to help him ** Sylhet flood situation worsens, thousands marooned ** Extradition of PK Halder has to go thru’ legal process: Indian envoy ** Govt fixes toll rate for using Padma Bridge ** Bangladesh marks Hasina's homecoming ** Global Covid cases near 522 million ** Children take bath in the Buriganga River in Dhaka to ward off the scorching summer heat. This photo was taken from Buriganga embankment on Monday. NN photo ** Sweden takes formal decision to apply for NATO membership **

Imperious Barty marches on to Australian Open semis

27 January 2022
Imperious Barty marches on to Australian Open semis

Ash Barty (right) of Australia wishing well Jessica Pegula of the US, following their quarterfinal match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia on Wednesday. AP photo

Agency :
Shortly after booking a spot in an Australian Open semi-final for the second time, Ash Barty was on the phone to a close friend who had just achieved something even more remarkable on Tuesday night.
The reigning Wimbledon champion was on the verge of defeating Jessica Pegula 6-2, 6-0 when Dylan Alcott was announced the Australian of the Year.
Alcott reached the quad wheelchair singles final earlier on Tuesday when beating Andy Lapthorne 6-3, 6-0 and then flew to Canberra for a ceremony in his honor.
Barty, who will play another American Madison Keys in a semi-final on Thursday night, said the example set by the quad wheelchair champion was inspirational.
"What an incredible human being he is. He is an incredible athlete, second, but absolutely just an incredible man first," she said.
"The way he has impacted a whole nation has been absolutely remarkable and I could not be more rapt for him to be the Australian of the Year."
Barty is now within two victories of another defining moment in her career after a dominant display against Pegula.
The American was a quarter-finalist last year and entered the match with a straight-sets win over Maria Sakkari. But she was blitzed by Barty, who won the last nine games of the match.
"I think she's definitely living in everyone's head a little bit," Pegula said.
The world number one, who is seeking to become the first local since Chris O'Neil in 1978 to win the Australian Open, is yet to drop a set in this tournament.
The Australian walked on to Rod Laver Arena to a rousing reception, despite the stadium court being below the 50 percent capacity it is restricted to due to Covid-19 guidelines.
The crowd had just celebrated the elevation of past Australian legends Maud Margaret Molesworth and Joan Hartigan into the nation's tennis Hall of Fame.
But it was the modern-day champion they wanted to see excel and the local favorite delivered.
Barty is expecting a testing battle against Keys, who played superbly earlier on Tuesday when defeating reigning French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova 6-3, 6-2.
She has won two of her three outings against Keys, with the most recent in a quarter-final at Roland Garros in 2019, the year she claimed the title.
The 25-year-old is delighted that the former US Open finalist, who has suffered mental health and injury issues, has regained her best form.
"It is so nice to have Maddy back playing her best tennis. She deserves to be at the top of our game," Barty said.
The dual major winner was heavily favored when edged by eventual champion Sofia Kenin in a semi-final of the Australian Open two years ago. She feels like a superior player now.

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