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Tunisia’s Jabeur Becomes First Arab Woman To Reach French Open Last 163 minutes read

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Tunisian professional tennis player, Ons Jabeur, on Saturday became the first Arab woman to reach the fourth round of the French Open after defeating eighth seed Aryna Sabalenka 7-6(7) 2-6 6-3.

The 30th seed displayed her trademark court craft to undermine Sabalenka’s power as she surpassed her previous best third round showing at Roland Garros in 2017.

Sabalenka led 5-1 in the opening set tie-break, but a series of errors allowed 26-year-old Jabeur to snatch it.

Former French Open junior champion Jabeur’s level dipped in the face of some fierce Sabalenka hitting as the second set slipped away in little over 20 minutes.

But the Tunisian, became the first Arab woman to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final in Australia this year, by re-grouping and forging 3-0 ahead in the deciding set.

She also had points for a 4-0 lead, but Belarussian Sabalenka upped the intensity and the decibel level to stay in contention.

Sabalenka saved three match-points at 2-5, then had a break point in the next game but Jabeur remained composed as she brought up a match-point and showed great touch to angle away a short forehand, before sealing the win with a first serve.

“[It was a] tough, tough match. She really hits hard. She’s such an aggressive player. Actually she didn’t give me a lot of opportunities, especially in the second set,” Jabeur said after the match.

“I mean, I was serving for the set, but I don’t know what happened in there. Actually she was playing really good. To be honest, I had no regrets losing that game.

“But then I had to still do a lot of slices, drop shots, mix it up. I know that could bother her a lot. I’m so happy that that game really worked today.”

She added, “Today was [about] staying calm, to be honest. She was screaming, fighting every point… in some very important points. Especially when she got back at 6-6,” Jabeur said. “For me, I wanted to stay calm because I had no reason to be angry. I think that helped me a lot today.

“In the other matches I just wanted to play my game, like really enjoy on clay. Today, obviously the match was even harder. Tomorrow, it’s going to be also. I mean, after tomorrow is also going to be harder. I like how I play. I like how I mix it up. Obviously, I’m going to continue doing that. Hope the drop shot will always help me.”

Jabeur will bid for her second Grand Slam quarterfinal of the season in the match, having also done so at the Australian Open before being beating by eventual champion Sofia Kenin.

“I played against Muguruza in Hobart this year. It was kind of a tough match. If I play her, then I’m probably going for my revenge. Maybe playing on clay will be better for me. I like the way I’m playing right now, mix it up, doing all the stuff I want to do.

“Collins, I never played against her. She’s a tough player. Let’s see. I hope they play for five hours and get tired, and I’m going to be relaxing right now.”

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CAF President, Ahmad, Seeks 2nd Term

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The Madagascar Football Federation (FMF) has formally entered the race for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) presidency, paving way for incumbent Ahmad Ahmad to seek a 2nd term.

Elections into the office hold in March 2021.

Ahmad, 60, who was elected CAF President in 2017 was formally entered into the race by FMF in fulfillment of CAF rules which require any candidate to be nominated by his own association.

“I accepted to be a candidate while listening to the presidents of the federation, around 46 of whom asked me after receiving my assessment of my initial mandate,” Ahmad said.

Ahmad is deciding to stand again despite being the subject of an ongoing Fifa ethics enquiry, which has the potential to derail his bid and throw March’s elections wide open.

“As I have previously announced, I said I would pursue a second mandate if the need was there,” he explained.

Last week, all but eight federations on the continent gave their backing to the Malagasy to run again.

“This is an outcome of working together, of management which involves everybody, which has been happening since 2017,” he said.

At present, Ahmad is the sole candidate to have submitted a candidacy during the registration period, which ends on 12 November, since FIFA Council member Tarek Bouchamoui, who had wanted to run, has effectively been blocked from running by the Tunisian FA.

A bid could come from Nigeria FA boss Amaju Pinnick who refused to rule himself out of the race last month.

“It’s always good during an election to have a rival candidate, but we wait,” said Ahmad.

“I know that some people are awaiting other things unrelated to the elections – but as for the elections themselves, they all know they cannot beat me given I represent a group of people who want to go forward together.”

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Algeria Coach Belmadi Extends Contract With Desert Foxes

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Belmadi has signed a new deal

Djamel Belmadi has signed a new deal with the Algerian Football Federation as he remains the coach of the Desert Foxes.

Belmadi has signed a new deal to keep him as coach of the Desert Foxes until the 2022 FIFA World Cup to be hosted by Qatar.

The Algerian football president Kheireddine Zetchi said Belmadi’s contract extension was important following his achievements in a short time.

“When Belmadi arrived as the coach of the Greens, he had made no conditions,” said Zetchi.

“The national team was going through a difficult period and it is to his credit to have placed the recovery of the technical situation before any other consideration.

“With what he managed to do in record time and in the most beautiful way, it is logical that after the continental coronation in Egypt, we have reviewed his contract.”

Algeria currently sit on top of their Africa Cup Of Nations (AFCON) qualifying table, with six points from two games as they are on course to qualify for the tournament.

Brazil 2014 was the last time Algeria played at the World Cup where they reached the Round of 16, before losing to eventual winners Germany.

The Algerian coach is looking to take the Desert Foxes back to the World stage and also making an impact.

“The objective will be to give everything and believe in the impossible,” Belmadi said.

“When we have done the work, when we have qualified, the objective will be to win it.

“We will now speak seriously, the objective will not be to just participate, the players do not set any limits.”

Belmadi replaced Rabah Madjer as the coach of the Algerian national team, following his failure to lead them to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

In less than a year in charge of the Desert Foxes, Belmadi led Algeria to win the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.

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Hunt reacts to Kaizer Chiefs failed CAS appeal

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Hunt reacts to failed appeal

Head coach of Kaizer Chiefs Gavin Hunt reacts to failed appeal of his club to overturn a FIFA transfer ban.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed Chiefs appeal against a two-window transfer ban.

The Glamour Boys inability to register new players for two consecutive transfer windows has affected Hunt’s plans in his first season in charge of the club.

In the post-match press conference after Amakhosi’s 1-0 victory over Chippa United, Hunt reacts to failed appeal as he talked about the transfer ban.

“I’ve been working here for the last month under the illusion that it was not going to get turned over, and it didn’t, so I’ve got to make it better,” Hunt said.

“I’m going to try and improve the team by trying to improve the players.”

Chiefs were found guilty when they signed Andriamirado “Dax” Andrianarimanana in 2018. Andriamirado’s former club, Fosa Juniors lodged an official complaint to FIFA stating that Chiefs did not compensate them justifiably for the transfer of the player.

Hunt stated that he has no choice, but to work with the players he has at his disposal and get on with the job.

“I mean, obviously, we know there are certain players in certain positions where we lack, but it is what it is and I must just get on with it,” Hunt added.

“So, one step forward, we try and mould players the way I’m thinking and according to what I’m trying to do, and we’ll go from there.”

With the transfer ban upheld, Chiefs who have former Wits duo of Sifiso Hlanti and Phathutshedzo Nange training with the team, it remains to be seen if both players will continue training with the team.

Amakhosi are said to be interested in former Wits free agent, goalkeeper Brandon Peterson. Chiefs were also been linked with Thabang Monare and Deon Hotto, who have both joined Orlando Pirates.

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