Sports Flash

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Thursday saw the draw for the Australian Open main draw. Simona Halep, seeded 14th in the competition, will take on Magdalena Frech of Poland (WTA no. 105) in the first round. A finalist in 2018 and quarterfinalist last year, Halep, currently ranked 15th in the world, has only once won against Frech in 2020 in Prague, 6-2, 6-0. Sorana Cîrstea, world no. 38, will play Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, ranked 21st in the world. Kvitova leads 5-3 in head-to-head encounters. The two were pitted against each other in last year's edition of the Australian Open as well, in the second round, when Sorana won in three sets. The Romanian has won the last three matches against Kvitova played on hard court. Irina Begu will play Oceane Dodin of France (96 WTA) in the first round. Dodin won the previous duel in 2019 in the second round at Wimbledon, at the end of three sets. At her debut in the Australian Open, Jaqueline Cristian, world no. 73, will play Greet Minnen of Belgium (84 WTA). Gabriela Ruse, world no. 82, will take on Jasmine Paolini (WTA no. 52) of Italy. Ruse leads 2-1 in head-to-head with Paolini. Irina Bara could also reach the main draw should she win the match against Viktoria Tomova of Bulgaria in the last preliminary phase.

The crowd capacity at the Australian Open has been limited to 50%, due to the increase in the number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations in the region of Melbourne, the government of Victoria has announced. Face masks will be compulsory for spectators. Last year saw similar measures, while a five-day lockdown was introduced due to an alarming increase in the number of cases, which prompted organizers to ban crowd attendance. On Thursday, 953 patients were hospitalized, a record high, while over 220 thousand new cases of infection were reported in the state of Victoria. (VP)
Publicat: 2022-01-13 13:45:00
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