Monday, June 24
Ipswich-born Ashleigh Barty is on top of the world after a victory in the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham catapulted to the No 1 spot of women’s tennis.
Barty, 23, claimed the title with a straight sets win over German Julie Georges just one week out from the start of Wimbledon, with grass her preferred surface.
She took the Number one spot off American Naomi Osaka after racing through the Birmingham field without dropping a set.
The victory ended the 18-week reign of Osaka, the US and Australian Open champion, with Barty edging past the Japanese star, who was knocked out in the second round in Birmingham.
Birmingham was Barty’s third title of the season, including her breakthrough Grand Slam victory at the French Open and becomes the second Australian to hold this top ranking after Evonne Goolagong Cawley.
The unflappable and humble Barty, clutching her latest trophy, said she was “a bit speechless at the moment. It’s been a whirlwind few weeks for me, it’s been a whirlwind year.
“But to be able to follow in the footsteps of Evonne and even to be mentioned in the same sentence as her is incredible and what she’s done for our sport and Australians all around the world, she’s put us on the map.
“And what she’s done for indigenous Australians has just been remarkable.”
She also took the time to praise her latest vanquished opponent.
“It’s just been the most incredible journey for myself and my team,” she said.
“Jules (Goerges), I couldn’t think of a better person to share the court with. We’ve had an incredible week in singles and doubles. You’re one of my best friends on tour, you’ve always been there for me ever since I was just a little tacker running around annoying everybody.
“You always dream as a little kid (to be World No. 1) but to have this become a reality is incredible. It wasn’t something that was even in my realm this year — we were aiming for top 10. It’s a testament to all the people I have around me.
“I have the most incredible team of people who have been with me these last three years. We started from scratch three-and-a-half years ago without a ranking and to be where we are, it’s a massive, massive achievement for them.”
The French Open triumph surprised the world with Barty’s preferred surface being grass rather than clay. It was such a surprise, the former Wimbledon junior champion’s parents skipped Roland Garros to make sure they were at Wimbledon.
In addition to being the first Australian woman since Goolagong Cawley’s two week reign in 1976 to be ranked World No. 1, she is the first Australian of any gender to be singles World No. 1 since Lleyton Hewitt’s reign ended in 2003.
Barty will also be the 27th woman in 49 years to be ranked the world’s best player when she is crowned on Monday.
Meanwhile, another Australian sportswoman has hit the heights with Hannah Green clinched a stunning victory in the Women’s PGA (golf) Championship in Minnesota in the US, becoming the third Australian woman to win a golfing major title after Karrie Webb and Jan Stephenson.
The 22-year-old Perth native won by a single shot over Korean golfer Sung Hyun Park.
She was ranked 114th in the world before this week, where she took the lead in the opening round and held it for the rest of the tournament.
“I was pretty nervous playing the last five holes,” a tearful Green said after her win.
“I’m just really happy that I made a clutch putt because that [putting] was what was struggling through the middle of the round.
“To make the one on the last really is surreal.”
Green is a former Karrie Webb scholarship winner, and Webb — who has won seven major golf titles — was there to watch her this week.
“It’s amazing, I’ve always wanted to win in front of an Aussie crowd but even though I’m not in Australia [right now] that’s what it felt like today,” she said.
“To be winning a major as my first event [victory], I’m just over the moon.”
Judith Krantz, whose million-selling novels such as “Scruples” and “Princess Daisy” engrossed readers worldwide with their steamy tales of the rich and beautiful, died Saturday at her Bel-Air home. She was 91.
She was surrounded by family, friends and her four dogs.
Her son Tony Krantz, a TV executive, confirmed her death by natural causes on Sunday afternoon. He said he’d hoped to re-create the “Scruples” miniseries before her she died but it is still in the works.
“She had this rare combination of commercial and creative,” he said.
Krantz wrote for Cosmopolitan and Ladies Home Journal magazines before discovering, at age 50, the talent for fiction that made her rich and famous like the characters she created.
Her first novel — “Scruples” in 1978 — became a bestseller, as did the nine that followed. Krantz’s books have been translated into 52 languages and sold more than 85 million copies worldwide. They inspired a series of hit miniseries with the help of her husband, film and television producer Steve Krantz.
“I always ask myself if what I’m writing will satisfy a reader who’s in a plane that can’t land because of fog, or who’s recovering from an operation in a hospital or who has to escape to a more delightful world for whatever reason,” Krantz said in 1990. “That is the test.”
While her work was decidedly less than highbrow, Krantz made no apologies for the steamy novels with titles like “Princess Daisy,” “Mistral’s Daughter,” “Lovers,” “I’ll Take Manhattan” and “The Jewels of Tessa Kent.”
“I write the best books I know how,” she once said. “I can’t write any better than this.”
She filled her stories with delicious details about her characters’ lavish lifestyles — designer clothes, luxurious estates — and enviable romances.
And she spared no specifics when it came to sex.
“If you’re going to write a good erotic scene, you have to go into details,” Krantz told the Los Angeles Times in 1990.
“I don’t believe in thunder and lightning and fireworks exploding. I think people want to know what’s happening.”
The author was also famous for living a glamorous life that paralleled that of her characters. Her home in Los Angeles’ exclusive Bel Air community featured a soundproof writing room flanked by an immaculately kept garden. In her closet were many of the same designer-label clothes the characters in her books wore.
Air Canada is investigating how crew members could have disembarked from a plane without noticing a sleeping passenger who was left behind.
The airline was responding to an incident involving a woman who described waking up “all alone” on a “cold dark” aircraft after a flight to Toronto earlier this month.
“I think I’m having a bad dream, like seriously how is this happening!!?!”
Tiffani Adams recounted in a June 19 Facebook post sent by her friend, Deanna Noel-Dale.
The airline confirmed the incident took place but declined to comment on its disembarking procedures or how the passenger may have been overlooked.
“We are still reviewing this matter so we have no additional details to share, but we have followed up with the customer and remain in contact with her,” Air Canada told the Associated Press.
Adams wrote that after she woke up, she called Noel-Dale to try to explain what happened, but her phone died and she couldn’t charge it because power to the plane was off.
She said she was “full on panicking” by the time she found the “walky talky thingys in the cockpit”, which also didn’t work.
After no one saw the “sos signals” she made by shining a flashlight out the window, she unbolted a cabin door.
Facing a steep drop to the tarmac, she leaned out of the aircraft and called over a ground crew, who got her out.
The passenger wrote that Air Canada personnel asked if she was OK and whether she would like a limo and hotel, but she declined the offer.
She said airline representatives apologised and said they would investigate.
“I haven’t got much sleep since the reoccurring night terrors and waking up anxious and afraid I’m alone locked up someplace dark,” she wrote.
The AP attempted to reach Adams through Noel-Dale’s Facebook account but had not received a response by late Sunday morning.
Air Canada said in a Facebook response to the post that it was surprised to hear the story and “very concerned”, asking Adams to send a private message with her flight details.
“We’ll take a look into it,” the airline wrote.
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