Daily News Roundup

November 4, 2019

Print Email Facebook Twitter More Ash Barty wins WTA Finals over Elina Svitolina to claim biggest prize packet in tennis history
Image: ABC News

MONDAY, 4 November 

Ash Barty has claimed the biggest winner’s cheque in tennis history, beating Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-3 to win the WTA Finals title and a $AUS 6.4 million prize packet. 

Barty is the first Australian woman to win the season-ending showpiece tournament since 1976. 

The cheque would have been even bigger, at $6.8million if she had gone throughout the tournament undefeated.

It was Barty’s first win against Svitolina after five straight losses in their matches since 2017. 

Barty started the year ranked 271st in the world, a year after returning to tennis from a brief hiatus as a cricketer with the WBBL’s Brisbane Heat. 

This year she won titles in Miami and Birmingham, but her crowning achievement was her breakthrough major at Roland Garros in May and the world number one ranking was waiting a month later. 

The final two majors of the year were slightly disappointing, with fourth-round exits failing to elicit the same excitement as her Paris run, but the year-ending China swing saw her reach a semi-final in Wuhan and a final in Beijing before her record-breaking win in Shenzhen. 

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The washing machine repairman who became the lead suspect in one of Australia’s biggest child abduction mysteries has revealed for the first time how the ordeal “shattered” his life. 

Bill Spedding became the highest-profile person of interest in the police investigation of three-year-old Wiliam Tyrrell.

Despite an intensive police investigation and a record $1 million reward for information, no trace of William has ever been found with the case remaining unsolved. 

In an exclusive interview to air on Four Corners tonight, Mr Spedding, who was wrongly targeted by police, reveals how the investigation ruined his quiet life and destroyed his business.

“Up until this point we’ve had no life at all and we’ve basically got to restart over again,” he said. 

“It wasn’t just New South Wales. [The publicity] was Australia and worldwide, and that is damage that can never be repaired.” 

William disappeared from outside of his foster grandmother’s home in NSW’s town of Kendall on September 12, 2014. 

Mr Spedding had visited the home to repair a washing machine three days earlier. 

In August this year, an inquest heard it was likely William was abducted by someone who took him from outside the house in a car. 

Who that was still remains a mystery. 

Mr Spedding has taken aim at the police, including Gary Jubelin, who until recently was the lead detective on the case. 

“Gary Jubelin said to me ‘Mr Nice-Washing-Machine-Man, we’re going to ruin you’, he told Four Corners. 

“And at another point of time he [said], ‘Whenever they talk about William Tyrrell, your name’s going to come up as well. And when they’re talking about you, William Tyrrell’s name is going to come up’.” 

Police first asked Mr Spedding to attend the Port Macquarie Police Station a few days after William’s disappearance in 2014. 

He told police that on the morning William disappeared he had a coffee with his wife Margaret at a local cafe and went to a primary school assembly to watch his grandchild receive an award. 

It took police months to investigate his alibi. 

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Thirty-three people have been injured, including one Australian, when a Paris-to London bus carrying passengers from nine countries overturned in northern France. 

French authorities said the Flixbus vehicle slipped off a wet highway in the Somme region and landed on its side on Sunday (local time) as it took an exit from the A1 motorway, France’s busiest route. 

Of the 33 people on board, 29 sustained light injuries and four were seriously hurt, the Somme prefecture said in a statement, but the fire brigade put the number of serious injuries at five. 

Eleven of the passengers were French and 22 were foreign nationals including 10 from Britain, five from the United States, two from Romania and one each from Spain, Australia, Mauritius, Japan and Sri Lanka. 

The Munich-based Flixbus company, which operates low-cost bus services between major European cities, said in a statement that it was in “close contact with local authorities to determine the exact causes of the accident, and to take care of the passengers”.