Arab star Ons Jabeur defeats former world No. 2

Ons Jabeur sent down two aces in her victory over Vera Zvonareva. (AFP)
Updated 20 July 2018
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Arab star Ons Jabeur defeats former world No. 2

  • Tunisian beats Vera Zvonareva 6-2, 6-2
  • Jabeur now through to quarterfinal of Bucharest Open

LONDON: Ons Jabeur claimed one of the biggest scalps of her career when she knocked former world No. 2 Vera Zvonareva out of the Bucharest Open.
The Tunisia ace had been pitched against the Russian in a tricky last 16 tie of the tournament on clay, but she rose to the challenge, winning 6-2, 6-2.
Jabeur will now meet another Russian, Polona Hercog, in the quarterfinal of the event which carries a prize fund of $250,000.
The win over Zvonareva will give Jabeur huge confidence as this was an opponent who reached the final of Wimbledon and the US Open in 2010 and who won the doubles at the Australian Open in 2012 and the US Open in 2006.

Zvonareva has since dropped to 142 in the world rankings and Jabeur was probably the favorite having risen to 123 in the world, but Zvonareva still boasted that big-match experience and it will do wonders for Jabeur's belief that she was able to put away a player of pedigree with such ease.
Jabeur's form in Bucharest continues the good run of form the 23-year-old has been on this year. She reached the second round of Wimbledon for the first time ever, pocketing £108,000 ($142,000) and becoming the first Arab woman to win a singles match at Wimbledon since her compatriot Selima Sfar in 2005. She also won a ITF $100,000 title in Manchester earlier this month without dropping a set.
Jabeur began the week with a straight-sets win over home favorite Irina-Camelia Begu, who was watched by world No. 1 Simona Halep.

 


Egypt’s retired football star sentenced to 1 year in prison

Updated 13 November 2018
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Egypt’s retired football star sentenced to 1 year in prison

  • Egypt froze Aboutrika’s assets in 2015 and placed him on a no-fly list in 2017 over allegations of links to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood
  • Cairo misdemeanor court said Aboutrika failed to pay 710,000 Egyptian pounds in taxes on income from ad deals

CAIRO: An Egyptian court sentenced Mohamed Aboutrika, one of the country’s greatest all-time football players, to a year in prison for tax evasion while also giving him the option to pay a fine of 20,000 Egyptian pounds, or $1,115, to have the sentence suspended.
The verdict, handed down on Monday by the Cairo misdemeanor court, was delivered in absentia.
Aboutrika, who has lived since his 2013 soccer retirement in exile in Qatar, where he works as a sports analyst for the beIN sports network, could not be reached for comment.
Under the law, the verdict can be appealed and if Aboutrika returns to Egypt, he would have to stand a new trial.
The court said Aboutrika failed to pay 710,000 Egyptian pounds — about $39,500 — in taxes on income from advertising deals with carbonated drink and telecommunications companies in 2008 and 2009.
Egypt froze Aboutrika’s assets in 2015 and placed him on a no-fly list in 2017 over allegations of links to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, which authorities have labelled a terrorist organization.
The Brotherhood emerged as the country’s dominant political force after Egypt’s 2011 Arab Spring uprising but was later purged in 2013, when the army, led by general-turned-president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi overthrew Muhammad Mursi, the country’s first freely elected but divisive president.
Aboutrika played for Cairo’s Al-Ahly club and was central to two of Egypt’s three straight African Cup of Nations titles in 2006, 2008 and 2010. Those triumphs made Egypt Africa’s most successful team with a record seven titles.
Aboutrika was dubbed “Prince of Hearts” and “The Magician” by his football fans.
But he also openly sympathized with the Brotherhood and publicly endorsed Mursi in his successful presidential run in 2012, a year after the overthrow of longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Egyptian pro-government media now refer to Aboutrika as a traitor but he still enjoys huge support from his football fans in the country.
Aboutrika has repeatedly denied ever funding the Islamists, who have been the main target of a fierce government crackdown on dissent led by current President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.