Ons Jabeur in bullish mood ahead of Elina Svitolina clash in Dubai

Jabeur looked in good form in the first round in Dubai. (Getty Images)
Updated 18 February 2019
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Ons Jabeur in bullish mood ahead of Elina Svitolina clash in Dubai

  • Tunisian records first win over a top-30 player of the year with straight sets victory again Donna Vekic
  • Jabeur now faces defending Dubai champion Svitolina in second round.

LONDON: Ons Jabeur is confident she can challenge at the Dubai Tennis Championships this week after beating Donna Vekic in straight sets.
It was the Tunisian’s first win over a top 30 player this year and having set her stall with the 6-4, 7-6 victory Jabeur sounded in bullish mood.
Next up for the 24-year-old is two-time Dubai champion Elina Svitolina, and she said: “We know each other from the juniors. It will be tough for both of us — no stress for me I am going to do my best and hopefully go for the win.”
While Jabeur has not had the easiest start to the year — first round defeats at the Australian Open and in Doha last week, doing nothing for her confidence — this is the first year she is playing at the Aviation Club on merit through her world ranking, rather than a wildcard. And against the world No. 25 she showed that on her day she can be a match for anyone.
“It’s always a pleasure to be in Dubai I feel like its home,” the 
Tunisian said.
“It was tough in the second set but thanks to the support of the fans we made it through.
“(Donna) is playing really good, we played last year and she won, this is kind of my revenge. I am happy with this win. I am starting better this year than last year so I am going to look forward to playing more matches and win more.”
There is little doubting that Svitolina will provide a much sterner test. The world No. 6 is the defending champion and made the last-four in Qatar last week. There is, however, no doubting that Jabeur could have the weapons to upset the Ukrainian. The Tunisian is versatile and has a much different game from the rest of the field, her slice-and-dice game enough to trouble anyone not on top of their game.
“I am here on merit. It’s very important not on wildcard. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. I hope I can do the best ever in Dubai.”


Qatar in talks to buy stake in Leeds United

Updated 26 May 2019
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Qatar in talks to buy stake in Leeds United

  • QSI’s chief Nasser Al-Khelaifi was charged with corruption in connection with the bidding process for this year’s world athletics championships in Doha
  • Leeds United plays in the second tier of English professional football, the Championship, and will be Qatar Sports Investment’s (QSI) first venture into British football

DUBAI: Qatar is in talks to buy a stake in UK football club Leeds United, the Financial Times reported.

Leeds United plays in the second tier of English professional football, the Championship, and will be Qatar Sports Investment’s (QSI) first venture into British football. It currently controls France’s Paris Saint-Germain.

“Qatar Sports Investments will be entering English Football, and Leeds is the club of their choice,” a person familiar with the talks told FT. “Qatar has been looking into the prospects of entering English Football for the past two years.”

QSI’s chief Nasser Al-Khelaifi was charged with corruption in connection with the bidding process for this year’s world athletics championships in Doha, judicial sources said.

Al-Khelaifi, who is also the boss of Qatari television channel BeIN Sports, has been under investigation since March in a probe of the bidding process for the 2017 and the 2019 world championships.

French prosecutors are looking specifically at two payments of $3.5 million in 2011 by Oryx Qatar Sports Investment, a company jointly owned by Al-Khelaifi and his brother Khalid, to a sports marketing firm run by Papa Massata Diack.

Diack’s father Lamine Diack was president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) from 1999 to 2015 and a member of the International Olympic Committee.

As well as probing the world athletics championships the French investigation is also examining circumstances in which the Olympic Games were awarded to Rio de Janeiro for 2016 and Tokyo for 2020.

Prior to the decision to charge him, Al-Khelaifi had been questioned in March as “person of interest” in the case revolving around the 2011 payments by Oryx which were made at a time when Doha was seeking to host the 2017 world athletics championship and the 2020 Olympics.

Investigators were seeking to determine whether, in return for the payments, Lamine Diack used his influence to gain votes for Doha among IAAF members and also to obtain a date change for the competitions to avoid the heat of the Qatar summer.

(With AFP)