Amir Khan to appear during Jeddah Season

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Amir Khan’s appearance will be one of the highlights during the Jeddah Season festival. (AFP)
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Amir Khan’s appearance will be one of the highlights during the Jeddah Season festival. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 26 June 2019

Amir Khan to appear during Jeddah Season

  • The Fight Night will be the culmination of a special “Boxing Week” organized by the World Boxing Council in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Amir Khan, the two-time world boxing champion, is set to appear for a one-off Fight Night event at King Abdullah Sports City Arena, on July 20 as part of the Jeddah Season festival.

The Fight Night will be the culmination of a special “Boxing Week” organized by the World Boxing Council in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

It will feature appearances by Khan and others at a number of gyms across the region, including Fitness Time Gym, where they will engage in sparring demonstrations, open training sessions and meet and greets.

Saudi celebrities Qusai Kheder and Badr Al-Zaidan are also slated to attend.

Tickets for the Fight Night itself will be sold at Virgin Megastores and via the sharek.sa platform, as well as through Jeddah Season’s official website Jeddah.sa.

Raed Abu Zinada, the general manager of Jeddah Season, said: “Our aim is to organize activities that will enrich the lives of the community, as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 aims to contribute to the arts, culture, sports and entertainment.

“The city of Jeddah is characterized by a rich cultural diversity, an extended historical heritage, and a strategic location on the Red Sea coast, making it a cultural hub.”

Boxing has become a major attraction in the Kingdom in the wake of the country’s success in various foreign tournaments by its male and female boxers.

Jeddah Season is one of a range of Saudi cultural festivals to be held across the country this year, established as part of the Quality of Life Program, a key component of Vision 2030.


Djokovic survives scare as rain causes chaos at Australian Open

Updated 20 January 2020

Djokovic survives scare as rain causes chaos at Australian Open

  • World No. 3 Federer was briefly hauled off court while the roof was closed on Rod Laver Arena

MELBOURNE: Novak Djokovic survived a scare to join Roger Federer and Serena Williams in the Australian Open second round as heavy downpours caused chaos on Monday, forcing organizers to postpone a swathe of matches.

Defending champion Djokovic was made to sweat before beating Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff in four sets on the first day, when fears over air pollution were replaced by disruption caused by rain.

In the late match, defending champion Djokovic dropped his first set since 2006 in the opening round before recovering to beat Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (7/5), 6-2, 2-6, 6-1.

“There is a lot of pressure and a lot of different emotions involved. I definitely try to remind myself to stay present and really enjoy,” said the seven-time Melbourne winner, who brought up his 900th Tour-level victory.

While play continued at the three stadiums with retractable roofs, half of the 64 scheduled matches were postponed, ensuring a big backlog for Tuesday.

Wet conditions are unusual for the Australian Open, which is more used to extreme heat and was plagued by smog from bushfires during qualifying, when players suffered coughing fits and breathing problems.

Air quality was rated “good” as the first round started on Monday but about four hours later play was suspended on outside courts when the heavens opened in Melbourne.

World No. 3 Federer was briefly hauled off court while the roof was closed on Rod Laver Arena before returning to complete a routine 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory over American Steve Johnson.

Williams, on the hunt for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title, won the first set against Anastasia Potapova in just 19 minutes as she cruised to a 6-0, 6-3 win in less than an hour.

“I feel like I can still improve and get better throughout this tournament, for sure. This is a good stepping stone for right now,” Williams said.

However, Williams’ elder sister Venus was ousted in stunning fashion by 15-year-old Coco Gauff, who won 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 in a repeat of her first-round upset at Wimbledon last year.

Former US Open champion Sloane Stephens was the biggest women’s casualty on day one when she crashed out in three sets to Zhang Shuai of China — her fourth first-round exit in Melbourne.

Defending champion Naomi Osaka was done well before the downpour as she dismissed Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-4 in 80 minutes, smashing one powerful serve that broke a net fastening.

“It was really tough for me trying to control my nerves,” said Osaka. “It’s tough to play someone you’ve never played before in the first round of a Grand Slam.”

Later on the covered center court, Australian world number one Ashleigh Barty recovered strongly from a set down to beat Lesia Tsurenko 5-7, 6-1, 6-1.

In the men’s draw, Greek sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat Federer en route to last year’s semis, crushed Salvatore Caruso 6-0, 6-2, 6-3.

Player anger over smog dominated the final days before the tournament, which is taking place after bushfires ravaged large parts of Australia, destroying thousands of homes and killing 29 people.

Tournament officials are closely monitoring pollution and will halt play and close the three main stadiums’ roofs if particulate matter suspended in the air hits PM2.5 200.

In other results, Canadian 13th seed Denis Shapovalov argued furiously with the umpire over a code violation for throwing his racquet as he lost in four sets to Marton Fucsovics.

Croatian 25th seed Borna Coric was another first-round loser as he went down to experienced American Sam Querrey, while Australia’s Sam Stosur bombed out against Caty McNally.

But former champion Caroline Wozniacki, playing her last tournament before retiring, safely reached the second round as she beat Kristie Ahn 6-1, 6-3.