Tag Archives: threat

French Open under threat of being cancelled as Roger Federer dream hangs by a thread

French Open under threat of being cancelled as Roger Federer dream hangs by a thread
France president Emmanuel Macron has plunged the country into a third national lockdown which could have serious consequences for this summer’s French Open. Tougher restrictions will be enforced from Saturday following a recent spike in Covid cases.
France tennis chief Gilles Moretton is hoping the clay Grand Slam will go ahead as planned but there are fears of major disruption.

Last year the French Open moved from May to September because of the initial coronavirus outbreak.

Only 1,000 spectators were permitted into the grounds every day and the players were kept in a secure bubble.

With the roll out of the virus, there were hopes that this year’s tournament could be better attended.

But the entire event is now under genuine threat.

“At the moment, we are on track, the tournament is on the scheduled dates,’ Moretton said.

“But if we are told to lockdown for two months, we will have to take the necessary measures, the worst being the outright cancellation, but I dare not imagine that.”

Schools and non-essential shops will close and a 7pm curfew comes into effect from tomorrow.

France’s infection rates are seven times higher than the UK and there has been no end date given for the lockdown.

That leaves the French Open, which is due to run from May 24 to June 7, up in the air.

Moretton added: “We are studying a lot of options for Roland Garros 2021.

“There is a total range, or almost total because I dare not imagine a 100 per cent crowd level.

“But that can start from behind closed doors to a level that will not be 100 per cent. All the options with us are ready.

“We meet all the players regularly and we will have to wait to see how things turn out.”

The news leaves Roger Federer’s dream hanging by a threat as the 39-year-old may not get many more chances to try and beat Rafael Nadal on clay.

Only one of Federer’s 20 Grand Slam titles has come at Roland Garros; beating Robin Soderling in the 2009 final.

No tennis player has ever been as dominant on one surface as Nadal has clay, with the Spaniard racking up 13 of his 20 Majors in the French capital.

Federer had a three-year absence from the French Open and when he returned in 2019 he explained that his dream was to beat Nadal on the red dirt.

He was unsuccessful on that occasion, losing a brutal semi-final to his long-term rival.

Federer is not getting any younger and this may be his last chance to try and accomplish the most difficult challenge in tennis – beating Nadal at the French Open.

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes warned over Red Bull threat by Schumacher – 'I'm thrilled'

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes warned over Red Bull threat by Schumacher - 'I'm thrilled'
Six-time Formula One race winner Ralf Schumacher has urged Mercedes to make drastic improvements to their aero package in order to maintain their dominance over Red Bull this year. The Silver Arrows failed to live up to their usual standards during pre-season testing in Bahrain earlier this month, leaving the condensed three-day programme as the second fastest team on paper.
Max Verstappen’s best lap was over a second quicker than that of Mercedes, which was set by Hamilton on the final day of the weekend.

The seven-time champion also spun out on a number of occasions as a result of the German outfit’s dodgy rear end, influenced by this year’s relatively minor but influential regulation changes mandating alterations to the floor design, diffuser fences and rear brake duct winglets.

Schumacher, who is the brother of decorated champion Michael and the uncle of Haas rookie Mick, suggested that Mercedes have their work cut out in order to catch up to Red Bull before the first Grand Prix of the season this weekend.

He claimed that the Silver Arrows need to focus on improving their rear end, but conceded that they may have been sandbagging during testing, pointing out that much of their running was done with high levels of fuel on board.

“I’m thrilled with how good the Red Bull is,” Schumacher told F1-Insider.com. “Mercedes seems to have problems with the car.

JUST IN: Lewis Hamilton: Verstappen ‘fight’ is ‘exactly what Formula One needs’

“The rear end seemed very unstable. That’s why Red Bull is ahead for me at the moment. But it’s also clear that Mercedes hasn’t shown everything yet and drove with more fuel on board.

“They have to get the problems under control as quickly as possible now, otherwise it will be close compared with Red Bull.”

Schumacher claimed that the vast majority of Mercedes’ problems lie with the airflow over their rear wing, with its uncharacteristic instability playing a role in throwing Hamilton off the track.

“It looks as if the rear wing, which is extremely important for a stable rear, is not always optimally hit by the airflow,” he explained.


“So we’re talking about an aerodynamics problem. From my experience I know that something like this is not very easy to solve.”

Schumacher made 182 Grand Prix starts during his ten-year spell in F1, turning out for Jordan, Williams and Toyota with varying degrees of success.

He reflected on the struggles he faced with Williams at the start of the 2003 season, stressing that minor alterations can have a significant influence on a team’s fortunes.

“McLaren, the team that had to be beaten alongside Ferrari at the time, brought in new deflectors that Williams wanted to copy,” recalled Schumacher.

“Somehow it didn’t work as we wanted, the car was unstable and difficult to drive.

“In the first race in Australia I came into contact with another car and lost one of the wind deflectors. Then the car was suddenly much better and drove three tenths of a second faster per lap!

“After that, the parts on the car were no longer seen. That just goes to show that small parts can often have a big impact.”

Mercedes will be hoping to get back to their best in time for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, which gets underway on Friday with free practice at the Bahrain International Circuit.

World facing unprecedented threat of food shortages, UN agency warns

World facing unprecedented threat of food shortages, UN agency warns

Natural disasters, climate change, and grain and livestock diseases are exacerbated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on agriculture and food security, says a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization report.

The study highlighted that agriculture underpins the livelihoods of over 2.5 billion people – most of them in low-income developing countries – and remains a key driver of development. “At no other point in history has agriculture been faced with such an array of familiar and unfamiliar risks, interacting in a hyperconnected world and a precipitously changing landscape,” the report said.

“Agriculture continues to absorb a disproportionate share of the damage and loss wrought by disasters. Their growing frequency and intensity, along with the systemic nature of risk, are upending people’s lives, devastating livelihoods, and jeopardizing our entire food system.” 
Also on rt.com Covid pandemic could push more than a BILLION people worldwide into extreme poverty, UN warns
According to the report, from 2008 to 2018, billions of dollars were lost as a result of declines in crop and livestock production in the aftermath of disasters. Loss over the period amounted to $ 30 billion for sub-Saharan and North Africa, and slightly lower for Latin America and the Caribbean, at $ 29 billion. During the same period, Asia experienced crop and livestock production loss valued at a notable $ 49 billion.

The United Nations warned earlier that more than a billion people could be driven into extreme poverty by 2030, due to the severe long-term impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section


Lewis Hamilton sends Mercedes worrying warning over Red Bull threat – 'A different animal'

Lewis Hamilton sends Mercedes worrying warning over Red Bull threat - 'A different animal'

Perez, meanwhile, has admitted that he is “pretty excited” for the season to start, saying: “To say I’m ready, you have no other option.

“We just have to make the most of it and start step by step, be patient in the beginning and things will come to us.

“I have to say, the first Red Bull I’ve driven feels pretty good and certainly there is good potential in the car. I’m pretty excited. I think we’ve got a good car underneath us and the team is doing a fantastic job.

“As I’ve said, it doesn’t matter where we start in Bahrain, it’s where we finish in Abu Dhabi, so let’s go ahead step by step and it should be a good season for us.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sends Man Utd threat to Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea ahead of crunch run

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sends Man Utd threat to Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea ahead of crunch run
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he is out to wipe the smile from Thomas Tuchel’s face after a dream start to his Chelsea reign. Manchester United travel to Stamford Bridge on Sunday to face a Blues side on a run of eight games unbeaten and looking transformed under the German.
But United’s manager warned his side are hellbent of stopping Chelsea’s bandwagon and increasing what is a six-point cushion over the improving Londoners in the top-four fight.

“Thomas has done really well as it’s never easy coming into a season half way through. But hopefully we can stop that run, that’s my job now,” said Solskjaer.

“We know he has come in and it’s changed a little bit at Chelsea and it’s going to be a great challenge for us.

“But we have improved even though we’re still nowhere near where we want to be – higher up the table and winning trophies.”

“Anthony is working really hard to do well for the team and that’s what’s pleasing me every day in training,” said the United manager.

“He’s not going to sit down and wait for things to happen he knows he will have to make it happen himself. We know that he’s got the quality and class.

Solskjaer added: “Everyone goes through a difficult patch at times and Anthony I think we saw he is working harder against Sociedad, and that’s the main thing.”

Probable Man Utd team to face Chelsea: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford, Martial

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