Aryna Sabalenka’s sweaty headband causes Australian Open fan fight

Two stubborn fans at the Australian Open snarled their way to 15 seconds of fame with one of the pettiest squabbles Melbourne Park has seen. A video showing two women arguing and tussling over an item of clothing near the front row of seats on Melbourne Arena on Wednesday is spreading across the Internet. The…
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Serena Williams Returns to Australian Open With Clinical Win

(MELBOURNE, Australia) — Serena Williams jumped straight back in where she left off at the Australian Open, returning for the first time since winning the title in 2017 when she was pregnant with her first child.

Williams conceded only five points in the first set and was completely clinical in a 6-0, 6-2 win over Tatjana Maria, another mom who lives close to Williams in Florida and visits for play dates with their daughters.

It was overwhelming for Maria, who got just two of her first serves into play in the first set and didn’t have game points until she held in the fourth game of the second set. She was in tears as the pair hugged at the net following the match, and Williams joined the crowd in giving the German player a clap as she left the arena.

“Yeah, I think the last time I was here, I was pregnant and playing at the same time — which is insane,” Williams said. “It’s kind of weird walking back on, by myself this time.”

Williams considers the 2017 victory here among the best of her 23 Grand Slam singles titles, giving everything that was going on. Since returning to the tour following the birth of Alexis Olympia, Williams hasn’t added to her list of majors, having lost the finals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

“Literally the best win of my career,” she recalled Tuesday in a post-match TV interview. “Just exciting to be back.”

At Melbourne Park, she’s now on an eight-match winning streak. She’s only lost one of her last 22 matches at the season-opening major, which she has won seven times.

The 37-year-old Williams said she loves to test herself early in the year after practicing “hard for that first hit.”

“I like to jump into the deep end and swim,” she said.

The 16th-seeded Williams will face either Eugenie Bouchard or wild-card entry Peng Shuai in the second round.

Madison Keys opened her season with a 6-2, 6-2 win over 18-year-old wild-card entry Destanee Aiava in the first match on Rod Laver Arena on Day 2.

“I expected it to be tough — obviously playing an Aussie on Rod Laver,” Keys told the crowd. “Thanks for the love, anyway.”

She broke Aiava’s serve four times and fended off the only break-point chance she faced. Aaiva, who was the first player born in this century to play in the main draw of a major when she got a wild card here in 2017, didn’t help herself with six double-faults.

The No. 17-seeded Keys has reached the semifinals or better at three of the last five Grand Slam tournaments, and her focus is on the bigger prizes for now.

“I was having issues with my knee at the end of the year (and) ran out of time to be ready for Brisbane — wanted to be 100 percent for here,” she said of her recent lack of competitive matches. “It’s my first match of the year, so mostly just happy I did everything pretty well.”

Seventh-seeded Karolina Pliskova won the Brisbane International title in the first week of the season and continued her streak by beating fellow Czech Karolina Muchova 6-3, 6-2 to progress to the second round. No. 12 Elise Mertens and No. 21 Qiang Wang also advanced.

Kei Nishikori is feeling a little bit liberated after having to come back from two sets down to beat Kamil Majchrzak in a difficult opener.

The eighth-seeded Nishikori won 10 consecutive games after losing the second set in a tiebreaker and took 15 of the last 17 games before Majchrzak retired with an injury with the score at 3-6, 6-7 (6), 6-0, 6-2, 3-0 at Margaret Court Arena.

“He was playing amazing tennis,” Nishikori said. “I have to be happy going to the next round — I almost lost in the first round, so I have to be positive and get better.”

Among the other men advancing were Ryan Harrison, who beat Jiri Vesely 6-0, 7-5, 6-3, No. 12 Fabio Fognini and No. 15 Daniil Medvedev.

Pierre-Hugues Herbert beat Sam Querrey 5-7, 7-6 (6), 6-3, 6-1.

The temperature was already 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) when play began on all courts shortly after 11 a.m. local time and it rose to 33 C (91 F) by the early afternoon.

Sports – TIME

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‘The Pain Is Too Much.’ Andy Murray Says Australian Open Could Be His Last Tournament

(MELBOURNE, Australia) — A tearful Andy Murray says the Australian Open could be his last tournament because of a hip injury that has hampered him for almost two years.

The three-time Grand Slam champion says he plans to start his opening match against No. 22-ranked Roberto Bautista Agut at the Australian Open, where he has reached the final five times but never won the title.

“I’m going to play (in Australia) — I can still play to the level,” Murray said. “Not a level I’m happy playing at — but also, it’s not just that. The pain is too much really.”

Murray had right hip surgery in January 2018 and, after two brief attempts to return to the tour, played only 12 matches in the year.

He returned at the Brisbane International last week, where he won his opening match but lost in the second round to Daniil Medvedev, showing visible signs of limping between points.

The 31-year-old Murray, who ended long Grand Slam droughts for British men and also won the Olympic gold medal, had hoped to play the first half of 2019 and make a run at Wimbledon.

“That’s where I’d like to stop playing … but I’m also not certain I’m able to do that,” Murray said. “I don’t want to continue playing that way. I’ve tried everything I could to get it right and that hasn’t worked.”

Murray held a news conference Friday at Melbourne Park, and had to leave the room for a while soon after it started to compose himself as he fronted the media.

He said he’s considering another hip operation, more to improve his quality of life than as a way to return to the top level in tennis.

The Australian Open starts Monday.

Sports – TIME

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Funniest dialect differences between British, Australian, and American English

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Ever since the British empire ruled over almost a quarter of the world so many years ago, the English language was always changing dialects all over the globe. Though very similar, there are some big differences between the three different types of English – Australian, British, and American. In addition to all that, accents can get confusing to every native English speaker for now and then. Many of our words remain the same and have the same meanings. Others have slightly altered spellings. Some, however, are used very differently.

Flannel

Americans and Australians use the word flannel to describe a shirt with a checked or plaid design, while Britons see a flannel as a small washcloth. These shirts are often described as checked or occasionally plaid in Britain. So, we’d advise not asking to borrow a British guy’s flannel, even if you just want a shirt.

Elevator

In Britain, an elevator is known as lift. While ‘lift’ to an American makes you think of weights or picking something up, in Britain, a lift takes you between levels of a building. Although to confuse matters further, Britons also use lift in the same way as Americans, in terms of moving things. Australians have the best of both worlds and use the two interchangeably.

Cactus

In both Britain and America, a cactus is a small prickly plant from the desert. In Australia, however, cactus means something completely different. To Australians, saying something is cactus means it is broken or not working. For example, a leaking washing machine would be cactus – very dissimilar to our meaning of the word.

Blue

In Australia, a blue most commonly means a fight and often, is a nickname for a redhead. This is because redheads had a reputation for being aggressive in the early 1900s, so redheads became known as ‘blueys,’ thanks to the local slang of blue meaning fight. In Britain, feeling blue usually means sad or miserable. In all three forms of English, however, blue is, of course, a color.

Hamper

Americans refer to a basket full of dirty laundry as a hamper, whereas Britain and Australia simply call it a laundry basket. A hamper in these two countries is more commonly a small wicker basket, usually used to carry cutlery and food for picnics.

Pants

In America, pants are the bottom half of our outfits, but in Britain, pants are called trousers. Pants are referring to a very different thing – undergarments. So, you’d get a very funny look if you asked your friend what pants they were wearing on a night out! Meanwhile, once again, Australians use the two terms interchangeably.

Whether you travel across America, Australia, or Britain, you’re bound to notice some pretty significant differences between the languages; from strange words and slang, to accent variations which make the language hard to understand. Thankfully, you’ll get the most part of the conversation, however, no matter where you travel of the three main English-speaking countries, due to the similarities and general familiarity of the languages.

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Australian Cult Brand Spell & The Gypsy Collective Lands in U.S.

Australian fashion labels, many of which are in the spotlight as Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, tours the antipodes, have long been popular in Southern California, where the climate and beach culture mirror the land of Oz.
Spell & The Gypsy Collective, the 10-year-old contemporary brand started by sisters Isabella Pennefather and Elizabeth Abegg, opened its first stand-alone retail space in the U.S., a pop-up at 1108 Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, Calif. Open through Nov. 25, the shop has attracted cult lovers of the brand, some of whom traveled from as far away as Florida and Canada just to shop.

The Spell & The Gypsy Collective pop-up shop on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, Calif. 
Rich Polk

“Because we’re slow fashion, we don’t make too many pieces so they tend to sell out very quickly,” said Pennefather, who started out in 2008 making jewelry that she sold at the open-air market in Byron Bay, Australia. When her sister, Lizzy, came on board a few years later, they expanded into clothing and e-commerce, and the business grew from there.
“I remember when we had a clunky web site and early bloggers such as Oracle Fox [whose given name is Amanda Shadforth] bought our things at the

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