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Djokovic steer Serbia past Austria at Davis Cup Finals

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The 31-year-old Serb squandered a break advantage in the third set but recovered to convert his fourth match point and seal victory.

World number one Novak Djokovic has overpowered Dennis Novak after Dusan Lajovic battled past Gerald Melzer and Serbia went on to a 3-0 win in their opener against Group F hosts Austria in the Davis Cup Finals in Innsbruck.

Djokovic, aiming to guide Serbia to their first title since 2010 and second overall, made light work of his opponent as he dropped just six points on serve and did not face a break point while claiming a 6-3 6-2 victory in under an hour.

“I felt very good. I was locked in from the first point, determined to execute the game plan,” Djokovic told reporters on Friday.

“The crucial game was the eighth game of the first set, 4-3, new balls. I managed to put in a couple of extra returns, make him play, mix up the pace. After that, there was really no looking back. I just served well, moved great.”

Lajovic had a much tougher time against Melzer, the younger brother of fellow professional Juergen, as he was forced to toil for a 7-6(5) 3-6 7-5 win.

READ MORE: WTA: Chinese tennis player Peng’s call with Olympic chief is not enough

The 31-year-old squandered a break advantage in the third set but recovered to convert his fourth match point and seal victory.

“It is the Davis Cup. It is the emotions, the stress, the pressure. It is the tight moments all the time,” said Lajovic. “He played some good tennis in the past couple of months, and had confidence and showed it today, playing great tennis.

Nikola Cacic and Filip Krajinovic made it a clean sweep for Serbia with a 7-6(4) 4-6 6-3 win over Oliver Marach and Philipp Oswald.

Elsewhere, Lorenzo Sonego and Jannik Sinner secured emphatic wins in their singles rubbers to give Group E hosts Italy a 2-0 lead against the United States in Turin before losing the doubles dead rubber in straight sets.

Debutant Sonego got the Italians off to the perfect start with a 6-3 7-6(4) victory over big-serving Reilly Opelka with a disciplined display that included only one unforced error.

World number 10 Sinner, who made his debut at the season-ending ATP Finals this month, put the tie beyond doubt as he smashed 17 winners in a 6-2 6-0 thrashing of John Isner.

READ MORE: Tennis world concerned over whereabouts of China’s Peng Shuai

In Madrid, Feliciano Lopez and Pablo Carreno Busta helped holders Spain to an insurmountable 2-0 lead over debutants Ecuador.

Veteran Lopez breezed past Roberto Quiroz 6-3 6-3 before Carreno Busta fought back from a set down to beat Emilio Gomez 5-7 6-3 7-6(5) and secure victory for Spain.

Carreno Busta then returned for doubles action with Marcel Granollers and the Spanish duo earned a 6-4 6-7(5) 7-6(2) win over Gonzalo Escobar and Diego Hidalgo.

 

Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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Chief of Defence Force inducted into International Fellows Hall of Fame

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Chief of Defence Force Major General Abdulla Shamaal has been inducted into the International Fellows Hall of Fame at the National Defence University (NDU) in Washington, DC, United States (US).

Major General Shamaal received the award at the International Fellows Hall of Fame induction ceremony held at the Sydney Sheraton Grand Hotel. Lieutenant General Michael Plehn, the President of the NDU, presented the certificate and memento of induction into the International Fellows Hall of Fame.

Major General Shamaal is the first Maldivian to be awarded the honour. He and four others from four countries have been awarded the honour. He completed a Master of Arts in Strategic Security Studies from the NDU in 2012 and was awarded the Distinguished Honour Graduate of the course.

The International Fellows Hall of Fame was established in 1999. The purpose of the programme is to provide a prestigious and visible means of honouring NDU graduates who have attained through merit the highest positions in their nation’s armed forces, service component, or government, or who have held an equivalent position in a multinational organisation. The members of the International Fellows Hall of Fame are recognised in a formal ceremony on the NDU campus. Their photographs are displayed in Marshall Hall in the Hall of Fame area.

 

Source: psmnews

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Media urged to highlight nations’ joint BRI efforts

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A senior official underlined on Tuesday the important role of media in boosting high-quality cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative, urging international media outlets to tell about participating countries’ joint efforts to promote peace and prosperity, open, green and innovative development, and cultural progress.

Huang Kunming, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, made the remark in a video speech at the 2022 Media Cooperation Forum on Belt and Road, which was held in Xi’an, Shaanxi province.

Huang said that jointly building the Belt and Road was a significant initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping in line with the trend of global development and in answering the call of the times, with a view to advancing the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Since the initiative was proposed, infrastructure connectivity has advanced, the synergy of rules and standards has made progress and the bonds among people in countries involved in the initiative have been strengthened, Huang said.

The efforts to enhance Belt and Road cooperation have been deepened with fruitful results, and the initiative has become a global public good and a platform for international cooperation welcomed by the international community, he added.

Emphasizing the media’s important role in promoting the communication of information, enhancing mutual trust and building consensus, Huang said jointly building the Belt and Road is inseparable from the active participation of the media outlets worldwide as well as their sincere exchanges and pragmatic cooperation.

Looking forward, Huang expressed his hope that international media organizations will actively promote the perspective of civilization that features equality, mutual learning, dialogue and inclusiveness, make the voices of win-win cooperation heard and contribute to high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.

The forum was held in both an online and offline format. It was jointly organized by People’s Daily, the CPC Shaanxi Provincial Committee and the Shaanxi provincial government. More than 120 media representatives from over 40 countries and international organizations attended the forum.

By the end of March, a total of 149 countries and 32 international organizations had signed cooperation documents with China on jointly building the Belt and Road.

From 2013 to 2021, the volume of trade in goods between China and countries involved in the Belt and Road amounted to around $11 trillion, and two-way investment exceeded $230 billion, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

 

Source: China Daily

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Management plans to be implemented this year for two protected areas in Baa Atoll

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The Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve Office has stated management plans will be formulated and implemented this year for two more areas in the atoll declared as protected areas.

Baa Atoll currently has 10 protected areas, of which three areas have a management plan. These three areas are Hanifaru, Olhugiri and Mendhoo region.

The Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve Office revealed management plans are being formulated for two more areas, to be implemented this year. As such, management plans are to be implemented this year for the areas of Angafaru and Goidhoo Koaru.

Angafaru was declared protected on June 6, 2009. The protected area includes Dhonfanuthila, Dhiguthila and Mahaanagaa. The area used to be a breeding ground for both grey and white tip reef sharks. However, reef shark numbers have dramatically decreased from the site due to overfishing

Goidhoo Koaru, located on the northern side on the inhabited island of Goidhoo, was declared protected on June 5, 2011. This area has the highest biodiversity and largest mangrove forest within Baa Atoll. It is one of the largest mangrove ecosystems within the nation and has a high biodiversity population of mangrove associated vertebrates and invertebrates. This site is also a popular roosting site for migratory birds such as the Ruddy Turnstone and Northern Shoveler.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has declared Baa Atoll as a biosphere reserve for an additional 10 years. UNESCO has instructed the Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve Office to formulate and implement effective management plans for all protected areas in the region.

 

Source: psmnews

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