Daily Digest: Simona Halep confirms withdrawal from French Open with injury

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In today’s news: Simona Halep confirms she will miss out on Roland-Garros through injury, the women’s Varsity Match moves to Lords from 2022, and Kathreen Sterling becomes the first female Haitian boxer to qualify for the Olympics.

Simona Halep withdraws from French Open

World number three Simona Halep confirmed a calf injury would prevent her from competing at the upcoming Roland-Garros. She suffered the injury while playing at the Italian Open this month.

The Romanian earned her first Grand Slam title at the tournament in 2018, also reaching the final in 2014 and 2017.

“It’s with a heavy heart that I announce my withdrawal from Roland Garros this year,” Halep said. “Unfortunately the tear in my left calf muscle needs more time to recover and the timeline is just too short.

The French Open is set to begin on May 30th and run until June 13th, with Iga Świątek, Ashleigh Barty and Aryna Sabalenka among the favourites.

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Women’s Varsity Match moved to Lords

The women’s Varsity March between the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford will be played at Lord’s in London next year.

The cricket clubs of both universities are to work together to change the format of the event. It is likely this will comprise men and women’s Twenty20 matches on the main ground at Lord’s on the same day.

This decision was made following sustained pressure from the Stump Out Sexism campaign, which criticised this year’s Varsity Match. The men’s competition is to be played at Lord’s this weekend, but the women’s event is taking place at Wormsley in Buckinghamshire.

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Women’s Six Nations to remain on BBC

The BBC will keep broadcasting the Women’s Six Nations until 2025. It had shown the entirety of this year’s shortened version of the competition across its platforms, with the final between England and France screened live on BBC 2.

As part of the four-year broadcast deal, which starts in 2022, there will be unprecedented investment in the Women’s Six Nations.

Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said: “BBC Sport has led the way in increasing the profile of women’s sports, so we are thrilled to now include the Women’s Six Nations as a permanent fixture on our broadcast calendar.”

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Kathreen Sterling qualifies for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Kathreen Sterling revealed she is to become the first female boxer from Haiti to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, scheduled to run from July 23rd to August 8th.

“It brings me immeasurable gratitude, joy, honour, and pride to be able to share the following news,” she posted on Twitter. “No woman has ever represented HAITI at the Olympics in the sport of Boxing. The IOC confirmed yesterday that I am the first woman in world history to do just that.”

The American-born Sterling began boxing in 2016 and competes in the flyweight division.


Carla Ward appointed as Aston Villa manager

Aston Villa have named Carla Ward as their new manager after she stepped down from the same role with Birmingham City.

Ward kept Birmingham in the Women’s Super League, despite encountering a number of off-field issues. She will take up her position with Aston Villa in June.

Her new club was another to survive a dogged relegation battle. Once their WSL status was secured, Villa sacked previous head coach Gemma Davies. Assistant manager Jenny Sugarman and interim manager Marcus Bignot also left their roles.

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