MELBOURNE – Seed slayers Belinda Bencic and Zhang Shuai were brought back down to earth at the Australian Open on Wednesday as they both failed to follow up their first-round exploits.
Swiss Bencic, who knocked out last year’s runner-up Venus Williams on a day of shocks on Monday, slumped to a 6-1 6-3 defeat by Thai qualifier Luksika Kumkhum.
Zhang, conquerer of U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens in round one, was also toppled by a qualifier in the shape of Czech Republic’s Denisa Allertova. Allertova won 6-4 7-6(5).
With 15-year-old Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk also getting through it means three qualifiers have made the third round in the bottom half of the wide open women’s draw.
Timea Babos, who put paid to the hopes of a third American seed, CoCo Vandeweghe, in the first round was in action later.
Luksika, ranked 124th in the world, produced a masterful display to beat the former world number seven Bencic and reach the third round of a major for the first time having twice reached the second round of the Australian Open.
Reporting by Martyn Herman;
Chloe Ayling’s ‘kidnapper’ Tells Court She Helped Write Her Own Ransom Notes Claiming Brit Model Was Snatched By ‘black Death Killer’
GLAMOUR model Chloe Ayling helped write a ransom note sent by her “kidnapper”, a court has heard.
Lucasz Herba, 30, made the claim as he gave evidence at his trial for the first time.
Peter Jordan – The Sun Luckasz Herba, 30, in court in Milan today. He claims Chloe Ayling helped write her own ransom note
Instagram Chloe claims she was drugged and kidnapped after turning up to a fake photoshoot
Mum-of-one Chloe, 20, claims she was drugged, bundled into the back of a car and held hostage for six days after turning up for a bogus photoshoot in Milan, Italy.
Polish-born Herba allegedly snatched her to sell her on the dark web as part of a human trafficking group known as Black Death.
She was released five days later but critics pointed to footage of her shopping with Herba as evidence the kidnap was a publicity stunt — a claim she has always denied.
Today giving evidence in Polish, Herba told the court: “The kidnap was planned but it’s complicated and not as the girl says.”
Peter Jordan – The Sun Herba enters court in Milan. The 30-year-old is accused of snatching Brit model Chloe last July
Herba arrived in court in Milan today flanked by two armed prison guards wearing the same blue fleece and jeans as he has since the trial started.
Prosecutor Paolo Storari asked him about an email ransom note sent to her agent Phil Green in which he described himself as a “medium-high level killer with Black Death”.
Softly spoken Herba sensationally told the packed courtroom: “That was written with the girl.”
The court also heard that after he was arrested last July Herba told cops and investigating magistrates he had kidnapped Chloe for a Romanian gang.
Ohrangutang Ayling allegedly shared a bed with kidnapper Lukasz Herba
He also said he had been diagnosed with leukaemia and needed the money for treatment and that was why he planned the snatch, it was claimed.
He had initially said Chloe was going to be auctioned as a sex slave for the Black Death group.
But under questioning from Mr Storari he denied everything he has told investigators during his interrogation.
Herba said: “It was all invented. I don’t have leukaemia. There were no Romanians and there was no Black Death group.”
When asked why he had described himself as a “CIA operative who had worked for Special Forces, private military agencies in Iraq, Afghanistan”, Herba told the court:”It was all prepared for Chloe.
“Chloe knows how things went. It’s not at all as she describes.”
Footage of Chloe Ayling showing police the isolated farmhouse at Liemme near Turin where was she kept during her kidnap was shown in court
The Mega Agency Glamour model Chloe claims she was bundled into the back of a car when she turned up for a bogus photoshoot in Milan
Earlier the court heard Herba had asked his brother to buy a gun and a large bag — telling him: “You know why we are going to use it”.
Emails recovered from his computer revealed the chilling message in the run-up to Chloe’s alleged abduction, the Daily Mail reported.
Analysis of Herba’s laptop also showed he bought two balaclavas that were sent to his home in the Midlands.
In a message to brother Michal, he added: “Buy a big travel bag. You know what you need, therefore it must be great.” Michal replied: “Okay”.
According to police expert Angelo Maria D’Archangeli, giving evidence in the Milan court, another message mentioned a semi-automatic weapon — although none were found by police.
Earlier, video shown to jurors captured Chloe returning to the bed she claims she shared with her alleged abductor in an isolated Italian farmhouse.
Chloe is pictured holding hands with alleged kidnapper Lukasz Herba the day before she was released. She denies the alleged kidnap was a publicity stunt British glamour model Chloe Ayling shows Italian prosecutors the ‘photography studio’ in Milan where she claims Lukasz Herba kidnapped her
Chilling footage sees 20-year-old Ayling, dressed in short jeans and a grey strappy top, walking detectives through the supposed hideout near Turin.
“This is where I slept with Lucasz,” Chloe says pointing to a double bed in the footage. “He was on one side and I was on the other.”
Gianluca Simontacchi of the Milan flying squad, said Chloe was “distressed” when asked to return to the farmhouse where she endured “physical and psychological violence”.
He added: “She was a little nervous and distressed to go back but she returned with her lawyer so we could film.”
Chloe is seen pointing out to cops where she shared a bed with her alleged kidnapper
Instagram Brit model Chloe was allegedly kidnapped as part of a £250,000 ransom plot
At the farmhouse Chloe described how she had been bound by her hands and feet with handcuffs.
Forensic toxicologist Angela Napolitano had said a urine sample for ketamine came back negative but a hair sample showed evidence of the drug.
Prosecutors say she was injected with the horse tranquilliser after she was snatched and a needle mark was found on her wrist.
During cross-examination, Ms Napolitano said it was not possible to establish when exactly the ketamine had been taken as it can stay in hair samples for up to eight weeks.
Brit Tourist Gored By Buffalo In Horrific Cambodia Jungle Attack After It Escaped From A Farm
A BRITISH holidaymaker has been left seriously injured after being gored by a buffalo in a terrifying attack in a Cambodian forest.
These horrific photographs show Fiona Childs covered in blood as she’s stretchered into an ambulance after being helped by villagers.
Viral Press Medics bandage Fiona Child’s wounds she suffered after the buffalo gored her legs
The 47-year-old came face to face with the giant water buffalo while walking to a beach on the island of Koh Rong Samloem.
The animal butted her and is believed to have gored her legs as she kicked out to protect herself while screaming on the ground.
Fiona was left with serious injuries to her legs following the attack and was rushed to hospital.
The animal was later tracked down by army and police officers, who said it had escaped from a nearby farm.
Viral Press This Facebook photo shows Fiona. far left, before the horrific attack
Viral Press Villagers and medics stretcher Fiona Childs into an ambulance after she was attacked by a water buffalo in the Cambodian jungle
Viral Press Fiona was left covered in blood and was rushed to hospital
Viral Press A path through the Cambodian jungle leading to a beach on Koh Rong Samloem
Alamy Fiona was attacked by a water buffalo, which are said to be placid
The buffalo’s owner apparently offered to let soldiers “kill, kill, kill” the beast while also agreeing to cover Fiona’s medical expenses.
Fiona, originally from Crawley, West Sussex, arrived in the capital Phnom Penh on Saturday, according to visa documents shown to reporters.
She then made the four-hour car journey to the coast before moving to the idyllic island.
She was walking through a jungle towards a beach when she was attacked on a footpath at around 10.20am on Monday.
She suffered injuries to both her shins and her thighs which police believe were sustained as she lay on the ground and tried to fend off the animal.
She was taken to hospital in Sihanoukville, a coastal city on the mainland.
Viral Press Fiona was taken to hospital in Sihanoukville, a coastal city on the mainland
Viral Press This is the idyllic island where the tourist was attacked by the beast
According to expats in the region, the animal was a male water buffalo that had been wandering around the jungle and beach for some two weeks and it had charged at locals ten days ago.
While normally placid, water buffalo can become incredibly aggressive if provoked or if they are protecting their young.
Pol Phosda, chief of Sihanoukville Police, said: ”Military forces found and caught the buffalo. It’s hard to punish the owner because it was unintentional and out of his control.
“Now he’s responsible for paying for the victim’s medical expenses and he’s also willing to let the forces put the animal down if necessary.
“It’s hard to blame the owner because raising animals is part of their livelihood.”
Britain Still Wants Brexit Implementation Phase Of Around Two Years Source
LONDON – Britain still wants an implementation phase with the European Union of around two years, a government source said on Wednesday, saying there was no change in the government’s Brexit policy.
The EU has said it wants the transition phase after Brexit to end no later than Dec. 31, 2020, which would coincide with the end of the EU’s current seven-year budget period.
“The EU wants a transition of 21 months, we want a period of around 24 months,” the source said, adding that Prime Minister Theresa May has previously ruled out the implementation phase dragging on beyond the around two-year period.
Reporting by Elizabeth Piper.
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