16th February, 2021: 

The Olympic torch rally will begin in less than six weeks at Fukushima in Japan. This is to be done in memory of the Earthquake that caused a nuclear disaster in a nearby nuclear plant. On Saturday, Fukushima again faced an earthquake of 7.1 magnitudes on the Richter scale. For many, the earthquake was a painful reminder of the earthquake which struck the same area almost 10 years ago.

At the Australian Open, Serena Williams played superbly to win against Aryna Sabalenka. Serena’s last Grand Slam title was in 2017 at Melbourne Park, in the Australian Open while she was pregnant. Since then she has fallen short in four Grand Slam finals. Williams is aspiring for her 24th title.  She has won at least one slam in 14 different years. Her 23 Grand Slam titles are more than anybody’s in the sports Open era. This title would match the all-time record set by Margaret Court. Her coach opined that Serena does not need such records for validation. She would face Belgian Simona Halep in the quarter-final. If she succeeds to become the champion then she will be the first Australian to win the women’s singles since 1978. Spanish Superstar Rafael Nadal won against Italian Fabio Fognini in the fourth round of the Australian Open. In the post-match press conference, he inadvertently leaked news of Matteo Berrenttini’s injury update. It was later confirmed by the Australian Open. Berrettini has withdrawn from his match against Stefanos Tsitsipas. Nadal will face Tsitsipas in the quarter-final.

Ashleigh Barty has also progressed into the quarter-final. American Jessica Pegula, who is a daughter of NFL team Buffalo Bills owner, wins against Elina Svitolina. 

In the NBA, Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis suffered an Achilles injury. He missed two games last week with this same problem and he was forced out late in the second quarter of the game after a foul by Nikola Jokic. He left the game after scoring 15 points in 14 minutes. He will have an MRI scan on Monday. With this Los Angeles Lakers are now on seven-game streaks. Since Patrick Ewing, Pistons Veteran Mason Plumlee becomes the oldest player to record first career triple-double. Jazz has started a new winning streak and the Suns are chasing right behind them. Toronto, Miami, and Dallas all look like they are beginning to come back on track after sluggish starts to the season. Elsewhere, Daniel Ricciardo who signed a three-year contract with McLaren talked about excitement for his team’s new car and driver line-up.

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