When Katrina Allen left her comfortable London home to volunteer as a translator in Greece, she had no idea how life-changing it would be.
It’s on my sixth night on the Greek island of Samos that things really become tense. I’m at my apartment when the phone beeps: “Get down to the medical centre. There’s a massive fire in the camp.” It turns out that it’s the result of a fight breaking out between Syrians and Afghans over somebody jumping the food queue. Gas canisters are now exploding like bombs, echoing around the hillside. Hundreds are trying to flee the refugee camp, including terrified families with small kids, only to be tear-gassed by the police attempting to contain everyone. Later I’m told that a girl went into labour — thankfully, they managed to get her to hospital. Read More
With Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer choosing not to play, Novak Djokovic decided to travel to New York for the US Open. Here was his golden opportunity to win another Slam and get closer to Federer’s record of 20.
He hadn’t lost a match this year. How could he not win this tournament?
The world of professional tennis is in chaos right now.
The US Open grand slam, held over two weeks, is due to start on August 31. It’s going to be a very strange affair. No player entourages, definitely no ballboys handling players’ towels and, most significantly, no spectators. Read More
There was some debate as to whether the tournament would actually take place this year. The air was thick with smog from the bushfires during the qualifying, causing problems with breathing and one player even withdrawing part way though her match.
We played that game, two truths and a lie. We were drunk of course. Red wine rings on what had been a spotless white linen tablecloth, ash strewn where ashtrays had been missed. Someone had stabbed their fag into the butter. Lesley’s eyes flashed. No-one admitted to it. Not so funny now was it.
The big news of the fortnight was Andy Murray tearfully announcing his retirement. Exactly one year ago, he had surgery on his hip and never really recovered. He came back at Queen’s last June but was clearly not in great shape, pulling out of Wimbledon a couple of weeks later and hadn’t won any major tournaments since.
He lost in a tight five-setter against Bautista-Agut and didn’t appear to be hampered but who knows how he felt the next day. He’s hoping to make his farewell at Wimbledon but isn’t sure if he’ll be able to play without too much pain in the months prior. So this may have been his finale . Read More
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