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Pegula and Pliskova power through DDF Tennis Championships knockouts



World No 3 Jessica Pegula overcame an early scare to defeat qualifier Ana Bogdan by a score of 6-4, 6-3 and go to the quarter-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Bogdan of Romania defeated her top-ranked foe in game two and quickly raced to a 3-1 lead, but Pegula then turned on the jets and won five of the next six games to take the opening set.

Attempting to reach a second successive WTA final after her loss to World No 1 Iga Swiatek in Doha last weekend, Pegula remained on top in the second set, closing the match out in just one hour and 36 minutes to become the first name in the Dubai quarter-finals.

“She came out really intense so I really had to raise my level. I’m just glad I was able to come back in that first set and kept my focus,” said Pegula, whose parents own NFL team Buffalo Bills and NHL outfit Buffalo Sabres.

World No 3 Jessica Pegula is in the quarter-finals.

Madison Keys, a countrywoman of Pegula, kept up her remarkable form by defeating 15th seed Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 6-1, in just 57 minutes as she attempted to advance to her maiden quarterfinal in Dubai.

With a leg injury, Azarenka appeared to be having trouble moving, but Keys triumphed easily after stunning Caroline Garcia, the fourth seed, in the Round of 32. Keys, a Grand Slam finalist at the US Open, worked really hard to complete the task.

“Obviously not feeling well, but I guess I get to play another match,” said Azarenka. The 27-year-old stated, “I’ll use what I did today and do it again tomorrow. “The only thing you can do in a circumstance like this is concentrate on your own game and make your shots.”

Over on Court One, Karolina Pliskova continued her fine form at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, securing her place in the quarter-finals with a 7-5, 6-7, 6-2 victory over Anhelina Kalinina.

Admitting she feels “relaxed” in Dubai, 2015 runner-up Pliskova followed up her emphatic 6-1, 6-2 victory over No 6 seed Maria Sakkari in the Round of 32 with another solid performance against the Ukraine’s Kalinina, who dumped out 10th seed Veronika Kudermetova in her opening match.

Journalist for 25 years with leading publications in India and UAE such as The National, Mumbai Mirror, DNA, Indian Express and former Sports Editor of Now managing editor of, part of MEMc (


SkyPower and ZETDC Sign landmark power purchase agreements for Zimbabwe’s largest solar project



In a historic event at the World Future Energy Summit, SkyPower and the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) have signed Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), marking a significant milestone in the development of the largest solar project in the history of Zimbabwe. The agreements pave the way for the commencement of the Green Giant project, set to deliver 500 MW of solar power, capable of energizing approximately 2 million households.

As previously stated by His Excellency Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe: “My presidential commitment is to enhance our energy sustainability through renewable energy by collaborating with world-class companies like SkyPower. Today’s signing is a landmark achievement for our nation, setting a robust foundation for our sustainable future.”

The signing ceremony in Abu Dhabi was witnessed by eminent personalities including the Honorable Edgar Moyo, Minister of Energy of Zimbabwe, Lovemore Mazemo, Ambassador of Zimbabwe to the UAE, Eng. Abel Gurupira, Managing Director of the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company, Mr. Mazambani Edington Tapera, Chairman of ZERA.

“This is a momentous day for Zimbabwe, demonstrating our commitment to transforming our energy sector and ensuring reliable power for our people”, stated by Eng. Abel Gurupira, Managing Director of the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company. Kerry Adler, President & CEO of SkyPower, highlighted the project’s importance, “We are proud to kick off the initial phases of the Green Giant project at this prestigious summit. This partnership exemplifies our dedication to promoting sustainable energy development globally.

Upon completion, this project will stand as a testament to Zimbabwe’s commitment to renewable energy and economic growth.”

“The significance of today’s event cannot be overstated. As we align our efforts with global energy transitions, this project underlines our strategy to integrate renewable energy into our national energy mix significantly,” remarked the Honorable Edgar Moyo.

This accomplishment highlights the country’s favorable environment and underscores the exceptional teamwork and dedicated efforts from both parties.

This initiative is expected to boost Zimbabwe’s economy significantly by creating thousands of jobs and fostering infrastructure development. It is aligned with global efforts towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and enhancing the quality of life for millions of Zimbabweans.

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Dxb airport issues travel advisory, Emirates suspends travel procedures until midnight



Dubai International (DXB) is advising passengers not to come to the airport, unless absolutely necessary due to the unprecedented weather conditions in the country.In a statement, Dubai Airports said that flights continue to be delayed and diverted. Passengers are advised to contact their respective airlines for the latest information on flight status.

Dubai Airports assures passengers that they are working hard to recover operations as quickly as possible in very challenging conditions.

On the same note, Emirates Airlines has decided to suspend travel procedures for passengers departing from Dubai starting from 8:00 am on Wednesday, 17th April, until midnight on 18th April, due to operational challenges resulting from adverse weather conditions and road conditions.Emirates Airlines added that procedures for passengers arriving in Dubai and transit passengers will continue.

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UAE receives record-breaking rains, highest in 75 years



The UAE received the heaviest rainfall on record on Tuesday over a 24 hour period.According to WAM, it surpassed all records documented since the start of data collection in 1949.

The downpour impacted numerous regions across the country.The National Centre of Meteorology confirmed that the record rainfall that fell on the country during the 24 hours until 9 pm on Tuesday, April 16, 2024, is an exceptional event in the UAE’s climate history since the start of recording climate data.The centre said that, so far, the highest rainfall was recorded in the “Khatm Al Shakla” area in Al Ain, reaching 254 mm in less than 24 hrs.

It is noteworthy that the NCM’s Shuwaib station had recorded 287.6 mm on March 9th 2016.

This heavy rainfall is an exceptional event in the UAE that contributes to increasing the annual rainfall average in the UAE, as well as strengthening the country’s groundwater reserves in general.

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