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J. Konta gives Serena Williams worst defeat at Silicon Valley Classic

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Konta

Johanna Konta inflicted the worst defeat of Serena Williams’ career with a thumping first-round victory over the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion at the Silicon Valley Classic.

The British number one took less than an hour to win 6-1 6-0 in San Jose.



Williams, 36, had never lost a match without winning at least two games since turning professional in 1995.

“I tried to put aside the incredible champion she is and just play the player of the day,” Konta, 27, said.

“She obviously wasn’t playing at her best level, nowhere near it, and I really just tried to play the match on my terms.

“I felt I did better than her on the day but it’s still a humbling experience to be out here with her.”

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Williams, who only returned to the women’s tour earlier this year after giving birth, made 25 unforced errors to Konta’s nine.

“I think she played well in the second set and I think I wasn’t sharp at all in the first set and she got confident and she clearly ran away with it,” the American said.

Konta will play American teenager Sofia Kenin in the second round.

Fellow Briton Heather Watson was also a first-round winner, beating Claire Liu of the US 6-4 3-6 6-4.

She will meet Serena Williams’ sister Venus in round two.

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Morocco Get $2.9bn Credit Line Approval from IMF

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a $2.97 billion Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL) to help Morocco face unexpected economic setbacks.



The IMF said in a statement that the new PLL arrangement “will provide insurance against external shocks and support the authorities’ efforts to further strengthen the economy’s resilience and promote higher and more inclusive growth”.

The two-year credit line signed on Monday is the fourth of its kind between Morocco and the IMF.

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In 2012 the IMF approved a $6.2 billion PLL for Morocco, then in 2014 the global finance body approved another worth $5 billion, and in 2016 another $3.5 billion was approved for Rabat.

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“Morocco’s economic growth remains strong in 2018 and is expected to accelerate in the medium term, provided that external conditions improve,” the IMF said. However, the outlook remains vulnerable to adverse external risks, including increased geopolitical risks and the volatility of global financial markets, it added.

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Lionel Messi wins record fifth Golden Shoe award

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Barcelona forward Lionel Messi says he “never imagined having so much success” after being presented with a record fifth European Golden Shoe award.




The Argentine scored 34 goals in 36 La Liga appearances in 2017-18, making him the highest goalscorer in Europe ahead of Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (32).

Messi’s latest Golden Shoe award moves him one ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, who has won four in total.

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“The truth is I had no idea this would happen when I started,” said Messi.

“I dreamt of playing professional football and enjoying success, I love the game, but I never imagined I would have so much.”

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Tottenham’s Harry Kane finished third in the rankings with 30 Premier League goals, while former Real Madrid forward Ronaldo – now at Juventus – ended the season with 26 goals in 27 league matches.

Messi currently leads Europe’s goalscoring charts once again, with 14 goals so far this term, as he targets a sixth Golden Shoe award.

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