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Rome was the audience of a well-fought battle between two gladiators. The first round of the Italian Open 2020 saw Venus Williams going against Victoria Azarenka. The thrilling match on the clay-court saw Azarenka having the advantage and cruising to the next round as Williams was forced to bite the dust.

Victoria went into the game as the favorite to win the tie. Doing justice to the predictions, she won the game 7-6 6-2. Venus built some real resistance in the first set. However, she was completely dominated in the second set.

Before coming into the clay court, Azarenka showed some real game in the hard courts. She started off where she had left off. Although she faced a bit of difficulty due to the change in the surface of the court.

“Different surface was definitely challenging, but I feel like I adapted very well,” Azarenka said. “I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, I knew I wasn’t going to play a perfect game today, but it was all about trying to find the right intention of what to do today. I think it worked out okay.”

Tennis – WTA Premier 5 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy Venus Williams of the U.S. in action during her second round match against Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka |REUTERS

The Belarusian continued her stellar performance in Rome. Although she took the effort to appreciate Venus’s game.

“I felt that this was a great match for me to figure it out, the first match on clay,” Azarenka added. “Venus played a really good match, it was good to see her also adapting to clay, changing, and trying different shots. So, I’m pretty happy.”

Victoria Azarenka is in the form of her life

After conquering the United States, Victoria Azarenka is on her way to take Europe. Winning the Western and Southern Open and finishing runners up in the US Open 2020, she is in some dazzling form.

Before venturing into the French Open 2020, Azarenka is determined to polish her skills in the clay court. She took time to get acclimatized with the surface, however, she gathered herself brilliantly to fetch a splendid win.

Sep 10 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York,USA; Victoria Azarenka of Belarus reacts after winning a point against Serena Williams of the United States (not pictured) in a women’s singles semi-finals match on day ten of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports | Reuters

World Number 14 will be hopeful of clinching the Italian Open 2020 before she leaps for the Roland Garros. Her journey won’t be easy in the Italian Open as she will be facing Sofia Kenin in the next round.

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Italy repatriates female Islamic fighter and her 4 children

MILAN (AP) — Italian carabinieri arrested a female foreign fighter on Tuesday after returning her and her four young children to Italy from a displaced person’s camp in Kurdish-controlled territory.

The woman, Alice Brignoli, traveled in 2015 with her Moroccan-born husband, Mohamed Koraichi, and their three young children by car from their home north of Milan to Islamic State-controlled territory. Another child was born in Syria.

The children, now 11, 8, 6 and 4, were in foster care pending a decision by an Italian juvenile court. Authorities say Brignoli will face trial on terror-related charges.

Brignoli contributed to the radicalization of the children, turning them against the West and ‘’thereby embracing the cause of global jihadism,’’ Italian Carabinieri said in a statement.

Authorities say the children have family members in Italy and that their experience with other children returning from Islamic State territory — notably an 11-year-old Albanian boy Alvin Berisha who was brought back to Italy last November — has showed that indoctrinations can be reversed.

‘’There was a minimal amount of indoctrination — but no military training — enough to make them understand and agree with the choices that the parents had made. But as we have experienced with Alvin, they are small children and they can easily turn back,’’ Carabinieri Lt. Col. Andrea Leo told The Associated Press.

Brignoli came back to Italy willingly, “convinced it was the best choice after the conditions she had lived in over the last 5 years,’’ Leo said.

Authorities are hoping she will help them locate other Italian families they believe are still in former Islamic State territory.

After Islamic State lost its territorial foothold, Brignoli and her children were captured by Kurdish forces and brought to a camp for displaced people in Al-Hol. Koraichi was also in the camp as a prisoner. Authorities said he died this month from an intestinal infection.

After the family’s arrival in Syria, Korachi had received training, participated in fighting and was prepared to carry out suicide attacks, authorities said. Koraichi, who also held Italian citizenship, helped others receive authorization to travel to Islamic State territory, aiding in the recruitment and radicalization of at least two suspects who were arrested in April 2016 before they could leave Italy.

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