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Luciana Berger: Ex-Labour MP to fight London seat for Lib Dems

Chuka Umunna and Luciana Berger at the Lib Dem conference

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Chuka Umunna and Luciana Berger are both switching to new seats for the election

Former Labour MP Luciana Berger is to fight the seat of Finchley and Golders Green in north London for the Liberal Democrats at the next election.

She has chosen not to contest her current seat, Liverpool Wavertree, which she has represented since 2010.

Ms Berger quit Labour in February, blaming a culture of anti-Semitism in the party and personal attacks on her.

The Lib Dems came third in the London seat in 2017, but hope to do better due to their Brexit opposition.

The Jewish MP was a founding member of the Change UK party which launched in the run-up to the European Parliament elections in May.

However, she quit the party after its poor performance and joined the Lib Dems earlier this month.

In a letter addressed to her Liverpool Wavertree constituents posted on Twitter, Ms Berger says she made the decision with her husband, with whom she has two children.

“Balancing personal and and professional responsibilities is complicated for everyone,” she writes.

“As a family, we have had to make a decision about how best to navigate work and raising our young children.”

She adds they had decided to move to London after the next general election “after a great deal of thought”.

In a statement, Liverpool Wavertree Lib Dems said they regretted her decision to contest a different seat but “understood the reasons for doing so”.

Richard Kemp, who leads the Liberal Democrat group on Liverpool Council, said Ms Berger had been subject to “appalling anti-Semitism and gender bullying” during her time representing Labour in the constituency.

She has spoken of receiving thousands of anti-Semitic taunts online, as well as death threats.

An internet troll who sent anti-Semitic messages to Ms Berger and other victims was jailed for more than two years in 2017.

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AFP

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Ms Berger joined the Lib Dems earlier this month

Liverpool Wavertree has been regarded as a safe Labour seat since boundary changes in the 1990s. The Lib Dems came third with less than three 3,000 votes in 2017.

In contrast, Finchley and Golders Green is a marginal seat which has fluctuated between the Conservatives and Labour since it was created in 1997.

According to the UK Polling Report, the constituency has the largest Jewish population of any seat in the UK, with more than 20% of residents describing themselves as Jewish in the 2011 census. It is also a heavily pro-Remain constituency.

The Lib Dems had selected Clareine Enderby to contest the seat.

Under different boundaries, the constituency of Finchley was represented by former Conservative leader Margaret Thatcher for more than 30 years between 1959 and 1992.

Conservative Mike Freer retained the new seat with a 1,657 majority in 2017, an election in which the Liberal Democrats received only 3,463 votes.

Ms Berger’s move follows that of her fellow Lib Dem Chuka Umunna, who has decided to fight the seat of the Cities of London and Westminster, rather than Streatham in south London, whose MP he has been since 2010.



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Nine London Waterloo platforms closed by lineside fire

Nine London Waterloo platforms closed by lineside fire

Engineers outside Waterloo Station

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The fire has caused “significant damage” to cabling outside the station

Commuters have been told not to travel from London Waterloo during the rush hour after a fire closed nine platforms.

The lineside blaze damaged cabling outside the station, meaning trains cannot use platforms 16-24.

Network Rail said “significant damage” had been caused to equipment, meaning trains will be delayed or cancelled.

Disruption is expected for the rest of the day while the Thursday morning rush hour may also be affected.

Network Rail said its engineers would be working through the night to fix the damage.

Waterloo is the busiest and largest railway station in the UK.

The platforms which are closed are normally used by trains serving Windsor, Reading, Hounslow, Richmond and Kingston.

However, services from other platforms are also being affected because trains have to be diverted or revised.

  • Circular services via Hounslow, Richmond, Strawberry Hill and Kingston have been cancelled
  • Trains between Waterloo and Windsor & Eton Riverside are diverted via Kingston
  • Trains between Waterloo and Exeter/Salisbury are terminated and will restart from Basingstoke

Passengers were warned that services on other routes may also be subject to short-notice cancellations or delays.

In a joint statement, Network Rail and South Western Railway said commuters were “strongly advised to use alternative routes where possible and check their journeys before travelling at southwesternrailway.com for ticket acceptance and service details”.

Some passengers took to social media to express their frustration at the travel disruption.

One Twitter user described the situation as an “absolute shambles”, while others complained about being given the wrong or no information at all by train station staff.



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County Championship: Roland-Jones gives Middlesex control against Glamorgan

County Championship: Roland-Jones gives Middlesex control against Glamorgan

Toby Roland-Jones celebrates after David Lloyd is caught
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Sophia Gardens, Cardiff (day two):
Middlesex 384 Malan 166; Carey 4-54 & 189-5 Robson 73*, Simpson 56
Glamorgan 171 Lloyd 67; Helm 5-53, Roland-Jones 4-45
Middlesex (7 pts) lead Glamorgan (3 pts) by 402 runs
Scorecard

Middlesex have a formidable lead of 402 over Glamorgan at 189-5 in their second innings, going into day three in Cardiff.

Sam Robson (73*) and John Simpson (56) have strengthened the visitors’ grip.

Toby Roland-Jones (4-45) made the most of a helpful pitch as Glamorgan were hustled out for an inadequate 171.

David Lloyd’s 67 was the top home score, while Tom Helm (5-53) wrapped up the innings with his fifth wicket after his first-evening purple patch.

Lloyd shared half-century stands with Billy Root and Chris Cooke before the visitors’ seamers re-established control, as Glamorgan’s last five wickets mustered just 28 runs.

A lead of 213 runs was not enough to persuade Dawid Malan to enforce the follow-on, wanting to avoid batting last on the most bowler-friendly Championship pitch of the season in Cardiff.

Although Middlesex slumped to 85-4, they were never under pressure thanks to their first-innings lead, and the Robson-Simpson century partnership blossomed in the evening sunshine to grind down Glamorgan hopes of avoiding a first defeat of the campaign.

Glamorgan vice-captain David Lloyd told BBC Sport Wales:

“A very difficult day, they hit their lengths more regularly than we did, then we started well with the ball in the second dig but it’s always tough when you’re chasing the game.

“It’s a wicket where you have to be positive and get forward because it’s starting to go more up and down- it’s about looking to score rather than sit there and wait for things to happen.

“We’ve showed in previous games that we can battle draws out so you never know, we’ll have to try to bat the rest of the game and we can do it if we get our mindsets right.”

Middlesex bowler Tom Helm told BBC Radio London:

“It took a bit longer to get the fifth one than I had in my head last night, but Toby had four and I’m very happy with it.

“If you get the ball in the right area, the odd one zips through and it changed a bit from day one.

“There’s so long left in this game, we can bat for as long as we want and it’ll be interesting to see how the morning goes, they’ll come out fired up but we’ll see how we go.”

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Laurent Koscielny: Arsenal captain refuses to travel on club’s US pre-season tour

Laurent Koscielny: Arsenal captain refuses to travel on club's US pre-season tour

Koscielny has played 353 times for the Gunners and won the FA Cup in 2013-14 and 2014-15

Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny has refused to travel on the club’s pre-season tour of the US.

The 33-year-old France defender is out of contract at the end of the 2019-20 season and is a reported target for French clubs Bordeaux, Rennes and Lyon.

“We are very disappointed by Laurent’s actions, which are against our clear instructions,” said Arsenal.

“We hope to resolve this matter and will not be providing any further comment at this time.”

Bordeaux have reportedly offered Koscielny a three-year deal.

The central defender joined Arsenal in the summer of 2010 for a fee of around £10m.

A frustration that had been brewing for some time – analysis

BBC Sport’s David Ornstein

Towards the end of last season, Arsenal and Koscielny were in negotiations over a contract extension – most likely for an additional year on top of his remaining 12 months.

The conversation was progressing positively but then Arsenal were beaten by Chelsea in the Europa League final, a result that has had major repercussions for the Gunners.

As well as causing significant damage to their recruitment plans and possibilities, it also changed certain situations regarding existing players and none more so than Koscielny.

The 33-year-old is understood to have become increasingly discontent since his return in December from an Achilles injury, primarily over the management of his playing schedule and the direction in which he feels the team and club are moving.

While Koscielny was optimistic that Champions League qualification could lead to a better future for both parties – hence the contract talks – missing out exacerbated his misgivings and led him to decide the time had come to move back to France.

On returning from a summer break and with firm interest from clubs in his homeland, Koscielny informed Arsenal of his wish to leave and hoped his nine years of service and professionalism until this point would help achieve an amicable resolution.

However, Arsenal rejected the request and made it clear that they need and expect the Frenchman to honour his contract and be a key part of their squad in the coming campaign.

Emery is said to be furious with Koscielny’s refusal to go to the USA

Given that head coach Unai Emery was happy with Koscielny’s performance in 2018-19 and already faces other issues in central defence, the view was that he could only go if a bid landed that reflected his value and importance to Arsenal.

Koscielny argues that Arsenal are reneging on an agreement that would allow him exit as a free agent during the current transfer window, something the Gunners strenuously deny.

He is also thinks Arsenal have – or will receive – an “acceptable” offer, but some privy to the proposal admit that “acceptable” is subjective and others insist there is nothing on table.

When Koscielny told Emery in a face-to-face meeting on Wednesday morning that he would not be joining the team on their pre-season tour to the USA, the Spaniard was furious.

Arsenal’s head of football Raul Sanllehi later sent Koscielny a message expressing bitter disappointment and warning the player that not travelling would be in breach of contract.

Koscielny replied emphasising his stance and on arrival at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground on Thursday morning the captain confirmed he would not be boarding the flight.

He will be required to train alongside the players who are not on the America trip – mainly youngsters – with disciplinary proceedings under way to determine his punishment.

Arsenal officials are fuming about the situation, which from a sporting perspective gives them a headache in central defence – an area they were already looking to strengthen this window.

They are close to completing the 30m euros signing of William Saliba from Saint-Etienne, however the 18-year-old will be loaned back to the Ligue 1 side for the entirety of next season.

Meanwhile, Rob Holding is recovering from a knee injury and there are concerns over the development and readiness of Konstantinos Mavropanos to provide a credible option.

Arsenal are keen to sell Shkodran Mustafi but the German is under contract until 2021 and has no desire to depart.

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Westminster car crash: Salih Khater ‘wanted to kill many’

Westminster car crash: Salih Khater 'wanted to kill many'

Police in Westminster

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Reuters

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It was “miraculous” that no-one died as a result of the defendant’s actions, the Old Bailey has heard

A driver targeted cyclists and police outside the Houses of Parliament in an attack designed to “kill as many people as possible”, a court has been told.

Salih Khater aimed his car at members of the public before swerving towards police officers in Parliament Square, his trial at the Old Bailey heard.

His actions of 14 August 2018 were “designed to cause maximum death and injury”, the jury was told.

Mr Khater, 30, of Birmingham, denies two counts of attempted murder.

‘Terrorist motive’

Opening the case for the prosecution, Alison Morgan QC said the defendant first drove at cyclists waiting at traffic lights, before driving at officers guarding the side entrance to the Palace of Westminster and then crashing into a security barrier.

She said: “He caused widespread fear and chaos but miraculously, and contrary to his intentions, he did not kill anyone that day.

“Those who were faced with a vehicle being driven at them at high velocity somehow, and largely by their quick responses, managed to avoid death or very serious injury.”

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Julia Quenzler

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Salih Khater, depicted here at a magistrates’ court hearing last year, denies attempted murder

Ms Morgan told jurors Mr Khater’s reason for the attack was unclear.

But she suggested that by targeting officers guarding the Palace of Westminster, the defendant had a “terrorist motive”.

She added: “Using his car in the way that he did, driving in the manner and direction he did, the prosecution alleges that it is obvious that he intended to kill as many people as possible.”

Jurors were shown CCTV footage of the defendant’s silver Ford Fiesta driving at cyclists before crashing into barriers as two uniformed police officers dived out of the way.

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Met Police

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The silver Ford Fiesta allegedly driven by Mr Khater smashed into a security barrier

Footage also showed Mr Khater driving through Parliament Square at 01:00 BST, allegedly conducting reconnaissance.

He returned about six hours later and completed four laps of the square before launching the attack, jurors were told.

The Sudanese national, who was granted asylum in the UK in 2010, had shown signs of “paranoia” about British authorities in the months leading up to the attack, the court heard.

Ms Morgan told the jury: “The defendant selected an iconic site. This was no coincidence.”

Mr Khater has also pleaded not guilty to two alternative charges of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm.

The trial continues.

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Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea fans seek Uefa final changes

Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea fans seek Uefa final changes

Liverpool supporters are one of four groups calling for changes from Uefa

Fan groups from Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham have called for support from Europe to demand Uefa improve access to major finals.

The four clubs contested the Champions League and Europa League finals last season but issues around ticket prices and travel prompted heavy criticism.

The fan groups hope their six-point proposal wins approval by Football Supporters Europe (FSE) on Saturday.

FSE represents fans across Europe and can take the proposals to Uefa.

Liverpool’s Spirit of Shankly Supporters’ Union, Arsenal Supporters’ Trust, Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust and Chelsea Supporters Trust believe support from FSE is vital in trying to create change.

The groups say “supporters deserve much better when the finals are played”.

What are the six proposals?

  • Allocations: 80% of the total number of tickets for the finals should be made available to the supporters of the two competing teams (40% each) with the remaining 20% to be for sponsors, the football family, key stakeholders and a small general sale or ballot.
  • Affordability: Pricing for the finals should be fair and affordable, with at least 45% of general admission tickets priced at the lowest category of 70 euros (2019 prices). There could be a stretch pricing policy so there is a choice for fans.
  • Capacity: Only stadiums with sufficiently large capacities should be selected. This would allow more tickets to be made available for the fans of both teams as well as the football family. It is proposed the ideal capacity for a Champions League final is in the region of 75,000 or greater, and for the Europa League final in the region of 55,000 or greater.
  • Accessibility and facilities: Any stadium considered must have the highest standards on accessibility for people with disabilities including travel access to the stadium. Any stadium considered must also have sufficient food and drink outlets and washrooms for all supporters, the ability to operate an e-ticketing system and not have been subject to a Uefa charge for treatment of fans or crowd management within the last 24 months at the time of selection.
  • Infrastructure: Final venues should be cities with excellent transport links, including capacity to deal with many additional charter flights and, ideally, good rail links to other cities and airports within reasonable travel distance. There should also be bed space capacity to deal with an extremely high number of visitors.
  • Equality: Host countries should apply no discrimination of any kind to any player or to supporters who wish to travel to the final. Countries staging finals should guarantee to abide by a human rights and equality policy that includes ensuring no discrimination or restriction on entry is applied to any player or supporter.

Liverpool secured a Champions League final win over Tottenham in Madrid on 1 June, while Chelsea claimed the Europa League with victory over Arsenal in Baku, Azerbaijan, on 29 May.

In the build-up to the finals, supporters’ groups told BBC Sport they would raise issues fans were facing early in the next season rather than wait to see how teams reaching the finals in 2019-20 were treated.

Liverpool and Tottenham were given 33,286 of the 68,000 tickets for the Madrid final, with tickets appearing on resale website Stubhub priced from 3,450 euros (£3,012).

Arsenal and Chelsea shared just 12,000 of 68,700 seats for their final, with fans highly critical of the logistical difficulties involved with getting to Baku.

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Kelly Mary Fauvrelle: Family woken by pregnant woman’s ‘screams’

Kelly Mary Fauvrelle: Family woken by pregnant woman's 'screams'

Kelly Mary Fauvrelle

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Facebook

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Kelly Mary Fauvrelle was stabbed to death in south London in the early hours of Saturday

The family of a heavily pregnant woman who was stabbed to death her bedroom in south London were woken by her “screams”, police have said.

Kelly Mary Fauvrelle, 26, who was eight months pregnant, died in the early hours of Saturday and her baby Riley was pronounced dead on Wednesday.

Det Ch Insp Michael Norman said Ms Fauvrelle was the victim of a “sustained and vicious attack”.

He said police were yet to establish a motive for the “double homicide”.

The Met has also released CCTV which shows a figure walking towards Ms Fauvrelle’s home at about 03:15 BST on Saturday, then running away just over 10 minutes later.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionThe footage shows a man walking towards Kelly Mary Fauvrelle’s home, then running away

Det Ch Insp Norman, from Homicide Command, said whole Ms Fauvrelle’s family – her mother, two brothers, sister and sister’s baby son – were in the house on Raymead Avenue, Croydon, at the time of the attack.

“The family were alerted just before 3:30 in the morning by the sound of screams which was clearly Kelly,” he said.

“Kelly’s sister was the first person to go into the room, by that point there was no-one else there.”

He said police and paramedics did “everything they possibly could to try to save Kelly’s life and it was clear they were going to be unsuccessful” and then delivered the baby by Caesarean section.

Ms Fauvrelle was pronounced dead at the scene and the baby – named Riley by the family – died in hospital.

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PA Media

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Kelly Mary Fauvrelle died at the scene and her baby died in hospital

Det Ch Insp Norman said “we have to remain open minded” regarding a motive to the attack and there is a “need to build as complete a picture of Kelly as we possibly can”.

He said that Ms Fauvrelle’s bedroom was at the rear of the ground floor and there was a communal passageway so “potentially the obvious access point would be through the kitchen”.

“There is no sign of a forced entry but that does not mean, through accident, the premises were insecure,” he added.

Police said Riley’s father was not currently being treated as a suspect.

Local MP Steve Reed raised the murder in Parliament during Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions and said: “The police now believe this may have been a random attack by someone unknown to the family.”

In response, Prime Minister Theresa May said “we were all shocked when we saw this terrible act”.

A 37-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder has been released with no further action, while a 29-year-old man held over the same offence was bailed until a date in August.

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Kenya flight ‘stowaway’ body found in Clapham garden

Kenya flight 'stowaway' body found in Clapham garden

Kenya Airways

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Public domain

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The person is believed to have fallen from a Kenya Airways flight from Nairobi on Sunday afternoon

A suspected stowaway who is believed to have fallen from the landing gear of a flight into Heathrow Airport has been found dead in a London garden.

The body – believed to be that of a man – was found in Clapham just before 15:40 BST on Sunday.

The individual is believed to have fallen from a Kenya Airways flight from Nairobi, police said.

A neighbour said the man fell a metre away from a resident who had been sunbathing in the garden.

The man, who did not want to be named, said he heard a “whomp” so he looked out of an upstairs window and saw the body and “blood all over the walls of the garden”.

“So I went outside, and it was just then the neighbour came out and he was very shaken,” he said.

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PA Media

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The body was found in a garden in Offerton Road, Clapham

The Metropolitan Police said a post-mortem examination will be carried out in due course and his death was not being treated as suspicious.

Kenya Airways said the aircraft was inspected and no damage was reported.

A bag, water and some food were found in the landing gear compartment on the aircraft when it landed.

A spokesman for the airline said: “The 6,840km (4250-mile) flight takes eight hours and 50 minutes. It is unfortunate that a person has lost his life by stowing aboard one of our aircraft and we express our condolences.

“Kenya Airways is working closely with the relevant authorities in Nairobi and London as they fully investigate this case.”

It is not the first death of this kind on the Heathrow flight path.

In June 2015, one man was found dead on the roof of notonthehighstreet.com’s headquarters on Kew Road, Richmond, while another was found in a critical condition after they both clung on to a British Airways flight from Johannesburg.

In August 2012, a man’s body was found in the undercarriage bay of a plane at Heathrow after a flight from Cape Town.

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Ryan Babel joins Galatasaray after Fulham contract ends

Ryan Babel joins Galatasaray after Fulham contract ends

Babel played for the Netherlands in the Nations League this summer

Former Fulham and Liverpool forward Ryan Babel has signed a three-year contract with Turkish champions Galatasaray.

The 32-year-old Dutch international was a free agent after his contract at Fulham expired at the end of the season.

Galatasaray said Babel has received a £1.79m signing-on fee and will earn £2.24m a year.

After leaving Liverpool in 2007, Babel had spells at Hoffenheim and Ajax.

He has already played twice in Turkey, for Kasimpasa and Besiktas, as well as Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates and Deportivo de La Coruna.

He has won 57 caps for the Netherlands, scoring eight goals.

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Johanna Konta beats Maria Sakkari to reach Eastbourne International third round

Johanna Konta beats Maria Sakkari to reach Eastbourne International third round

Watch best five shots as Konta beats Sakkari
Eastbourne on the BBC
Venue: Devonshire Park, Eastbourne Dates: 23-29 June
Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, Connected TVs and BBC Sport website and app; follow live text commentary on selected matches. Full details.

Britain’s Johanna Konta beat Greece’s Maria Sakkari 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to reach the third round of the Nature Valley International at Eastbourne.

The world number 19 was 5-3 down in the second set but fought back to secure victory in one hour 37 minutes.

Konta, 28, will play Ons Jabeur in the third round after the Tunisian defeated Mandy Minella 2-6 6-2 6-1.

“There was so little in this match. I felt she was playing better than me for most of that match,” Konta said.

“I’m really pleased to have stayed tough and created as many opportunities as possible.”

Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber progressed by beating Sam Stosur 6-4 6-4 and plays Rebecca Peterson in the last 16 after the Swede saw off Lesia Tsurenko 7-6 (8-6) 6-4.

Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki beat German Andrea Petkovic 6-4 6-4 but the Dane faces a tougher challenge in the third round, where she will play eighth seed Aryna Sabalenka.

Second-set wobble for Konta

Konta had to save two break points in the fourth game of the match before a drop shot-volley combination saw her break Sakkari for a 3-2 lead.

Having taken the first set, the French Open semi-finalist appeared the more likely player to break through in the second set until a fall seemed to unsettle her and Sakkari broke to love for a 5-3 lead.

However, she was unable to serve out the set and Konta wrapped up the win in a tie-break with a forehand winner.

Earlier, France’s Alize Cornet knocked out Ukrainian fifth seed Elina Svitolina 7-5 6-2 in a match delayed by rain on Monday. She will play Zhang Shuai in the third round after the Chinese player saw off Daria Gavrilova 6-3 6-1.

Sixth seed Simona Halep enjoyed a straightforward 6-2 6-0 win against Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and plays Polona Hercog in the third round, but former US Open champion Sloane Stephens squandered a one-set lead against 2018 Wimbledon semi-finalist Jelena Ostapenko to lose 1-6 6-0 6-3.

Ostapenko will face world number 52 Ekaterina Alexandrova, who beat Belinda Bencic 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 6-3.

The Swiss 10th seed was playing her second match of the day after rain pushed her first-round game back.

Dutch third seed Kiki Bertens defeated Yulia Putintseva 6-4 6-1 and next plays Germany’s Anna-Lena Friedsam, who upset 16th seed Anett Kontaveit 6-3 6-4.

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