New ballot planned

New Muirfield vote; Konta falls to Williams

MuirfieldMuirfield Golf Club members will vote again in the next fortnight on whether women can be admitted.

The male-only policy at the Open venue drew widespread controversy last year, and a vote fell short of the majority required to change membership policy.

The R&A, which runs the game, said it would not stage another Open Championship because of the exclusion of women.

A new ballot is now being organised with a decision expected in early March.

Run by The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, the links course in East Lothian last hosted the Open in 2013.


Australian Open: Britain’s Johanna Konta was knocked out by six-times champion Serena Williams who remains on course to claim her 23rd Grand Slam title.

The American, 35, won the quarter final 6-2 6-3 in her first meeting with Konta and will next play unseeded Croat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, who beat fifth seed Czech Karolina Pliskova 6-4 3-6 6-4.

Four-time champion Roger Federer defeated unseeded Mischa Zverev in straight sets in 92 minutes.

The 35-year-old reached the last four for a 13th time with a 6-1 7-5 6-2 win over Andy Murray’s conqueror.

Federer is seeded 17th and is chasing an 18th Grand Slam title. In the semi final he will play his compatriot and fourth seed Stan Wawrinka who beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 6-2.

Rafael Nadal reached his first Grand Slam semi-final since 2014 with a 6-4 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 victory over Canada’s third seed Milos Raonic.

The 14-time Grand Slam winner, who has been troubled by injuries in recent years, faces 15th seed Grigor Dimitrov on Friday after the Bulgarian beat David Goffin.

The Spaniard, 30, remains on course to meet Federer in Sunday’s final.

Wheelchair singles champion Gordon Reid is also out of the tournament.

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