The shock call comes after co-captains Jarrad McVeigh and Kieran Jack stepped aside from the role after several years at the helm. McVeigh and Jack will remain in the club’s leadership group alongside Nick Smith and Heath Grundy, while Dan Hannebery, Luke Parker and Dane Rampe named vice-captains. Kennedy claimed his third Sydney best and fairest in 2016 after an outstanding year filled with accolades, and has recommitted to the club until the end of 2020. “Josh is a highly-valued member of out leadership group who consistently sets high standards every week and is a significant driver of our team’s performance,” coach John Longmire said of the appointment. “There’s no doubt that his teammates feel his presence when they run onto the field with him — he’s got a rare ability to lift those around him.”The outgoing captains were also keen to pass on their congratulations to Kennedy, and revealed their motivation for stepping away from the top job. “We’ll be right beside Joey to help him along the way and we will be right behind out new vice captains, sharing our experiences,” McVeigh said. “This is about handing over the baton to the next group who will take our football club into the future. It happened for us — Craig Bolton stepped aside for me and Adam Goodes did the same for Kieran, so it’s a natural progression.”
French favourite Kristina Mladenovic skidded out of a storm-struck French Open on Tuesday, losing 6-4 6-4 to Timea Bacsinszky in a rain-interrupted quarter-final.Thirteenth seed Mladenovic had been hoping to become the first French champion since Mary Pierce in 2000, but never really clicked on Court Philippe-Chatrier.An opening set where both players struggled to hold serve was sealed when Bacsinszky hit her third ace, and the Swiss held her nerve in the second set to close it out.Bacsinszky, a semi-finalist here in 2015, will next meet Jelena Ostapenko as the Latvian’s dream run continued when she stunned former world number one Caroline Wozniacki.The world number 47 recovered from losing the first five games of a rain-ravaged match to outclass 11th seed Wozniacki 4-6 6-2 6-2 on Court Suzanne Lenglen.The 19-year-old, playing in the main draw in Paris for only the second time, is the first teenager to get to the semi-finals at Roland Garros since Ana Ivanovic in 2007.She will face Bacsinszky in the last four on Thursday when she will celebrate her 20th birthday.