Serena Williams battles burden of expectation before Simona Halep final

Both Wimbledon finalists will be fighting their emotions in what should be a momentous duel, with the American well placed for a 24th slam When Sabine Lisicki lost the final at Wimbledon to won the French Open last year and has reigned as No 1 in the world; Williamss story is familiar to all, a tale of alternating glory and struggle that would seem to have at least a chapter or two left. What they both share is a lingering fight with their emotions. Until Halep calmed her outer shell over the past couple of years, she was among the most volatile of competitors on the WTA Tour. Williams, as she admitted on Thursday after her best performance of the …

Simona Haleps show of power and belief helps her realise Wimbledon dream | Sean Ingle

Simona Halep has worked on her mentality as well as her groundstrokes and both were in fine fettle as she dismantled Serena Williams to win the singles title at Wimbledon It took 56 minutes into the biggest match of Simona Haleps career for her legs to go finally wobbly. But at that point her opponent, Serena Williams, was shuffling towards the net, head bowed and hand outstretched. And Centre Court was rising and roaring to salute a performance of staggering intensity. Watching on it seemed impossible that when Halep was a young child in Romania she used to cry before going on to court because she was so shy. Yet on the games biggest stage the tiny introvert was transformed …

Johanna Konta and Ashleigh Barty look to steal teenagers thunder

Seventeen-year-old Amanda Anisimova produced a stunning performance to defeat the defending champion, Simona Halep, and reach the French Open semi-finals The thunderstorm expected to rip through Roland Garros on day 13 will be forgotten soon enough if Amanda Anisimova and Marketa Vondrousova become the first teenage finalists in a major championship since 17-year-old Serena Williams beat 18-year-old Martina Hingis at the US Open 20 years ago. That possibility describes a cycle of change that Williams had strangled with her brilliance in compiling 23 majors, a run that has stalled since the 37-year-old grande dame of tennis became a mother in September 2017. She has not won a tournament since and her game has an air of anxiety about it. Her …