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 …

An Open that will make its mark beyond the game and the course

After a 68-year wait Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland has the potential to prove one of the Opens more exciting backdrops with a politically historic significance Counterintuitive though it may seem the Open Championship, in its 148th staging and with a history stretching back to 1860 in Prestwick, has entered uncharted territory. Never before has this tournament been so defined by its venue. Significance of location far outweighs the most illustrious participants. After a wait of 68 years, a stretch marked for so long by grim societal realities, Royal Portrush is the Opens terrain once more. Tears will be shed as Darren Clarke strides forward to lash the majors first drive at 6.35am. Thereafter the competitive instincts of Rory McIlroy, …

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 …

Why do so many men think they could win a point off Serena Williams?

One in eight British men believe they could take a point off Serena Williams in a tennis match. Are they all delusional? She has a serve that once topped 128mph, has won 23 grand slam singles titles and is regarded by many to be the best female athlete of all time, Serena Williams. Good luck with that, tweeted Judy Murray. The sports broadcaster Catherine Whitaker tweeted: If youre one of the 12% you should be required to declare it on online dating profiles. Like a CRB check but for delusional morons. According to a YouGov poll, one in eight men in the general population, that is, not necessarily people who enjoy playing tennis said they thought they could win a …

Ben Simmons becomes Australia’s richest athlete with huge 76ers deal

Ben Simmons has agreed to a $A242m contract extension with the Philadelphia 76ers in the richest deal by an Australian athlete Ben Simmons has agreed to a $A242m contract extension with the Philadelphia 76ers in the richest deal by an Australian athlete. But doubt still hangs over whether the Melbourne-born NBA All-Star will play for Australia later this year at the World Cup in China and in Melbourne and Perth exhibition games. Simmons acceptance of the 76ers five-year, $US170m maximum contract extension had been expected. The Athletic, citing Simmons agent Rich Paul, was the first to report on Monday he had accepted the offer. It was Paul who shocked Australian sports fans on the weekend when he told ESPN that …

John Daly opts out of Open after R&A refuse to allow him to use golf cart

The former champion John Daly has withdrawn from next weeks Open Championship at Royal Portrush The former champion John Daly has withdrawn from the Open Championship at Royal Portrush next week. Daly said initially that he would try to play through the pain of degenerative arthritis in his right knee after his request to use a golf cart was turned down by the R&A on Saturday. However, the 53-year-old has since had a change of heart and has been replaced in the field by the American Kevin Streelman, with Rory Sabbatini now first reserve for the final major of the year ahead of Brian Harman and Martin Kaymer. Daly had been allowed to use a cart in the US PGA …

Can USA Swimming address sexual abuse without a Larry Nassar moment?

Can a sports governing body stop sexual abuse and make a culture change without that one galvanizing media-ready moment? As all sports try to address sexual abuse, USA Swimmings efforts raise two questions: Can a sports governing body stop sexual abuse without nonstop scrutiny from the media, lawmakers and the US Olympic Committee? And can prevention work best when that organization places some of its efforts toward educating parents and athletes themselves? The spotlight still shines most intently on USA Gymnastics, which remains in the news nearly 18 months after the dramatic courtroom scenes in which scores of survivors confronted Larry Nassar, the doctor who will almost certainly spend the rest of his life in prison. USAGs scrutiny continues with …

Women’s World Cup the best shots by female photographers | Picture essay

Our picture editor Jonny Weeks looks back at a captivating tournament in France through the work of six exceptional female photographers While the 2019 Womens World Cup brought global attention to the talents of the worlds best female footballers, it also shone a light on the skills of the many female photographers who cover the beautiful game. From their positions on the sidelines, theyve captured the joy and despair not to mention the many VAR controversies during the past month in France. Here are our favourite pictures from six outstanding photographers: Naomi Baker, Hannah Peters, Charlotte Wilson, Catherine Ivill, Maja Hitij and Marianna Massey. Click on the images for caption info.

How does Rose Lavelle’s goal compare to other World Cup final classics?

The USA midfielder sealed her teams fourth title with a wonderful strike. Here are a few other classics from down the years Rose Lavelle, the diminutive USA midfielder, the game-sealing goal with a marvelous effort. She meandered down the pitch and, with two Dutch defenders closing in, thumped the ball past Sari Van Veenendaal.

Miami Dolphins’ Kendrick Norton has arm amputated after car crash

Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton has had his arm amputated after being involved in a car crash in the early hours of Thursday. Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton has had his arm amputated after a car crash in the early hours of Thursday. Florida police said the 22-year-olds Ford F250 overturned after hitting a concrete barrier. His injuries are not considered life-threatening but his agent, Malki Kawa, said the player had his arm amputated. malki kawa (@malkikawa) With sadness, I can confirm that Kendrick Norton was in a car accident last night and suffered multiple injuries, including the amputation of his arm. We ask that you continue to pray for him. His family also asks that the public …

USA scrape past world No 79 Curacao and into Gold Cup semi-finals

Weston McKennies first-half goal gave the United States a 1-0 win over Curacao in Philadelphia to put the defending champions into the Gold Cup semi-finals The United States were outplayed during the second-half by 79th-ranked Curacao but managed to advance to the Gold Cup semi-finals with a 1-0 win on Sunday night behind Weston McKennies 25th-minute goal. The defending champions extended their Gold Cup winning streak to nine and will play Jamaica in Wednesdays semi-final in Nashville. The US reached the semi-finals for the 10th straight Gold Cup. Mexico and Haiti play in the other semi-final. Christian Pulisic captained the US for the second time and provided an exquisite pass for McKennies goal. The 20-year-old cut in from the flank …

Alex Morgan heads USA past England into Womens World Cup final

England are out of the Womens World Cup after a 2-1 semi-final defeat to USA, who remain on course to defend the title they won four years ago They have won new friends and influenced plenty of opinions during a transformative month in France but the Rhne was swelled by English tears as Phil Nevilles Lionesses proved second best to the defending champions. England head to Nice for Saturdays third-place playoff after yet more semi-final disappointment but with heads held high having played their part in a wonderful game featuring some particularly harsh luck. Foremost among it was the marginal offside which saw an Ellen White goal disallowed and, later, a penalty miss by Steph Houghton. Granted, the @guardian_sport Facebook: …

Wayne Rooney scores stunning goal from beyond halfway line for DC United

Wayne Rooney continues to add to his highlight reel in Major League Soccer. On Wednesday night he scored DC United from beyond the halfway line Wayne Rooney continues to add to his highlight reel in Major League Soccer. On Wednesday night he scored for DC United from beyond the halfway line for one of the best goals of his long career. The goal came in the 10th minute of DCs game against Orlando City. Rooney picked up the ball in his own half and say Orlando goalkeeper Brian Rowe well off his line. He proceeded to drive the ball over Rowe, and was promptly mobbed by his teammates. It proved to be the only goal of the game. pic.twitter.com/dJ5BriAOx3 Original …

Kevin Durant’s Nets move changes everything except the Knicks’ incompetence

Within hours of NBA free-agency starting, the NBAs landscape changed. So its reassuring that the Knicks still have no idea how to run a basketball team in a sign-and-trade deal for Durant. This is a brutal look for the Knicks as much as its a win for the Nets. Brooklyn have focused on building slowly, methodically, around culture and young talent since the hasnt seen championship confetti since 1973 27 years before most of 2019s draftees were even born doesnt have the pulling power the fanbase and local outlets have been led to believe. There isnt enough time here to include unwilling to offer Durant a max contract given his injury status. Dolan didnt want to pay Durant a maximum …

Baseball will pull crowds in London despite being a mystery to most | Matthew Engel

New York Yankees against Boston Red Sox will draw a bigger attendance to the London Stadium for each game than the weekends two Cricket World Cup blockbusters combined Nearly seven years worth of Saturday nights have passed since what was then Londons Olympic Stadium played host to an exhibition of British sporting magnificence which lasted a good half-hour. On Saturday comes the precise reverse: a weekend of something even more un-British than winning: the Yanks are coming to play the most alien sport of all. In the 1980s, suborned by Channel 4, a sizeable minority of British sports followers became infatuated with that strange sport for sizeable people, American football. Basketball, being simple to organise and economical on space, has …

I was punished for calling Sweden cowards, but now rawness is accepted | Hope Solo

I did not express myself well after USAs loss to Sweden at the Rio 2016. But US Soccer made sure it exploited my comments for its own ends This World Cup is about championing emotion especially in a lot of the marketing and ads surrounding the tournament. Nikes Dream Further campaign captures the emotion and drama of playing in a World Cup very well, with Joan Jetts Bad Reputation providing a badass soundtrack. Its great that kind of attitude is celebrated right now in the fantasy world of advertising and TV. In real life, its a little different. I have always been passionate about my sport and passionate about playing for my country. I wore my heart on my sleeve …