Wimbledon, Jul 14 (AP/UNB) — The newest champion at Wimbledon is a big fan of the All England Club's oldest traditions.
The tennis whites, the strict rules, even the green grass. And the flowers. Don't forget the thousands of blooming petals dotted around the grounds in the very Wimbledon shades of purple, green and white.
"I love flowers. The colors," gasped Halep, speaking a short time after winning her second major title on Saturday by denying Serena Williams her 24th. "The people, they are very well dressed. The elegance of everywhere you go."
Halep wasn't exactly dressed for Sunday night's Champions Dinner while speaking to a small group of reporters following her 6-2, 6-2 victory, but she was wearing something that was even more special to her.
Her brand new Wimbledon member's badge.
"Looks good," said the 27-year-old Romanian, brushing her hand over the round, purple button newly pinned to her gray sweat jacket.
"Everything makes this tournament very special," Halep added. "I never thought I'd be able to win on grass so when I did it, makes it huge."
Halep grew up playing mainly on clay, a slower surface that usually results in longer rallies on each point. She never used to feel comfortable on grass, she said, partly because she hardly ever got to play on it.
But things have changed in recent years, and the former No. 1 on the women's tour made a conscious effort to improve her grass-court game. She made the semifinals at Wimbledon back in 2014, but lost in the first round a year later.
To succeed now, she knew she had to change her mindset. To be more aggressive.
"I like to be defensive, but here you have no chance if you are defensive," said Halep, who also won last year's French Open title. "And then the serve, which was very important the whole tournament."
Another important aspect in Saturday's final was handling her nerves against a player who had won the Wimbledon title on seven previous occasions and was looking to equal the all-time record of 24 majors overall.
Halep managed to do that, too, but said there was still more to be done, more issues to overcome.
"I had to play perfect to be able to win against her," said Halep, who did just that, playing about as perfect as one can on that giant stage, with the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex looking on from the Royal Box.
Williams has a big serve and hits the ball hard from anywhere on court. Halep got to almost all of them, and returned them cleanly, too.
She finished with only three unforced errors in the entire match, the fewest in a final since records started being kept at Wimbledon in 1998. Williams, on the other hand, committed 26 unforced errors — double digits in each set.
Watching it all unfold from the players' box was Halep's mother, who had years ago goaded her daughter into wanting to get to the Wimbledon final. But for Mrs. Halep, it wasn't really about the game itself.
"She has no idea about tennis," Halep said, hazarding a guess as to what made her mother mention Wimbledon to her all those years ago. "Maybe the fact that you're playing in front of the Royal Box, royal family, made her feel special. That's why she told me back then that it's going to be awesome and the most beautiful thing to play a final. She didn't say to win it.
"Now I made it more special."
England, July 14 (AP/UNB) — It'll either be Wimbledon championship No. 9 for Roger Federer or No. 5 for Novak Djokovic when they meet in the final.
This is the pair's third meeting in the title match at the All England Club. Djokovic won both of those previous matchups, in 2014 and 2015.
Federer, who is 37, is going for his 21st Grand Slam trophy overall on Sunday, while the 32-year-old Djokovic is playing for his 16th.
They have played each other 47 times already, with Djokovic holding a 25-22 head-to-head edge. This is also their 16th showdown at a major tournament — the most between any two men in the professional era — and Djokovic leads that count 9-6 so far.
Dhaka, July 14 (UNB) - Britain's former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury says helping to "save lives" is a better feeling than anything he has achieved in boxing, reports BBC.
Fury, 30, has openly discussed his struggles with mental health, drugs and alcohol since returning to the ring in 2018.
He said people have flown from Korea and the US to hear him speak about his comeback on a UK speaking tour.
"You will not believe the amount of people I'm helping," he told BBC Sport.
"It really does humble me now for people to say to me you saved my son's, daughter's or wife's life.
"It feels amazing and is a better feeling than beating all those fighters I have fought, 10 times over."
Fury spent two and a half years out of the ring following his superb win over Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 to claim the IBF, WBO and WBA titles.
During that time he gained 10st in weight, suffered from mental health issues and considered suicide.
Since returning in June 2018, he has landed three wins and shared an enthralling draw with American WBC world champion Deontay Wilder in December, rising from the canvas after a huge knockdown in the final round.
Speaking before Saturday's British title fight between Daniel Dubois and Nathan Gorman at the O2 in London, Fury said: "I saw myself knocked out by Wilder in round 12 but that man rose to his feet for a purpose.
"I know the purpose now - to put out the reaching hand of help.
"You will not believe the amount of people who randomly turn up to the house, send a letter or turn up to the tour.
"It's not a sport. I am helping for the good of people, which makes me feel good."
Fury said he has been training consistently since beating Germany's Tom Schwarz in Las Vegas on 15 June, a show he described as "sensational".
He expects to fight in New York in October and said an agreement is in place to face Wilder again on 22 February.
Dhaka, July 14 (UNB) - Simona Halep won her first Wimbledon title and crushed Serena Williams' latest bid for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam success with a devastating 56-minute display of athleticism, reports BBC.
The Romanian won 6-2 6-2 in front of an incredulous Centre Court, running after everything the American threw at her.
"It was my best match," the 27-year-old said after her second Grand Slam title following her 2018 French Open success.
For 37-year-old Williams, it was a third major final defeat in 12 months.
"She played out of her mind, it was a little bit deer in the headlights for me," she said.
Halep shows no nerves as expectation weighs on Williams
Williams, like in last year's final defeat by Angelique Kerber, seemed weighed down by public and personal expectations as she quickly fell 4-0 behind in the opening set.
Halep had said beforehand that she had no pressure on her and that is exactly how she played.
From the outset she looked relaxed and confident, attacking the Williams serve and keeping the rallies long and deep to force the American into errors.
While Williams closed her eyes at changeovers to try to regroup, Halep kept her eyes on the prize and kept her cool to take the victory on her second match point, when the American sent a forehand into the net.
Halep's level never dropped in an almost perfect display in which she made just three unforced errors to Williams' 26.
"I knew that I have to be aggressive, be 100% for every ball, and that I don't have to let her come back into the match because she's so powerful and so strong," Halep said. "She knows how to manage every moment. So I knew that I have to stay there, which I did pretty well today."
Defeat means Williams' wait for a first Grand Slam title since becoming a mum continues, as does her pursuit of an eighth Wimbledon singles title.
"I definitely knew that she was just playing her heart out," the American said. "I felt like, OK, what do I need to do to get to that level?
"When someone plays lights out, there's really not much you can do. You just have to understand that that was their day today."
Halep sticks to the perfect gameplan
Seventh seed Halep, in her first major final since winning the French Open last year and having lost her world number one ranking, flew under the radar at these championships while much of the focus was on Williams and her record chase.
But she executed the perfect gameplan - stifling Williams' biggest weapon in her serve - and it was credit to her returning ability that Halep restricted the American to just two aces when she had fired 45 during her other matches.
Halep's movement around the court contrasted with a sluggish Williams - who at one point was urged to "wake up" by one shout from the crowd - and her tenacity in the rallies forced the American to overcook her shots through what felt like desperation at times.
A break in the first game set the tone, with Williams firing wide before a Halep hold to love underlined her determination to win. The net helped Halep in the next game, with her shot scraping over but Williams' return bouncing back at the American.
With just 11 minutes on the clock Halep had won the first four games and she barely slowed, facing just one break point - which she saved.
Williams started to get herself a bit more into the match early in the second set but when she came to the net for a volley with the whole court at her disposal and only managed to find the net, giving Halep the break, she must have known it was not going to be her day.
Halep won the next three games in a row, falling to her knees with her arms raised to the sky in celebration as Centre Court rose to its feet in appreciation of one of the greatest Wimbledon final performances.
Wimbledon, Jul 13 (AP/UNB) — A quick look at Wimbledon:
Roger Federer is one victory away from a ninth Wimbledon title. Four-time champion Novak Djokovic is standing in the way. Federer and Djokovic will meet in the men's final at the All England Club for the third time. Djokovic won both of those previous matchups, in 2014 and 2015. Federer did get the better of Djokovic at Wimbledon on Centre Court once, beating the Serb in the semifinals in 2012. Federer, who is 37, is going for his 21st major title, while Djokovic, 32, is eyeing his 16th. Djokovic leads their head-to-head series 25-22, including 9-6 at Grand Slam tournaments.
Partly cloudy. High of 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius).
Cloudy. High of 73 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees Celsius).
SATURDAY'S WOMEN'S FINAL
No. 7 Simona Halep beat No. 11 Serena Williams 6-2, 6-2.
STAT OF THE DAY
3 — Unforced errors made by Simona Halep, the fewest on record in a Wimbledon final.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"The day I stop fighting for equality and for people that look like you and me will be the day I'm in my grave." — Serena Williams, responding to a reporter's question at her post-match news conference.