Embed Code More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Here are the notes Neil worked from for the conversation: Hot Takedown After Chris Paul and Alex Ovechkin were knocked out of their playoffs this month, there were a lot of hot takes about how neither was a big enough star to carry his team to a championship. On this week’s “Hot Takedown,” Kate Fagan, Neil Paine and Chadwick Matlin look at some of the research on whether you need a star to win a title, or whether winning a title makes you a star. According to Neil’s analysis, the sport that relies on star players the most is basketball — then come baseball, football and hockey.
9/30/07GermanyBrazilFinal95.0 9/21/03U.S.SwedenGroup stage94.2 6/26/15GermanyFranceQuarterfinals94.2 6/15/95U.S.NorwaySemifinals94.3 10/1/03U.S.NorwayQuarterfinals95.4 DATETEAMTEAMROUNDAVERAGE WSPI 9/26/07GermanyNorwaySemifinals94.9 10/12/03GermanySwedenFinal94.5 7/10/99U.S.ChinaFinal94.3 Either the U.S. or Germany — or both countries — has played in every one of the top 10 greatest Women’s World Cup games, and their 2003 World Cup semifinal encounter ranks third (Germany defeated the U.S. 3-0). Historically, when the U.S. and Germany have met at a World Cup, the winner has gone on to win the tournament. In both 1991 and 1999, the U.S. defeated Germany en route to its two championships, and in 2003, Germany routed the U.S. on its way to its first World Cup title. However, the two teams haven’t met at a World Cup in 12 years.Germany is favored to win tonight’s game 57 percent to the Americans’ 43 percent, according to WSPI. As the Germans have advanced through the tournament, their chances of winning have risen to 43 percent, up 16 percentage points since the start of the World Cup. These odds come after a convincing Round of 16 win over Sweden and a quarterfinal victory against France, two of the tournament’s top teams. The U.S. has had a much easier (and less dominant) route to this semifinal match. The U.S. did not win very convincingly in either its Round of 16 game against Colombia or its quarterfinal game against China, and its chances of winning the World Cup are up only 2 percentage points since the tournament began.Much of the criticism surrounding the U.S. team has been about its inability to create chances in the final third, but on Friday night against China, the U.S. created 13 chances — more than in any other of its games this tournament. The team was playing without two starting midfielders — Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday, who were out because of accumulating yellow cards — and yet the team looked the sharpest it has all tournament, applying high pressure and winning the ball back immediately. The new players in the lineup provided fresh energy and offensive pressure; Amy Rodriguez made threatening runs forward and hustled all game, while Kelley O’Hara kept the width on the right side and got on the end of a few good crosses. But the question remains against Germany: Who and how will the U.S. decide to play?Germany has been dominant all tournament long — especially in the final third, where the Americans have struggled. It has created almost double the number of chances as the U.S. — 94 compared with 50 — and its cohesive offensive power has been difficult for teams to contain. The tournament’s leading goal-scorers are two of Germany’s attackers, Célia Šašić and Anja Mittag, who have scored more goals apiece (six and five, respectively) than all the U.S. forwards combined. Together with attacking midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsan (who is questionable for tonight’s game because of an ankle injury), Germany has the tournament’s most indomitable, powerful attack.But that doesn’t mean it will be easy for the Germans to score on the U.S., whose defense has also been the best of any team we’ve seen — allowing just one goal, in its first game against Australia. The center-back duo of Julie Johnston and Becky Sauerbrunn has been an impenetrable force field, shutting down most teams’ attacking flow before it can even begin. But the U.S. hasn’t faced an attack as balanced as Germany’s, and the Americans will have to rely on the midfield to help close gaps between the seams.The midfield provides the biggest question mark for both the U.S. and Germany, and it’s likely that whoever has the better midfield organization will control the game and create more offensive opportunities. It’s doubtful that the U.S. will try to match up with Germany’s 4-2-3-1 formation and play with three central midfielders, but much of its success against China came from designating Morgan Brian as a holding mid, allowing Carli Lloyd to get forward and score the game winner. Rapinoe will likely return to the left side. But head coach Jill Ellis has started five different players at right midfield, and that spot could go to any of them, including Tobin Heath, Christen Press or O’Hara.Both teams will be playing to keep the dream of a third World Cup title alive, and it’s bound to be an epic battle. Maybe there won’t be 90,000 people in the stands or 90 degree temperatures on the field, but you can bet there will be patriotic face paint and a 26-year-old in the crowd feeling like she’s 10 again.Jay Boice contributed research. Check out FiveThirtyEight’s Women’s World Cup predictions.I didn’t care about the sweat pooling beneath my thighs in the 90 degree Pasadena sun; I hardly stayed seated anyway. We had woken up early to paint our faces and finish decorating our signs before loading into the family van to drive an hour north on the I-405 from my grandma’s house to the Rose Bowl. I trailed a few steps behind my older sister and her friends as we entered the stadium, marveling at the American flag popsicle vendors and 90,000-plus people chanting, ‘U-S-A! U-S-A!’It was the 1999 Women’s World Cup final, and it was the greatest day of my 10-year-old life. To this day, I thought it would be the greatest Women’s World Cup game I’d ever witness. I was wrong.Tonight’s semifinal match between the United States and Germany is the greatest Women’s World Cup game of all time, according to our Women’s Soccer Power Index, which gives this game an average WSPI rating of 95.5. That’s the largest average WSPI of any two teams to ever play each other at a Women’s World Cup. By this measure, the 1999 final is only the eighth-greatest game of all time. 10/5/03U.S.GermanySemifinals95.3 6/30/15U.S.GermanySemifinals95.5
61997Giants90-22+8+2+25-3117.6 131992Dodgers63+30-7-8+17-2216.6 141989Cardinals86-10+19-16+22-1716.6 12016Red Sox90-12-7+26-28+2118.8 SEASONTEAMWINS12345AVG. ABSOLUTE Δ 171985Reds90-20+4-13+36-816.0 192002Astros84+9-21+25+5-1815.6 151972Indians75-15+16-14+24-1216.0 2016 win totals based on rest-of-season projections. Seasons under 162 games were regressed to 162 games. Results were filtered so that duplicate stretches including the same team-season twice were discarded.Source: FanGraphs, Lahman DB 42002Cubs67+21-23+2+22-2118.0 81983Athletics74-6+25-10-29+1517.1 32004Mariners63+300+23-25-1218.0 101999Padres74+24-22+15-12-1217.1 182000Marlins79-15-10+38-12-415.9 52007Diamondbacks90-14+1-26+33+1417.6 MLB’s biggest roller-coaster rides (1962-2016) Last April, we previewed the Boston Red Sox’s 2015 season by focusing on the franchise’s wild ups and downs in recent years. Although they posted only 71 wins in 2014, advanced-stats outlets such as FanGraphs projected Boston to win 90 games, which would have been a 19-win increase — and would have come on the heels of a 26-win decrease, after a 28-win increase, after a 21-win decrease. Boston was shaping up to be on MLB’s craziest roller-coaster ride ever.It didn’t quite work out that way. The Red Sox spent most of 2015 playing just as poorly as they had in 2014, finishing with 78 wins only thanks to a strong push in the season’s final two months, and the fallout was a total front-office shake-up. But more than one-third of the way into the 2016 season, the Red Sox appear to have made the leap that was expected of them a year ago: They have a 34-25 record, are only two games out of first in the American League East, and have a full-season FanGraphs projection of 90 wins. If that last number holds up, Boston’s past five years will once again represent the most up-and-down stretch in modern MLB history: 162003Angels77+22-24+7-12+1516.0 WIN DIFF. IN NO. OF SEASONS EARLIER 121984Angels81-11+23-17-10+2216.7 111988Indians78-17+23-24+15-516.8 What has changed for Boston since the past two disappointing seasons? Mainly, they’re getting better performances from the lineup. The Red Sox were pretty much a dead-average hitting and fielding team a year ago, which added up to a mediocre record when combined with an unspectacular pitching staff. But this year, no team in the majors — not even the vaunted Chicago Cubs — has gotten more wins above replacement from its position players than Boston, a development headlined by drastic improvements from Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts, a bounce-back season from Dustin Pedroia and the general agelessness of David Ortiz.The Red Sox will probably still spend the summer in a division dogfight with the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays; our power ratings say they’re basically a coin flip (48 percent) to win the East. But even that represents an improvement over the past two seasons and could provide more twists in the roller-coaster track the franchise has been riding. Things are never dull when it comes to baseball in Boston. 201970Mets83+17-27-12+5-1615.6 91994Reds92-19+17-16+17-1617.1 71992Orioles89-22+9+11-33+1317.4 22010Mariners61+24-24+27-10-918.8
The owner of California Chrome, which failed in his Triple Crown quest Saturday at the Belmont Stakes, had some controversial things to say about how it’s “not fair” that a lot of Chrome’s Belmont competitors didn’t run in the Kentucky Derby and/or the Preakness Stakes.But California Chrome’s loss should surprise no one. This is the new normal.California Chrome is now the 13th horse to have won the first two races but failed to win the Belmont since Affirmed won the Triple Crown in 1978. Of the 13, one was scratched the day of the race, and eight lost to horses that didn’t even run in the Preakness.Having a number of “fresh” horses in the Belmont field was common in the era leading up to Affirmed’s Triple Crown, though perhaps a little less so. But the extent that these horses have been dominating in the Belmont is just one aspect of a bigger issue.Of the 23 horses that won the Preakness and not the Derby since 1979, just five won the Belmont (the last to do so was Afleet Alex in 2005). And of the 23 that won the Derby but not the Preakness, just two won the Belmont: Swale in 1984 and Thunder Gulch in 1995. In total, 59 horses have won either the Derby or the Preakness or both since 1979, and of those, just seven have won the Belmont.The main thing that separates the Belmont from the other two races is its length: At 1.5 miles (or 2.4 kilometers, or 12 furlongs), it’s over a quarter-mile longer than either the Derby or the Preakness. This distance has become increasingly rare in American horse-racing over time, to the point where almost all horses entering the Belmont these days have never raced it. Even highly experienced trainers may not have much experience with it. One trainer has come across Belmont’s extra distance only one in every 1,000 races.Belmont is billed as the “Test of the Champion” — kind of like a final exam for a horse to prove itself the most worthy — but in reality it’s more like a test of a deliberately different skill set: i.e., 1.5 miles is to 1.25 miles as the SAT Math section is to the SAT Verbal.The Triple Crown races weren’t always different types of tests. In the late 1800s, all three were 1.5 miles. The Derby switched to 1.25 miles in 1896, while the Preakness experimented with a number of different lengths between 1894 and 1923 before settling on 1.1875 miles (or 9.5 furlongs) in 1924. The Belmont was actually the first to abandon the longer distance, switching to 1.25 miles in 1890, but it switched back for good in 1926.For at least a half-century after the distances were settled, the three legs of the Triple Crown seemed about equally likely to be won by a horse that would (or did) win one of the others. But since 1979, the short track/long track divide has become huge, and the 13 failed Triple Crown attempts are just part of the story.Between 1926 and 1978, of the 20 horses that won the Derby and Preakness, 10 of them won the Belmont — since 1979 those horses are zero for 13. Between 1926 and 1978, 33 Belmont Stakes included no horse that won both precursors, and of those 33 races, 14 were won by a horse that had won one of the prior Crown races (21 percent of the 66 such horses). Since 1979, there have been 23 years where no horse won both precursors, and just seven Belmonts were won by a horse that had won one precursor (15 percent of 46 such horses).We can compare those rates to the Belmont odds for horses that won neither the Derby nor the Preakness. This is a little difficult, because field sizes vary and often have a number of serious long-shots in them, so I’ve made this comparison based on an assumed pool of six “competitive” horses per race. Thus we can see how a horse’s performance in the precursors has affected its chances of winning the Belmont:As you can see, the odds drop significantly for horses with one win on the shorter tracks going in, and completely for horses with two wins. As a natural result, the odds of winning the Belmont for a horse with zero wins in the previous two races have grown — to the point where they may (amazingly) even be higher than for a horse with a winning track record. Thus, each marginal precursor win has actually decreased a horse’s chances of winning the Belmont (note that racebooks have completely failed to capture this effect).Perhaps this is partly because winning precursor races places horses at a disadvantage to fresher horses (as California Chrome’s co-owner Steve Coburn seems to think). But, more importantly, winning the shorter precursors is further evidence that a horse is more calibrated to the shorter distance.That top horses are calibrated to shorter distances is also evidenced by the rate at which Derby and Preakness winners match each other: California Chrome was the ninth such horse in the past 18 years.This is how it is now: More Triple Crown attempts, fewer Triple Crowns. Get used to it.
Senior defensive specialist Julianne Mandolfo hits the ball during a match against Nebraska Oct. 25 at St. John Arena. OSU lost, 3-1.Credit: Brandon Klein / Lantern photographerAfter a 2-8 start in Big Ten play, the Ohio State women’s volleyball team is focused on returning to its winning ways.“We’re craving for a win right now,” senior defensive specialist Julianne Mandolfo said.The Buckeyes, who fell out of the American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 Poll Monday for the first time all season, are scheduled to travel to Michigan for two more conference matches against ranked opponents Friday and Saturday.OSU is set to take on No. 14 Michigan State in East Lansing, Mich., at 6:30 p.m. Friday before heading to Ann Arbor, Mich., for a match against No. 17 Michigan at 7 p.m. Saturday.After a 13-0 start to the season, which included a 3-1 win over then-No. 10 Michigan to open Big Ten play Sept. 27, the then-No. 13 Buckeyes fell to then-No. 15 Michigan State 3-0 Sept. 29. That loss sparked a 1-8 stretch for OSU, including the team’s current six-match losing streak.“I felt like the first half of the season, we were there, but it just got away from us a little bit,” Mandolfo said.Junior outside hitter Erin Sekinger said having another crack at the Spartans could spark the team as it enters the second half of the conference season.“I feel like beating Michigan State will be a really upbeat positive for us, just to prove to ourselves that we can do this the second time around,” she said. “It will probably bring a big positive energy throughout our team.”Freshman outside hitter Kylie Randall called the prospect of beating Michigan State “awesome,” especially on the road.“We’ve grown as a team since then and we’re both kind of struggling right now,” Randall said. “I think it will be great to beat them at their place.”The Spartans (17-5, 6-4) are in the midst of a four-match losing streak of their own. They dropped their most recent outing to unranked Indiana Oct. 26. The Hoosiers, whom OSU beat in five sets Oct. 5 in Bloomington, Ind., are tied for last in the conference with Iowa at 1-9.While the Buckeyes and Spartans will battle to end their respective losing streaks, OSU must also prepare for a date with the Wolverines . Even though OSU has beaten the Wolverines this season, Mandolfo said the Buckeyes will not overlook Michigan.“Every game is a huge game, regardless of if we have beaten Michigan before,” she said. “They’re just as hungry for a win as we are.”Randall said she is excited about the chance to play more home games the rest of the way.The trip up north will mark the end of a stretch of five of six games on the road for the Buckeyes. From that point on, OSU is scheduled to play five of its final eight matches in Columbus.While playing at home can be a boost, Sekinger said “doing the little things” will help the Buckeyes improve on their rough start.“Covering hitters, passing balls, hitting smarter shots, just the little things and getting back to the basics of playing volleyball (will help),” she said.After the road trip, OSU is scheduled to host Indiana at St. John Arena Nov. 8.
Sophomore wide receiver Binjimen Victor (9) runs the ball during the Ohio State game against Maryland on Oct. 7 at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeye won 62-14. Credit: Sheridan Hendrix | Oller ReporterNo. 9 Ohio State trounced Maryland 62-14 Saturday in Ohio Stadium. Though the Buckeyes had the game in hand by halftime, there were several plays that were particularly important in the moment.Here’s the five plays that mattered most in Ohio State’s victory against Maryland.Johnnie Dixon 35-yard gainOn its first drive with 12:49 on the clock in the first quarter, Ohio State faced a third-and-4 at the Maryland 44-yard line. Quarterback J.T. Barrett fired a strike past two Maryland defenders to redshirt junior wide receiver Johnnie Dixon for a first down, and Dixon ran down the field to the 9-yard line.Ohio State scored three plays later on a Barrett rush. Third-down conversions like that will become more crucial with an increasingly difficult level of competition in the coming weeks.Victor first-quarter TDBarrett’s confidence in his arm and receivers has notably improved since Ohio State’s Week 2 loss to Oklahoma. One of his best passes of the day was a third-and-6 strike to sophomore wide receiver Binjimen Victor in the end zone with 7:14 remaining in the first quarter.On a skinny post route, the 6-foot-4 Victor fought off a cornerback to reel in the throw, which Barrett fit into a tight window from 8 yards. With his frame, Victor is the ideal target for third-down passing situations close to the end zone. If Barrett can fit those throws in there consistently, Ohio State’s offense will continue to find success.Jerome Baker scoop-and-scoreOhio State’s defensive line had arguably its best game against Maryland, and it started early with 9:54 on the clock in the first quarter.On Maryland’s third play from scrimmage, defensive end Nick Bosa drove Maryland quarterback Max Bortenschlager to the ground and caused a fumble. Linebacker Jerome Baker picked it up and took it to the end for an early 13-0 lead.Baker’s 4th-down sackThe Ohio State offense sputtered in three straight drives — a blocked field goal, a J.K. Dobbins fumble and a 22-yard punt — before Baker made a crucial stop at 6:30 left in the first half.Maryland’s offense stayed on the field for a fourth-and-3 at the 30-yard line. Baker came untouched on the right side of the line to sack Bortenschlager, forcing a fumble in the process and giving the offense some momentum for its next three drives, which all ended in touchdowns.Hubbard stop and third-and-1Leading 27-7 with 4:15 remaining in the first half, Ohio State continued its dominance on the offensive line with a tackle for loss on third-and-1. Maryland running back Ty Johnson had no room to run up the middle, so he attempted to bounce outside where defensive end Sam Hubbard played contain and cut down Johnson in the backfield for a 6-yard loss, forcing fourth down. Ohio State marched 48 yards in four plays, taking all of 52 seconds for another score.
Hugh Hefner, basking in reflected gloryCredit:AP The company we keep has an effect on how attractive we appear to othersDr Nicholas Furl, Royal Holloway University Scientists at Royal Holloway University asked study participants to rate the attractiveness of different faces shown in photographs.The viewers were then told to re-assess the same faces after pictures of other less desirable people had been placed alongside.Once the “distractor faces” were introduced, the attractiveness of the original faces increased from the first round of ranking, the researchers discovered.Dr Nicholas Furl, who conducted the study, said: “Until now, it’s been understood that a person’s level of attractiveness is generally steady.“If you saw a picture of George Clooney today, you would rate him as good-looking as you would tomorrow.“However, this work demonstrates that the company we keep has an effect on how attractive we appear to others.” In a further limb to the study, the team also discovered that having a less attractive face to look at sharpened viewers’ critical faculties and made them more sensitive to the differences between two or more attractive people.“The presence of a less attractive face does not just increase the attractiveness of a single person, but in crowds could actually make us even more choosy,” said Dr Furl.“We found that the presence of a distractor face makes differences between attractive people more obvious and that observers start to pull apart these differences, making them even more particular in their judgment.”The new research lends empirical weight to a theme often exploited for comic effect.Last year’s film The Duff – an acronym for “Designated Ugly Fat Friend” – told the story of a school-age girl who finds out that her prettier and more popular friends have deliberately recruited her to elevate their own desirability.“It’s perhaps not too surprising that we are judged in relation to those around us,” said Dr Furl.“There are many other ways in which we decide who we are attracted to.“There will certainly be more research in years to come on this complicated area of human interaction, and I am excited to see where this research takes us.”The new research follows previous investigation into the effect on perceived attractiveness of appearing alongside people of the opposite sex, which found that married men are generally thought of as more attractive than bachelors.This is thought to occur because people appear more attractive when they are in the company of an attractive person, or people, of the opposite sex – the so-called “Hugh Hefner effect”, after the owner of Playboy magazine who is often picture arm in arm-in-arm with several of his girlfriends.Scientists believe the phenomenon could be explained by evolution, as, in the animal kingdom, male creatures with more mates are often considered genetically superior.Experiments with grouse in the 1990s found that researchers were able to boost the popularity of a male simply by placing models of female birds around it. It has been called the “ugly friend effect” – the propensity for someone to appear more attractive than they otherwise would when in the company of people less blessed by good looks.Until now this might have been dismissed as an old wives’ tale, but new research appears to have confirmed the phenomenon is a scientific fact.A study in the journal Psychological Science has shown that a person will rank higher on a scale of attractiveness when compared alongside less attractive people than when judged in isolation. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Show more Ruth Langsford told Loose Women viewers that the show would not be on air because of an ITV News Budget specialCredit:Ian West/PA However, another fan said the show being cancelled is “not an outrage”, adding: “Women not having access to sanitary products is. Priorities.”Host Ruth Langsford announced the news to groans from the audience on Tuesday’s programme. It’s #InternationalWomensDay and Loose Women isn’t on :(— Stephen Leng (@steveleng) March 8, 2017 @loosewomen I am certainly not happy about this at all cancelled because of the bloody budget as well as being on International Women’s Day— Louisa Thomas (@louisa1976) March 8, 2017 Loose Women fans have hit out at ITV’s “weird” decision to cancel the show on International Women’s Day.The popular daytime programme has been shifted to allow coverage of the Government’s Budget announcement.Fans noted on Twitter the show was being moved on the day marked to celebrate women.Louisa Thomas said in a post on the site that she was “certainly not happy” about the Budget taking priority: Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. @loosewomen International women’s day and they take @loosewomen off bit weird init?— Mark Williams (@markwillo2285) March 8, 2017 She said: “Just to remind you we’re not here tomorrow because of an ITV News Budget special.”I’m sorry, but the good news is we are back on Thursday and Gok Wan will be here.” I’d rather watch @loosewomen than the budget. :(— Natalie [37 Days] 🦄 (@boydie123) March 7, 2017
The IWF found that new web domains, such as .london, are increasingly being used for the distribution of indecent and sexual material containing children. It said there was a 258 per cent increase in the number of times it had to take action against such sites last year. As the number of sites has increased, the balance of where they’re located has shifted from the US to Europe, the Foundation said. The majority of sites, 60 per cent, were in Europe compared with 37 per cent in the US.But the watchdog’s findings show the UK is leading the fight against child abuse online, with a minute proportion of all content hosted here. “Only 0.1pc of the content was hosted in the UK,” said Sarah Smith, technical researcher at the IWF. “That’s because of the great partnerships we have with law enforcement and industry here. “The content is taken down incredibly quickly once we’ve spoken to our police partners at the National Crime Agency. Speed is of the essence here because those images are of children being sexually abused.”As the size of the problem has increased the methods used by criminals to hide the material has become more sophisticated. The report shows the number of illegal websites disguised as legitmate ones has more than doubled since 2015. “They use this technique called ‘disguised websites’ to hide content and make it more difficult to take it down,” said Smith. “This lets them get access to things like payment processing services, which is something we’re concerned about.”Responding to the news, a spokesman for the NSPCC said: “We must never forget that there is a victim behind every child sexual abuse image, and every time these horrific pictures are viewed a child is re-abused. Anyone who wilfully seeks out this material is complicit in fuelling this appalling industry.”To stamp out this crime altogether we must tackle the escalating demand for child abuse material by finding out what deters offenders and potential offenders from viewing child sexual abuse images.” A dramatic rise in child sex abuse images online has raised concerns about the ability of authorities to stop illegal material from spreading across the internet as criminals create new ways to hide. The number of websites found to be hosting explicit and abusive images of children increased 20 per cent in 2016 to 2,416, according to the Internet Watch Foundation’s annual report of potentially illegal sites.The independent body, which monitors for sites that sell and show indecent photographs and videos of children under the age of 18, said the problem is growing with new internet addresses offering criminals more places to hide material. Speed is of the essence here because those images are of children being sexually abusedSarah Smith, Internet Watch Foundation Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Muguruza said she had longed to see her name on the list of Wimbledon champions at the All England Lawn Tennis club, and added she was “so happy that it’s there now”.Alongside a picture of her lifting her trophy on Centre Court, she tweeted: “Yes!!!!”Muguruza, who was born in Caracas, Venezuela, began playing tennis at the age of three and, after moving to Spain with her family in 1999 when she was six years old, enrolled at the Bruguera Tennis Academy near Barcelona.She won her first Grand Slam last year when, in a rematch of the 2015 Wimbledon final, she beat Serena in straight sets in the final of the French Open. It’s great to go out there and play somebody you admireGarbine Muguruza after the match With joy and surprise lighting up her face Garbine Muguruza lifted her first Wimbledon ladies’ singles trophy after vanquishing the five-times winner Venus Williams in straight sets.It was a sweet victory for the Spanish player, who lost to Williams’ younger sister Serena in the final two years ago.Speaking moments after winning the title Muguruza said that on that occasion Serena – who had been her tennis idol growing up – had told her she would win herself one day.”Two years ago, I lost in the finals against Serena, and she told me one day I was going to maybe win. Two years after, here I am, ” the 23-year-old told a Centre Court Crowd which contained some of the game’s great luminaries, including Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova. “I had the hardest match today against Venus, an incredible player. I grew up watching her play, so it’s incredible to play the final,” said Murguruza, adding later: “It’s great to go out there and play somebody you admire.”Muguruza is only the second Spanish woman to win a Wimbledon singles title. In 1994, in a neat parallel to Saturday’s final, her stand-in coach Conchita Martinez beat Martina Navratilova, who was the same age as Venus Williams is now. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Muguruza in action during the final match Credit: Anadolu Agency Martinez agreed to step in as her coach because Muguruza’s regular coach Sam Sumyk could not be in England as his wife is shortly expecting a baby.But Murguruza said she had spoken to him every day, including in the hours before the final.Williams had been looking to add a sixth Wimbledon singles title to her crown, nine years after winning her last major title here.But she squandered two set points in the first set to lose 5-7, and her game appeared to collapse in the second set, which she lost 0-6 to an opponent growing in confidence with each stroke of play.The match ended on an anticlimactic note, with a challenge to a line call by the Spanish player. Hawkeye showed Venus’ ball had been out and the championship was Muguruza’s.As she fell to her knees in disbelief, Venus immediately stepped forward to the net to congratulate her. Williams had been looking to add a sixth Wimbledon singles title to her crownCredit: TOBY MELVILLE Her victory brought Muguruza £2.2m in prize money, equal to that awarded the male players – something Venus Williams was herself instrumental in finally persuading All England Lawn Tennis Club to adopt in 2007. “The coincidence of her winning Navratilova, me winning Venus, there were a lot of things there, was, like, awesome,” said Murguruza. Muguruza’s triumph comes a month after she she barely survived her first round opener at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham,where she was taken to three sets against Russian Elizaveta Kulichkova, who is ranked 148th in the world.Now, as well as lifting the famous Venus Rosewater dish, she gets to dance with the winner of today’s men’s final. She admitted she secretly hopes Roger Federer will win.“I like [Marin] Cilic, I have to say seriously,” she said. “But I want to see if he’s [Federer] that elegant also dancing.” Today also saw victory for Britain’s Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid in the wheelchair men’s doubles final.The pair lost the first set 6-7(5) to France’s Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer, but they came back to win the next two 7-5 7-6(3).Reid, 25, said: “I have been playing wheelchair tennis now for 12 years and never once did I think we would fill a stadium out in Wimbledon like this.”