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Coco Gauff subdues Aryna Sabalenka to win the U.S. Open for her first Grand Slam title

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NEW YORK — Coco Gauff won her first major title on Saturday at the US Open with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Aryna Sabalenka in front of an adoring crowd under the roof on a stormy day at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

After the match, the 19-year-old American fell to the ground and lay on her back on the court before sobbing in celebration. After hugging Sabalenka, Gauff ran up the stairs to tearfully hug her parents and then the rest of her team.

Moments later, Gauff told the star-studded crowd, which included Kevin Durant, Diane Keaton, Nicole Kidman, Spike Lee, Mindy Kaling and 2006 champion Maria Sharapova, that she still hadn’t fully processed the victory.

“Oh my goodness, it means so much to me,” Gauff told ESPN’s Mary Joe Fernandez. “I feel like I’m a little bit in shock in this moment. That [2022] French Open loss was a heartbreak for me. But I realized God put you through tribulations and trials and that makes this moment even sweeter than I could have imagined.”

After the match, several high-profile celebrities, including former President Barack ObamaFirst Lady Michelle Obama and President Joe Biden, sent her congratulatory messages over social media.

Gauff is the youngest American to win the US Open since Serena Williams in 1999 and the first American player to win a major title since Sofia Kenin at the Australian Open in 2020. Gauff also became the first woman to win the title in New York after dropping the first set in three matches during her title run since Williams, also in 1999.

When speaking to the media after the match, Gauff said it was an honor to have her name listed on the same trophy as Williams and her sister Venus, who won the title a combined eight times.

“I mean, they’re the reason why I have this trophy today, to be honest,” Gauff said. “They have allowed me to believe in this dream. Growing up, there weren’t too many Black tennis players dominating the sport. It was literally, at that time when I was younger, it was just them that I can remember.

“Obviously more came because of their legacy, so it made the dream more believable. But all the things that they had to go through, they made it easier for someone like me to do this.”

Gauff, the tournament’s No. 6 seed, was broken in the first game of the match and struggled to find any rhythm in the nervy 40-minute opening set. Since the first set winner had won 27 of the previous 28 US Open women’s finals, history was not on her side. But she took control in the second set, breaking Sabalenka in the fourth game and recording an 81% win percentage on first serve. Her confidence grew with every point, and her “Come on!” screams and fist pumps became increasingly more animated.

In the deciding set, it was all Gauff. She jumped to a 4-0 lead and withheld Sabalenka’s last-ditch efforts and a medical timeout at 4-1. After two hours and six minutes, Gauff was the US Open champion.

“You played unbelievable,” Sabalenka said to Gauff during the on-court trophy ceremony. “Congrats to you and your team, you guys deserve this title. Many more to come, I’m pretty sure.”

Despite still being a teenager, Gauff has been one of the sport’s most recognizable stars since she burst onto the scene at Wimbledon in 2019 and reached the fourth round as a 15-year-old qualifier. Since then, she’s won five WTA titles and reached the final at the 2022 French Open.

With several high-profile sponsorship deals and a growing presence on social media, Gauff has remained under the spotlight and the expectations for her career have continued to increase. On Saturday, Gauff said the pressure has been overwhelming at times, and she felt she was expected to immediately win a major title after her run to the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2019.

“It’s been difficult,” she said. “I mean, it’s been a long journey to this point. I wasn’t a fully developed player, and I still think I have a lot of development to go. At that moment, I think people were putting a lot of pressure on me to win. I felt that at 15 I had to win a Slam at 15.

“I think that was, you know, not the mistake, because everything led to this moment so there were no mistakes, but that was a little bit of the pressure that I was feeling. Now I just realize that I just need to go out there and try my best.”

After losing in the first round at Wimbledon in July, Gauff brought in a new team, including coach Pere Riba and consultant Brad Gilbert. Since then, she’s won the titles in Washington D.C., and Cincinnati and is 18-1 during the current hard-court swing. She defeated two Grand Slam champions en route to the final, as well as 2023 French Open runner-up Karolina Muchova in the semifinals.

Gauff told the crowd she had been motivated by those who had doubted her.

“I want to say honestly thank you to the people who didn’t believe in me,” Gauff said. “A month ago, I won a 500 title and people said, I would stop at that. Two weeks ago, I won a 1000 title and people were saying that was the biggest it was going to get. So three weeks later, I’m here with this trophy right now.

“I’ve tried my best to carry this with grace and I’ve been doing my best. So honestly, to those who thought they were putting water on my fire, you were really adding gas to it. And now I’m really burning so bright right now.”

Gauff later told reporters she had been reading comments online from those who didn’t think she was going to win right up until the match.

In addition to earning $3 million for the victory — something she thanked Billie Jean King for fighting for as she received it — Gauff will improve to a career-high ranking of No. 3 on Monday. Sabalenka, the reigning Australian Open champion, will take over the No. 1 ranking for the first time despite the loss.

Gauff will also return to the top spot in the doubles ranking, alongside partner Jessica Pegula. The pair reached the quarterfinals at the US Open.

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OMG: Donald Trump Shooter Was a Registered Republican

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Trump assassination attempt: Donald Trump shooter, 20, was a registered Republican, what does it mean? The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has identified the person who shot at former United States president Donald Trump during an election rally in western Pennsylvania on Saturday as a 20-year-old man, Thomas Matthew Crooks, of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania. The police are assessing the motive of the attack.

Trump was shot at during a rally in Pennsylvania, with Secret Service agents swarming the former president after a series of gunshots. He was quickly bundled off stage and into a waiting vehicle and has since returned home to New Jersey.

He is “doing well” and is grateful to law enforcement officers, according to a statement published on the Republican National Committee (RNC) website.

The FBI says they are treating the incident as an assassination attempt on Trump.

In a post to his Truth Social network, Trump said a bullet pierced the “upper part” of his right ear.

“I knew immediately that something was wrong in that I heard a whizzing sound, shots, and immediately felt the bullet ripping through the skin,” Trump wrote. “Much bleeding took place, so I realized then what was happening.”

Blood was clearly visible on Trump’s ear and face as protection officers rushed him away.

The FBI statement added that the incident is an “active and ongoing investigation”.

Pennsylvania police say there are no further threats following the shooting.

The suspect was shot dead at the scene by a US Secret Service sniper, the agency’s spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said.

He added that one bystander was killed in the shooting and two others were critically injured. All three victims were male, officials later confirmed.

Law enforcement sources told CBS News that Crooks had been armed with “an AR-style rifle” and had fired from a building a few hundred metres away outside the venue.

Special Agent Kevin Rojek confirmed the agency was treating the shooting as an assassination attempt.

He added that the Crooks had not been carrying ID and that investigators used DNA to formally identify him.

They have yet to identify a motive for the assassination attempt, Mr Rokek said.

State voter records show that Crooks was a registered Republican, US media report. He is also reported to have donated $15 to a liberal campaign group in 2021.

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Eddie Murphy and Paige Butcher Are Married! Inside Their Private Caribbean Wedding

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Eddie Murphy and Paige Butcher are officially married. The Oscar nominee, 63, and the Australian model, 44, tied the knot after first getting engaged in September 2018, PEOPLE can exclusively confirm. The two also share an 8-year-old daughter, Izzy Oona, and a 5-year-old son, Max Charles.

Murphy and Butcher got married on Tuesday, July 9 in Anguilla during a small private ceremony in front of family and close friends. Butcher wore a corseted gown adorned with lace designed by Mira Zwillinger, while the groom wore a white Brioni suit.

This marks the second marriage for Murphy and the first for Butcher.

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The news of their nuptials comes less than a month after Murphy and Butcher stepped out together during the Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F premiere in Los Angeles on June 20. At the Netflix event, the two were joined on the red carpet by his daughters, Bria, 34, Shayne Audra, 29, and Bella Zahra, 22 — whom he shares with ex-wife Nicole, 56.

Murphy’s Beverly Hills Cop costar, Judge Reinhold, recently told PEOPLE, “He’s crazy about his kids and his family. He’s a family guy at heart. Truly is. He really is.”

In 2012, Murphy and Butcher began dating. The pair welcomed their first child together, Izzy, on May 3, 2016. The couple then welcomed their second child, Max, on Nov. 30, 2018, two months after getting engaged.

While Butcher doesn’t often do interviews, she spoke about her then-fiancé on the red carpet at the 2020 Golden Globes.

When asked what he whispered to her on the red carpet, Murphy told Extra, “I told her how wonderful she looks.” Butcher then chimed in, saying, “He actually says that kind of stuff all the time. He’s very, very sweet and romantic.”

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Yale honors a young Black scientist after a neighbor falsely reported the 9-year-old to the police

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The girls returned to the prestigious campus for a special event commemorating Bobbi and her commitment to both science and her community.

The spotted lanternfly, a beautifully colored but highly invasive species, has garnered significant attention due to its rapid spread. People have been encouraged to eliminate them to protect apple and maple trees. In Caldwell, New Jersey, 9-year-old Bobbi Wilson took action against these pests with a homemade, non-toxic spray. Unfortunately, a neighbor reported her as “suspicious,” highlighting the issue of racial profiling, reported My Modern Met.

Bobbi faced a distressing incident of racial profiling, a reality many people of color endure. Despite this, Yale University recognized Bobbi’s value as a young Black scientist. After the incident in October 2022, Bobbi’s 13-year-old sister Hayden courageously addressed the town council, protesting the injustice her sister and other children of color faced in their community.

Her passionate statements caught the attention of news organizations like CNN. Ijeoma Opara, an assistant professor at Yale School of Public Health, invited Bobbi and her family to visit Yale. They returned to the campus on January 20, 2023, for an event celebrating Bobbi’s dedication to science and her community. Bobbi donated her collection of mounted spotted lanternflies to Yale’s Peabody Museum, ensuring her name will always be part of their catalog.

 

Professor Opara, who organized the event, said, “Yale doesn’t normally do anything like this … this is something unique to Bobbi. We wanted to show her bravery and how inspiring she is, and we just want to make sure she continues to feel honored and loved by the Yale community.” Lawrence Gall, the Peabody Museum’s Entomology Collections Manager and Nicole Palffy-Muhoray, the museum’s Assistant Director of Student Programs, then encouraged Bobbi to identify one of her 27 specimens. They said, “We’re so grateful for all of the work you’ve done down in New Jersey and your interest in conservation and checking out the lanternflies advance. We don’t have many of them in Connecticut right now. They are just starting to come up here. But I’m sure we’ll see them, so we’re very happy to have these specimens.”

Monique Joseph, Bobbi’s mother, spoke at the award ceremony, expressing her fear and concern for all children subjected to racial stereotypes. Hayden was praised for her courageous speech. She said, “Dr. Opara, you have been a blessing. You are part of our testimonial and what it means to have a community of amazing, beautiful, Black, intelligent scientists and doctors and more important than that is your heart and your passion for the work that you do…You helped us change the trajectory of that day.”

She said, “This happened because of what happened to Bobbi, but it also happened because the whole community, the science community, got together and said ‘She’s one of us and we’re not going to let her lose her steam for STEM. We’re going to support the family, we’re going to support this girl, we’re going to make sure her big sister Hayden doesn’t lose that light.'”

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