In unprecedented scenes from the US Open women’s final, champion Naomi Osaka has been met with booing from a hostile crowd after her upset win against Serena Williams, with the 20-year-old even going as far as to apologise for her first grand slam victory.
The match was marred by several heated clashes between Williams and chair umpire Carlos Ramos, who first pulled her up for receiving coaching advice from front row, and later hit her with a code violation for breaking her racket, docking her a point.
At the next change of ends, Williams unloaded on Ramos, accusing him of unjustly stealing the point from her and demanding an apology, saying:
“For you to attack my character is wrong. You owe me an apology. You will never be on a court with me as long as you live. You are the liar. You owe me an apology. Say it. Say you’re sorry. How dare you insinuate that I was cheating? You stole a point from me. You’re a thief too. “
She was hit with a further game penalty for verbal abuse, and after the confrontation, Osaka went on to win 6-2 6-4, with Williams refusing to shake the umpire’s hand as she left the court.
Serena Williams after getting penalized because she called judge a “thief” “There;s a a lot of men who have said things and because they are men nothing happens to them”….https://t.co/Vr9WTspqFw
— Gifdsports (@gifdsports) September 8, 2018
Osaka’s historic victory made her the first Japanese player to win a grand slam singles title, but the American crowd was having none of it, and her trophy ceremony was drowned out by boos.
Serena Williams tried to bring the crowd into order, saying: “I don’t want to be rude. She played well. Let’s make this the best moment we can, let’s not boo any more.”
Fighting back tears as she addressed the crowd, the champ said: “I know that everyone was cheering for her, and I’m sorry it had to end like this. I just want to say thanks for watching the match.”
In her post-match interview, Williams once again said that Osaka had played well, and was critical of the crowd for booing her opponent, saying:
“I felt bad, I was crying, she was crying. This wasn’t how I felt when I won my first grand slam. Maybe it was the mum in me when I said, ‘c’mon, let’s pull ourselves together here’.”
The 23-time grand slam said she could not speculate as to whether the umpire’s decision to dock her a point ultimately affected the outcome of the match.
UPDATE: The Women’s Tennis Association says that it will look into the dispute between Serena Williams and Carlos Ramos.
“There are matters that need to be looked into that took place during the match,” WTA officials have said in a statement.
The WTA has praised both Williams and Osaka for having “great integrity.”
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