Serena Williams Learns Fate After US Open Outburst
Serena Williams has been fined $17,000 after she went into a rage on Saturday because oif an umpire’s call that preceded her losing the US Open final to Naomi Osaka, who became the first Japanese born player to win the prestigious tennis tournament.
Williams was irate at umpire Carlos Ramos, 47, after he gave her a violation for receiving coaching from her coach Patrick Mouratoglou. Williams confronted the umpire and exclaimed that “I don’t cheat to win. I’d rather lose.”
Williams then became more angry, cursing at Ramos and calling him a thief for taking a point from her. She smashed her racket in anger and was handed two more violations for racket abuse and verbally abusing a judge.
But despite Williams insistence that Mouratoglou was not coaching her, the coach admitted what he did after the game.
“I’m honest, I was coaching,” he said after the game. “I don’t think she looked at me, so that’s why she didn’t even think I was.”
But he insisted that Osaka’s coach was coaching every point too.
“I was, like 100 percent of the coaches in 100 percent of the matches, so we have to stop this hypocritical thing,” he said in an interview with ESPN.
“Sascha (Bajin) was coaching every point too. It’s strange that this chair umpire was the chair umpire of most of the finals of Rafa [Nadal] and [his uncle] Toni’s coaching every single point and he never gave a warning so I don’t really get it,” he said.
Williams was stunned that her coach admitted to coaching every point.
“We have never discussed signals,” Williams said. “I don’t even call for on-court coaching. I’m trying to figure out why he would say that. I don’t understand. I mean, maybe he said ‘You can do it’,’” Williams postulated.
“I was on the far other end, so I’m not sure. I want to clarify myself what he’s talking about,” she said.
What’s more, the incident sullied the victorious moment for Osaka who was in tears as the crowd booed her during the presentation of the trophy.
As she waited for her trophy and check for $3.8 million Osaka was greeted with boos from the raucous crowd.
Williams, seeing what was happening, placed her arm around her competitor and attempted to comfort her.
“I know everyone was cheering for her and I’m sorry it had to end like this,” Osaka said. “I just want to say thank you for watching the match.
“My mum has sacrificed a lot for me, and it means a lot for her to come and watch my matches. She doesn’t usually come to them. All that we’re missing is my dad but he physically doesn’t watch my matches. He just walks around,” she said before thanking Williams.
“It was also my dream to play Serena in the US Open final, and I’m really glad I was able to do that. I’m grateful I was able to play with you. Thank you,” she said.
Williams did what she could to save the moment for Osaka. “I know you guys were here rooting, and I was rooting too. But let’s make this the best moment we can, and we’ll get through it. Let’s give everyone the credit where credit’s due. Let’s not boo anymore. We’re gonna get through this, and let’s be positive. So congratulations, Naomi! No more booing.” the superstar said.
Williams is, by far, the most popular player in the sport and one of the most popular, and recognizable athletes in the world.
The incident has sparked a debate over gender discrimination in women’s tennis, with Williams arguing men have done worse on the court and not been subjected to the same treatment.
She said in a press conference, “I’m here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality and for all kinds of stuff. And for me to say ‘thief’ and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark. He’s never took a game from a man because they said ‘thief.’”
Osaka’s response to the ordeal has won over fans around the world, with some calling her a rising star with a powerful game similar to Serena’s.
It will be interesting to see what happens if the two play each other again.