Serena Williams blasts tennis sexism after US Open court meltdown

By Hayley September 9, 2018
Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for USTA

Naomi Osaka just became Japan’s first grand slam champion after winning the US Open - but the match will go down in history for Serena Williams’ dramatic reaction to losing.

Osaka beat Williams in a 6-2 6-4 victory - with Williams claiming she fell victim to “sexism” during the match.

Umpire Carlos Ramos gave Williams a coaching violation early in the second set after witnessing a hand gesture from her coach Patrick Mouratoglou.

The hand gesture seemed to be encouraging Williams to stand closer to the net. Mouratoglou claimed that Osaka’s coach was dealing out similar front row coaching gestures, and that Williams didn’t actually see his gesture.

The crowd hushed as Serena tearfully addressed the umpire.

“I don’t cheat to win, I’d rather lose.

“I didn’t get coaching. You owe me an apology. I have never cheated in my life."

She then received a one point penalty for breaking her racquet in frustration after dropping to 4-3 in the second set.

She continued to rage at the umpire, calling him a ‘thief’ for taking points from her.

“Are you kidding me? You will never, ever, ever be on another court of mine as long as you live.

“You are the liar. When are you going to give me my apology? You owe me an apology. Say it. Say you’re sorry. … And you stole a point from me. You’re a thief, too!”

Williams gave a tearful plea to tournament officials, claiming that male tennis players had treated umpires way worse, and that she was being unfairly penalised because she is a woman.

“This is not fair. This has happened to me too many times.

“There’s a lot of men who do a lot worse out here. It’s because I’m a woman.”

After Osaka’s victory, Williams was booed during the presentation ceremony, to which she responded:

“I don’t want to be rude. I don’t want to do questions.

“I just want to tell you guys she played well. Let’s make this the best moment we can and get through it and give credit where credit is due.

“No more booing. Let’s be positive.”

Osaka, also visibly emotional, tried to enjoy her overshadowed victory with grace:

“I know everyone was cheering for her and I’m sorry it had to end like this. I just want to say thank you for watching the match.

“It was always my dream to play Serena in the US Open finals. I’m really glad I was able to do that.”

Serena expressed her frustration in the post-match press conference, explaining she was fighting for women’s equality:

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for USTA