Controversy has struck at this year's US Open. Naomi Osaka won her first Grand Slam title, defeating Serena Williams in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4. However, after an incredibly strong first set from the 20-year-old, Williams received three code violations from umpire Carlos Ramos in the middle of the second set.
First, her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, was seen coaching her from the stands. The former world No. 1 proceeded to smash her racquet leading to a point deduction. Finally, she berated Ramos by calling him a "thief" and demanding an apology before receiving her third violation and a game deduction, setting Osaka up with a 5-3 lead.
“I was 100% coaching” says Patrick, Serena’s coach. “Everyone does it, it’s time to to stop the discrimination Rafael’s coach does it all the time and he’s never gotten the violation”#UsOpenFinal #SerenaVsOsaka #SerenaWilliams pic.twitter.com/GSQ2RnN7d2— Daniel Gonzalez III (@TheThirdDanielG) September 8, 2018
Osaka went on to take the title, but her victory may be overshadowed by the drama on court. Williams called Ramos "sexist" believing that if "a man had done the same thing there would be no repercussions." She then accused the umpire of calling her a cheater, saying "I have never cheated and you owe me an apology."
Many are on her side, including Billie Jean King.
(1/2) Several things went very wrong during the @usopen Women’s Finals today. Coaching on every point should be allowed in tennis. It isn’t, and as a result, a player was penalized for the actions of her coach. This should not happen.— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) September 9, 2018
(2/2) When a woman is emotional, she’s “hysterical” and she’s penalized for it. When a man does the same, he’s “outspoken” & and there are no repercussions. Thank you, @serenawilliams, for calling out this double standard. More voices are needed to do the same.— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) September 9, 2018
What a match! Congrats @Naomi_Osaka_ on your win and making history today! And @serenawilliams you powerhouse - thank you for standing up for women everywhere. #USOpen #UsOpenFinal pic.twitter.com/pfzrM95KTX— Reese Witherspoon (@RWitherspoon) September 9, 2018
There are others that believe the three violations were completely justified, and that, even without them, Osaka would have won anyway.
Absolutely. She was in position to win before the game penalty. Couldn’t be more impressed by her. https://t.co/QX0xvs3Ftz— andyroddick (@andyroddick) September 8, 2018
Emotional first take by me. common sense should’ve prevailed in my opinion. He’s within his power to make that call. I’ve seen an umpire borderline coach a player up,and another dock a game for being called a thief in same tourney. There needs to be some continuity in the future https://t.co/T5oI1M0Cu7— andyroddick (@andyroddick) September 8, 2018
How can anyone dispute Serena Williams getting a third penalty given these comments. In addition to her coach admitting coaching. Are you serious?! “You’ll never work another one of my matches.” Unsportsmanlike conduct. https://t.co/l2JO1VEjSN— Britt McHenry (@BrittMcHenry) September 8, 2018
Congrats @Naomi_Osaka_. She played like the superior and she frustrated @serenawilliams. It caused her coach to give advise. It caused her to slam her racket. And it caused her to lose her cool. At this level players need to know where they stand.— Greg Bettinelli (@gregbettinelli) September 8, 2018
Serena Williams is the greatest tennis player I have ever seen.— Danny Deraney (@DannyDeraney) September 9, 2018
But facts are facts. She got coached, coach admitted it. She broke her racket. Those are the rules.
Can we now focus that Naomi Osaka became the first Haitian-Japanese US open winner? This is the story.
So #SerenaWilliams is penalised after her coach cheated to give her a sporting advantage. Then she verbally attacks the umpire and smashes her racquet. Then she claims she's the victim because of her gender. This kind of cynicism is what weakens feminism. https://t.co/CTrdadmrrh— Andy West (@AndyWestTV) September 9, 2018
Tennis Channel had a lot to say when all was said and done about the controversy, sure, but also about Osaka's play:
In the end, it's the score that matters, and Osaka not only won her first Grand Slam title, but also became the first Japanese player to ever win a Major. Despite the tears, all that matters in the history books is that she won.
this is how Naomi Osaka won the US Open final and I won’t accept anything else. pic.twitter.com/8fbERX2eJ2— m (@kerberev) September 9, 2018
Tennis Channel’s encore, all-night match coverage will begin every evening at 11 p.m. ET, with the exception of earlier starts on Saturday and Sunday of championship weekend.
Watch the best matches from the first three Grand Slams on Tennis Channel PLUS. From Federer’s historic win at the Australian Open to Halep’s breakthrough at Roland Garros. It all starts Monday, August 27th.
Follow the Race to ATP Finals this fall on Tennis Channel PLUS. Live coverage from the biggest stops including Beijing, Tokyo, Shanghai & Paris.