By Helene Elliott
Los Angeles Times
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The commotion began when umpire Carlos Ramos assessed a code violation against Serena Williams for getting coaching during the second game of the second set.
Serena Williams’ quest for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title ended on Saturday at the U.S. Open with a flood of tears, accusations of sexist treatment, a smashed racquet, and a firm if misplaced conviction the chair umpire was “a thief” who unjustly took a point from her.
Unfairly overshadowed in the chaos of Williams telling umpire Carlos Ramos, “You will never, ever be on another court of mine as long as you live,” and crying as she railed against having been penalized a point and a game, was the poised performance of 20-year-old Naomi Osaka, whose 6-2, 6-4 victory capped an outstanding two weeks and gave her the distinction of being the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam championship.
Standing atop the podium for the trophy presentation, jeers raining down on her from nearly every corner of Arthur Ashe Stadium, Osaka cried and apologized for beating the crowd favorite.
Williams, who had created a powerful connection with fans during her remarkable comeback after giving birth and enduring serious post-partum complications slightly more than a year ago, had the grace to ask the boo-birds to stop. She also put an arm around Osaka’s shoulder.
“I know that, like, she really wanted to have the 24th Grand Slam, right? Everyone knows this. It’s on the commercials, it’s everywhere,” said Osaka, who in third grade produced a report on Williams as the person Osaka most wanted to be like. “Like, when I step onto the court, I feel like a different person, right? I’m not a Serena fan. I’m just a tennis player playing another tennis player. But then when I hugged her at the net,” she said, pausing while her eyes welled up, “I felt like a little kid again.”