2018 US Open – Osaka becomes first Japanese to win a Grand Slam as Serena was given code violation and a fine


Naomi Osaka won the US Open after an angry Serena
Williams accused the umpire of being a “thief” in some of
the most dramatic scenes at a Grand Slam final.
Williams was given a game penalty for her outburst, which
followed racquet smashing and another code violation as
Osaka won 6-2 6-4 in New York.
Osaka, 20, kept her focus to become the first Japanese to
win a Grand Slam.
Williams refused to shake hands with umpire Carlos Ramos
after the match.
The American, 36, graciously congratulated Osaka at the net
after the 20th seed completed an extraordinary victory and,
although Williams’ behaviour will grab the attention, nothing
should detract from a classy and composed display from
Osaka at Flushing Meadows.
“I’m sorry it had to end like this,” a crying Osaka said.
Williams was given a first code violation after Ramos judged
a gesture from coach Patrick Mouratoglou to be coaching.
Williams – who was aiming to equal Margaret Court’s record
of 24 Grand Slam singles titles – said she had not received
any tactics from Mouratoglou, telling the umpire she would
“never cheat to win and would rather lose”.
The Frenchman later admitted that he had been coaching
from the box.
“I was coaching but I don’t think she looked at me,”
Mouratoglou said. “Sash [Osaka’s coach Sascha Bajin] was
coaching as well. Everybody does it.
Williams then received another for a racquet smash at 3-2 in
the second set, leading to Ramos docking her a point as
Osaka started at 15-0 in the following game.
The American was furious, walking up to Ramos, shouting
and pointing at him as the crowd started booing in support of
the former world number one.
The drama continued as the atmosphere in Arthur Ashe
Stadium became more toxic.
Williams refused to let the issue slide and launched an
extraordinary rant at Ramos at the changeover, with Osaka
leading 4-3.
“You are a liar. You will never be on a court of mine as long
as you live. When are you going to give me my apology? Say
you are sorry,” she told the Portuguese.
That led to Ramos docking her the next game – leaving Osaka
just one more away from victory at 5-3 up.
Boos continued to rain down, generating incredible noise, as
Williams refused to take to the court and demanded an
intervention from the tournament referee.
Eventually she returned to the baseline, serving out a game
to love before Osaka showed remarkable focus to hold the
final game that sealed her first Grand Slam win.
Williams later accused the umpire of sexism, saying: “He’s
never taken a game from a man because they said ‘thief’
Williams is a national icon in the United States, as well as a
global star around the world, and had the backing of the
24,000-capacity Arthur Ashe Stadium.
But the boisterous crowd was quietened as Osaka came out
firing at the six-time champion.
Osaka, playing in her first Grand Slam final and against her
idol, showed no fear as her aggressive approach led to
multiple Williams errors.
Williams’ first-serve percentage was down at 38% and made
13 unforced errors as Osaka broke for 2-1 and 4-1 leads on
her way to the opening set.
The Ashe crowd, while remaining respectful towards Osaka,
was already upset with the way Williams had been treated –
and unhappiness turned to anger during the drama of the
second set.
Security staff ran on to the perimeter of the court as Ramos
walked off and the Portuguese did not return, as he would
usually have done, for the trophy presentation.
More boos followed at the start of the ceremony, leading to
Osaka pulling her visor down over her eyes to hide her tears.
Williams appealed for calm in her runner-up speech, asking
her supporters to “give credit” to Osaka’s achievement.
The Japanese player composed herself as the crowd began
to applaud her, although she almost dropped the trophy as
she walked off the stage.
“It was always my dream to play Serena in the US Open
finals so I am really glad I was able to do that,” she said.

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