Serena Williams, sexism, and a thief: Osaka wins dramatic US Open
The US Open women's singles final has sparked uproar and controversy following a landmark victory for Japan's Naomi Osaka over Serena Williams in a dramatic match, which saw the US tennis star penalised for a string of bad behaviour.
The 20-year-old Japanese-Haitian claimed her first Grand Slam title on Saturday, beating her childhood idol and six-time champion 6-2, 6-4 in 1 hour and 19 mins in Flushing Meadows, New York.
"It was always my dream to play Serena in the US Open final, so I'm really glad I was able to do that," a tearful Osaka said at the trophy presentation.
But her post-match celebration was overshadowed by what Williams later called "sexist" officiating, as the partisan home crowd booed the match officials.
With the first set under the Japanese player's belt, Williams clashed with the chair umpire Carlos Ramos when she was given a warning for receiving coaching – not permissible at Grand Slams.
A few games later, Williams, who was seeking a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title, received a second warning and a point penalty for breaking her racket.
"You owe me an apology," Williams said, arguing about the coaching violation. "I have never cheated in my life!"
The 36-year-old Olympic champion was later docked a game at 4-3 for calling the Portuguese official a "thief", which allowed Osaka to serve for the match and seal the historic victory.
"I've seen other men call other umpires several things," Williams said during her press conference.
"I'm here fighting for women's rights and for women's equality and for all kinds of stuff.
‘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 taken a game from a man because they said 'thief'. For me, it blows my mind.’