Serena Williams lost the 2018 US Open final and her bid for WTA record-equaling 24th Grand Slam title to spectacular Naomi Osaka, but the 20-year-old’s impressive tennis and emphatic victory were somewhat overshadowed by her opponent’s tantrums and fight with chair umpire Carlos Ramos.
The US Open released an official statement on the women’s singles final:
On the fifth point in the second game of the second set between Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams, the chair umpire witnessed coaching taking place from Williams’ coach. Even though her coach has admitted to coaching, Williams has made it clear that she did not receive any coaching. Nevertheless, in accordance with the rules, Williams was assessed a code violation, resulting in a warning.
At the completion of the fifth game of the second set, Williams was assessed a second code violation for racquet abuse, which required a point penalty.
At the changeover, at 4-3, Williams was assessed a third code violation for verbal abuse in the judgment of the umpire, which then required a game penalty.
The chair umpire’s decision was final and not reviewable by the Tournament Referee or the Grand Slam Supervisor who were called to the court at that time.
It’s a shame that boos rang around Arthur Ashe Stadium even when trophy presentation began, even though the audience’s dissatisfaction was not aimed at Osaka but at a sense of injustice against home favorite Serena. Still, in my opinion, the bizarre situation only enhanced Osaka’s victory, as she successfully handled both the powerful opponent and the partisan atmosphere. Despite threatening her opponent’s victory by bringing in uncalled-for chaos, we have to give Williams credit for intervening after the match:
Let’s not boo any more. Congratulations Naomi. No more booing.