1. Naomi Osaka has explained why she apologised after beating Serena Williams.
Naomi Osaka has explained why she apologised for winning the US Open women’s final over Serena Williams on the weekend.
During the match, Williams called the chair umpire a “liar” and a “thief” and said he treated her differently than male players.
The tennis champion was handed a warning for a coaching violation before being deducted a point for smashing her racquet. She then had a heated argument with chair umpire Carlos Ramos, which cost her a game.
In an interview with NBC’s Today Osaka confirmed what viewers could already see – that she was “really emotional” while accepting her trophy for the 6-2, 6-4 victory.
“I felt a little bit sad because I wasn’t really sure if (the crowd) were booing at me or if it wasn’t the outcome that they wanted,” the Japan-born American, who represented her birth country, told the hosts.
Osaka, who told the crowd, “I’m sorry it had to end like this. I want to say thank you for watching the match”, explained why she felt the need to apologise for her win.
“I also could sympathise because I’ve been a fan of Serena my whole life. And I knew how badly the crowd wanted her to win, I don’t know, I was just really emotional up there,” she said.
“I just felt like everyone was sort of unhappy out there and I knew it wasn’t the ending that everyone wanted it to be.
“In my dreams, I won in a very tough, competitive match, so I just felt very emotional and that I had to apologise.”
Osaka was comforted by Williams – who has since been handed a AU$24,000 fine for her violations – after her own loss.
“I felt really happy because I sort of felt that she knew I was crying,” Osaka said. “It just made me happy overall.”
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