In the wake of a women’s US Open final unlike any we’ve seen in recent memory, fans are grappling with some tough questions.
It all started when Serena Williams was given a coaching violation early in the second set.
“I don’t cheat to win, I’d rather lose,” Williams told umpire Carlos Ramos.
“I didn’t get coaching. You owe me an apology. I have never cheated in my life.”
It seemed the argument was over, but then, when Williams smashed her racquet after dropping a serve, she was docked a point for a second violation. Immediately, she became frustrated and emotional.
Serena Williams after receiving a coaching violation in the #USOpen final:
“I don’t cheat to win. I’d rather lose.” pic.twitter.com/ml8FOrecQy
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) September 8, 2018
“Every time I play here, I have problems,” she said. “I did not get coaching, I don’t cheat. You need to make an announcement. I have a daughter and I stand for what’s right for her. You owe me an apology.
“For you to attack my character is something that is wrong.
“You will never ever, ever be in another final. You are a liar.” She then called Ramos a “thief” for docking a point from her, at which point he gave her a code violation for verbal abuse, resulting in a game penalty.
Williams then demanded referee Brian Earley come on to the court, telling him, “You know my character. This is not right. To lose a game for saying that, it’s not fair.”
“How many other men do things? There’s a lot of men out here who have said a lot of things. It’s because I am a woman, and that’s not right.”
Williams’ opponent, 20-year-old Naomi Osaka, ultimately won the match – making her the first Japanese player to win a grand slam.
As it ended, however, Williams refused to shake Ramos’ hand, and continued to demand an apology.
Standing on the podium, the crowd booed at the result, leading Osaka to cry. Williams put her arm around her, and said, “No more booing. Let’s be positive.”