Serena Williams endured a major loss during her final round at the US Open yesterday (Sept. 8), and it wasn’t just because of the score.
Williams hit the court to for her final round match against 20-year-old Naomi Osaka on Saturday, but her real opponent was the chair umpire, Carlos Ramos, who penalized the tennis star for allegedly cheating during the competition.
The 47-year-old umpire from Portugal called Williams out for looking at her coach for signals after he saw him give her a thumbs up. Serena addressed Ramos saying, “When he gives me a thumbs up, he’s telling me to ‘Come on.’ We don’t have any code and I know you don’t know that … but I don’t cheat to win. I’d rather lose.”
Williams, who’s been receiving an outrageous amount of unnecessary heat from executives in the tennis world, went on to tell Ramos that he “attacked” [her] character, and she demanded an apology.
Of course, Ramos didn’t oblige, and the Compton, Calif-bred athlete didn’t back down.
“You will never be on another court of mine as long as you live. You are the liar,” she said.
By now, we can all agree that Williams’ coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, was signaling his player. Mouratoglou has even admitted doing so. However, Serena says she “did not see him offer help,” says the L.A. Times.
Williams received three violations after her encounter with the umpire, which are costing her $17,000 in fines. She received a $10,000 fine for verbal abuse — the US Open’s largest fine to date — $4,000 for the coaching violation, and $3,000 for racket abuse. (She slammed her racket on the court in a clear fit of fury.)
The United States Tennis Association president, Katrina Adams, defend Williams after the match and during a press conference earlier today.
“I would say last night is unfortunate,” she said. “We have to have consistency, because when you look at what the women, in this case Serena, is feeling, we watch the guys do this all the time. They are badgering the chair umpires on the changeover. Nothing happens.”
Serena spoke out on behalf of women in tennis during a post-match press conference, and now, everyone’s talking.
Whether or not Williams’ actions were right or wrong, Ramos was clearly gunning for her.
While Williams was dealing with officials post game, Naomi Osaka humbly accepted her win — by technicality and score (6-2, 6-4).
Osaka posted a photo of herself and her trophy on Instagram with a caption that reads, “So there’s been a lot going on but I just want to say, I was grateful to have the opportunity to play on that stage yesterday. Thank you.”