Naomi Osaka, left, made history by beating Serena Williams in the Women’s Single finals at the 2018 U.S. Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows, NY on Saturday.
Osaka beat Williams in straight sets 6-2, 6-4 to become the first Japanese player ever to win a Grand Slam title. Williams lost her bid to win a record-tying 24 major tennis titles.
Williams, 36, started slowly, dropping 2 service breaks to find herself down 4-1 within the first 20 minutes of the first set. Williams quickly lost the first set 6-2 to the 20-year-old.
In the 2nd set, the chair umpire Carlos Ramos issued a coaching violation to Williams after he caught her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou sending Williams hand signals.
Williams began arguing with the umpire, insisting Mouratoglou was not coaching her. “I don’t cheat to win, I’d rather lose,” Williams told Ramos.
Williams was up a service break at 3-1 in the 2nd set when she hit a backhand into the net, helping Osaka to get back on serve at 2-3.
In frustration, Williams threw her racket down breaking it to pieces.
Chair umpire Ramos announced another code violation for racket abuse, and gave a point to Osaka to start the next game up 0-15.
Williams was livid. “You stole a point from me! You’re a thief too!” she yelled at Ramos.
Ramos then issued Williams a 3rd code violation for “verbal abuse”, and Williams was assessed a game penalty.
Instead of Osaka serving at 4-3, Osaka was suddenly up a game 5-3. She was only one game away from becoming the first Japanese man or woman to win a Grand Slam tennis title.
A furious Williams demanded to speak to the tournament referee, Brian Earley. But Earley (pictured left) told her he could not change the umpire’s game penalty.
Fighting back tears, Williams managed to hold serve at 5-4, but Osaka’s powerful serves were too much for the 36-year-old. Osaka easily won the 2nd set 6-4, as the stadium erupted in boos.
Williams was gracious in defeat. She embraced Osaka and told her to enjoy the moment.
But rather than celebrate her historic achievement, Osaka burst into tears as the boos rained down onto the court.
The boos continued during the trophy ceremony, as Williams begged the crowd to be positive and stop booing the kid.
“She played well, this is her first grand slam,” Williams told the crowd. “I know you guys were rooting [for me] but let’s make this a great moment. Let’s not boo. Let’s be positive. Congratulations Naomi. No more booing.”
Osaka seemed to regret beating her idol Williams. “I know that everyone was cheering for her, and I’m sorry it had to end like this,” she told the crowd. “I just want to say thanks for watching the match.”
After the match, Mouratoglou admitted to Pam Shriver that he was indeed coaching Williams — but television replay shows Williams was not even looking at him.
“I was coaching but I don’t think she looked at me,” he said. “I am honest, I was coaching…”
Mouratoglou said all coaches coach their players during matches. He said he had never received a coaching warning in his life. He added that Williams may not have known that she was on her 3rd violation when she called Ramos a “thief” and a “liar.”
Osaka was presented with the champion’s check for $3.8 million — which is more than she earned in her entire career.
Osaka, who is biracial, was born in Japan to a Japanese mom and a Haitian father. Both of her parents were in attendance to watch their daughter make history on Saturday.
Photos by Chris Trotman/Getty Images, Julian Finney/Getty Images, Elsa/Getty Images