Naomi Asaka defeats Serena Williams to win US Open
match marred by drama, cheating accusations
Naomi Osaka, one of the rising stars in tennis, just defeated arguably the greatest player of all time Serena Williams to win the 2018 US Open.
Unfortunately, the championship match will be remembered for other things.
Serena Williams was accused of cheating, sparking an intense, emotional back-and-forth between the American and the umpire.
Early in the second set, Williams was accused of receiving coaching from her box; an accusation the 23-time Grand Slam winner took issue with, and didn’t hold back in voicing her opinion to chair umpire, Carlos Ramos.
”I did not get coaching. I don’t get coaching,” she said to the umpire. “You need to make an announcement right now that I don’t get coaching. You owe me an apology.”
Following the match — a 6-2, 6-4 victory for the 20-year-old Osaka — Williams accused the umpire of costing her the match, after a third warning saw her receive a game penalty, late in the second set. After receiving a point penalty, Williams called the umpire a ‘thief’; the 36-year-old then earning a a third code violation, and a rare game penalty.
Williams called for the referee and match officials, and continued to make her case.
“This is not right, this is not fair,” Williams told tournament director, Brian Earley. “Because I’m a woman, you’re going to take this away from me, that’s not right. Every single year that I play, it’s just not right.”
After the match, her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, admitted to coaching throughout the game, but explained that it’s a common practice, but that Williams didn’t receive his input.
“I’m honest. I was coaching,” he said. “I was like 100 percent of the coaches on 100 percent of the matches. Sasha was coaching, too.”
After the match, Williams did her best to stop the booing that had begun to ring around Arthur Ashe Stadium, while doing her best to shift the focus toward Osaka’s win.
“I just want to tell you guys, she played well and this is her first grand slam,” Williams said.
“I know you guys were here rooting, and I was rooting, too, but let’s make this the best moment we can. We’ll get through it. Let’s give everyone credit where credit’s due, and let’s not boo anymore. We’re gonna get through this and let’s be positive. Congratulations, Naomi! No more booing!”
The win marks the first time in history that a Japanese player has won a grand slam, with Osaka still yet to lose a match this year.